The Playground

Christians are God's kids that develop on this sandbox or playground we call Earth. We are created and known in God's mind long before we are born. However, when we are born and eventually come to know Christ as our Savior, we still have to deal with the Bully on the Playground, the devil. 

I have got wonderful news, God Almighty, sent His only Son to redeem, restore and reconcile The Playground and our relationship with God, but He also dealt with The Bully. All these goals were accomplished because Satan was defeated through the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus. 1 John 3:8 states, "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work." I believe Christ's words of "It is finished." sums it up nicely, but the empty tomb and The Risen Christ Jesus puts a nice exclamation point on it! For if Christ simply lived a perfect life then died for humanity - we would only have a martyr with no hope of resurrection and no hope of eternal life for ourselves. But praise be to Christ Jesus for His power over death, Hell and the grave - because by His resurrection we have new life and eternal life in and with Christ.  

Just as a parent eventually comes back to The Playground to pick up his/her child, so too will Father God send Jesus for His kids. Father God is going to instruct Christ that the time has come for Gabriel to blow the trumpet, the call/shout to be made and for Jesus to come pick us up. However, as we wait we need to be making every effort to enjoy our season in the playground but not stay there and move toward Palace Living. 

This Palace Lifestyle comes at a cost. His kids need to develop. Tests will come, hardships will seem to plague us, change will rub us the wrong way, but these are all to get us prepared and out of the sandbox or little playground and into the larger Playground of The World and eventually God's Palace. What we once held as toys, God desires to replace with tools for His purposes. In 1 Peter 2:2 the Scripture encourages believers to drink their young spiritual milk, play in the playground, experience in full what your young years have to offer. 

  • "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,"
Then other Scripture warns us, spiritual baby food is not good to continue to LIVE on.
  • "Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness." - Hebrews 5:13
However, even if you know that you must mature in the kind of teachings you receive and responses to tests in your life, sometimes a situation is rushed from one level to the next. We desperately need good guidance here. In Paul's first letter to the believers in Corinth he stated this very idea - 

  • "I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready." - 1 Corinthians 3:2
The words mature and develop have with them teammates to make their process successful. I have mentioned some of these teammates already - change, tests, hardships, pain and so forth. But it is not just the experience of these that matures or develops someone. Our response is the key to moving forward in Christ.  This is the answer to Paul's question if we are ready for "solid food" or more adult/heavy lifting teachings and experiences in Christ. Once we can see that we are handling issues and our own development in a mature manner, then we can approach the whole process another level up. Paul said,
  • "And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." - 2 Corinthians 3:18
So, here we can observe the Christian has passed from the milk to solid food stage of development in Christ. He or she is now moving in glories - from glory to glory. This is a major level up; a great development; a display of maturity in Christ. Where are you in this spiritual journey? Hopefully you enjoyed your milk and time with the Lord in the sandbox, but don't plan to stay there, better things are yet to come beyond The Playground.