Magic vs. Christianity- Part 2: How can we escape the trap of expectation?
19 Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives. Galatians 4:19
Yesterday, we looked at what could be entitled, “Faith-Magic,” where if we have enough faith, miracles happen. We just don’t know enough about any situation to know what or when a miracle is truly needed. It’s up to God’s overall plan to reach the world with the Gospel.
Today, we are looking at “Performance-Magic.” This kind of magic is really based upon the credit/debit system. If we live a certain way, do a certain number of good deeds, perform certain religious rites, or meet certain expectations, then our prayers will be answered the way we want them to be answered. We can already see the flaw in this kind of magic. God is not obligated in any way, shape or form to “come through” for us. His ways are much higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). We cannot even begin to expect to know what kind of miracle is needed, when, how, or even to whom. We must face the fact that God does not answer to us just because we followed a certain format or lived a certain way.
Actually, knowing this fact can be quite freeing, especially if we learn to lean into Christ rather than panic. One of my favorite songs that ministered to me when I was going through vocal issues (that led to surgery) is, “Sometimes He Calms the Storm.” Here are the words.
All who sail the sea of faith
Find out before too long
How quickly blue skies can grow dark
And gentle winds grow strong
Suddenly fear is like white water
Pounding on the soul
Still we sail on knowing
That our Lord is in control
Sometimes He calms the storm
With a whispered peace be still
He can settle any sea
But it doesn’t mean He will
Sometimes He holds us close
And lets the wind and waves go wild
Sometimes He calms the storm
And other times He calms His child
He has a reason for each trial
That we pass through in life
And though we’re shaken
We cannot be pulled apart from Christ
No matter how the driving rain beats down
On those who hold to faith
A heart of trust will always
Be a quiet peaceful place
As long as we remember that many of our circumstances are of our own devising, and many others are of other people’s bad choices, we can trust God to work all things in our lives for good because we have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28), which is to be His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Let’s forsake the old ways and reach out for His new ways. All we have to do is:
2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2
It really is that simple–easy to say, hard to do! It’s a daily struggle, but remember, He is with us all the way.
Abba, if we would relax and let You lead us, we would find that You have everything under control. Even when our lives seem not to be, You have us in the palm of Your hand. It’s a wild ride, Lord, but I know that eventually, this rollercoaster will stop and we will get off and step into Your kingdom. I can hardly wait! Amen.