Like I told you yesterday, we spent yesterday afternoon at the Royals Opening Day. My girls were super surprised and thrilled to get to play hooky to go to the game. My dad and I were like little kids because neither of us had ever been to an Opening Day ballgame before.
The weather stunk. It was cold and drizzly. We watched the game wrapped in blankets. The Royals had moments where they made the Bad News Bears look like a good baseball team (how bad do you have to be in the field to let a player get to third base on a bunt?)
But the thing that struck me the most was the lack of passion in from the fans in the stands. The stadium was half empty, despite being "officially" sold out. Many fans looked out the window and simply decided not to show up. By the fifth inning, half the fans that did show up had left, and the score was only 2-0. By the end of the game, there were probably only a couple thousand fans left.
I grew up in Boston and Chicago, and I am a passionate Red Sox fan. Royals fans puzzle me. They only want to watch their team if it's going to win. I lived in Boston during the years before the Red Sox had won a World Series. Fans of the Red Sox went to games and cheered on their team no matter how bad it was. They always believed that this was the year their team would break its nearly century-long drought of winning the World Series. So, the fairweatherness of Royals fans is not something I understand.
Sitting at the game yesterday, I was reminded of Revelation 3:15-16 "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth." God doesn't want us to be like Royals fans, who are decidedly lukewarm about their team. He wants us to be like Red Sox fans -- passionate.
Lukewarm Christ-followers are those that say they believe in Jesus, but they are not passionate about following Him. When tough times come, they fall away. Satan likes nothing better than a lukewarm Christ-follower because they are not effective. Others don't see Christ in a lukewarm follower. What they see is a what people see when they see some Royals fans -- someone who doesn't care much but who will show up if all the conditions are right.
We want to be like those fans who showed up in their cold weather gear yesterday. Wrapped in blankets with hot chocolate on their hands, they stayed to the bitter end and cheered on their team as they tried to rally in the 8th and 9th innings. God wants us to have a hot heart for Him. He wants others to see our passion for Him and be drawn in by that passion.
When we are passionate about God and what He is doing, it's easier for God to use us. When God calls, we will follow. If someone offers me a chance to go see the Red Sox play, I'll do whatever it takes to rearrange my schedule so I can go. When God calls, if we are passionate about Him, we will do whatever it takes to follow where He leads -- even if it means making some difficult choices.
Revelation 3:16 says that God will spit the lukewarm Christ-followers out of His mouth. God wants us to whole-heartedly follow after Him. He wants us to show up to serve Him even when the circumstances aren't perfect -- even when they make us uncomfortable. It's not always easy but it is always worth it.