When we want something and pray for it, often we then wait and expect for God to put it in our hands.
That happens. But not often. For what God usually does is not just hand us stuff — not just place it smack in the palms of our hands, with little or no effort on our part — but put it within our reach. The rest — reaching for it; grasping it — requires faith and effort on our part. Prayer and effort plus faith = miracles (when God so wills; when it’s in our long-term interest).
And so, reach for what the Lord Creator grants as a possibility, and also: realize you are in this world but not to be part of it. The flow you must go with is His. It is not visible. And so it may entail what seems irrational except through the eyes of faith.
The world places things right in your palm, if you do its bidding. The world rewards according to its own. Then, it owns you. The others — the minority; those of faith — it resists; it may even spit out.
Realize that as Christians we used to be the “home team.” Our country was amicable; welcoming; we were its standard. Holiness was admired. Goodness was rewarded. Christianity was part of the fabric.
Now, we are the “visiting team.”
We are foreigners in an alien land.
And so more than ever, God has called every Christian to leave worldliness — not leave the earth, not quit our jobs, not forsake our chores and responsibilities, and certainly not to leave those who need us — but leave attitudes and actions that leave out God.
View the world as the foreign territory and place of exile that it is.
You’ll never know where God is taking you, and what He is placing within your reach, without leaving where you are, the world. As long as you hold onto the world, you will not find your true destiny. You will find instead what the world wants you to be. Do you live with affections and actions that leave God out? Do you compromise with the culture, with trends, with the societies of men? God doesn’t want you to love the world because His enemy runs it. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him (1 John 2:15).
The question is: who do you love? Who and how do you believe? If you are a serious Christian, the preacher Tony Evans reminds us, you don’t “believe in God” so much as “believe God.” And He should never be seen in competition with the devil. He is a gazillion lights years above that.
Yes, Christians have lost home-field advantage. That makes us the visiting team. The crowd is not in our favor. It’s not on our side. There is little rooting for us. We are no longer supported in school, at work, even at home; no longer do we live in a land that holds the Judeo-Christian view. Womb to tomb: we are now the aliens.
Because of that, many Christians have become treasonous; they want to be accepted and affirmed by the culture, applauded, cheered by it. They take a worldly (“mainstream”) approach to Christianity. They focus on the cheerleaders, not Jesus.
This is false Christianity — worldliness no matter the storefront, uniform, or facade of the stadium.
If you’re the visiting team, you’re going to be booed when you make a great play, when you score. You can’t care about the crowd. You can’t care if there’s no applause when you hit the long shot, when you pass for a touchdown.
God’s at the scoreboard.
Didn’t God’s people of Israel have to survive and win victory in Babylon?
Our spiritual rebellion like Israel’s has put us in this mess. It has let the worldly become the home team — humanists, the secular, materialists, the “nones.” For a Christian, the world is dying out.
We have to leave it. We shouldn’t look back at Sodom. The “world” can be defined as that system ruled over by Satan that leaves God out.
We leave it without leaving it. We live in peace without giving up the fight. We learn that the best defense is a good offense — one that follows a coach named Christ.
The crowd may not cheer, there will be no roar, but you’ll win. When the clock runs out, you’ll be the victor.
[resources: A Life of Blessings]