Summary: Until our faith in Jesus becomes tangible we will always value the imposter more than the original. So what is the imposter of this world?

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There have been some tragedies in the baseball world as people trying to catch a foul ball end up falling over the railing. Last week a young boy watched his father fall to his death. Last night at the home run derby in Phoenix, AZ the same thing almost happened again. A man who had already caught two balls tried for his 3rd. He stood up on a table tied to lean over the railing and slipped. He went over only to be caught by his brother and a friend as he dangled 20 feet above the ground.

When I was 8 years old my parents took me to see the Pittsburgh Pirates play in Forbes Field. As you know with me nothing is normal. Well a foul ball came and hit me in the leg. I went down to pick it up and a big guy cam over and wrestled the ball from me. OK, there wasn’t much wrestling, he just took it. But the fans around us starting yelling “Give the kid the ball”. After a lynch mob started for this man he decided to give me the ball.

So what is it about getting a foul ball from a baseball game that excites us? Baseball is a great sport and we play it since we are kids. We finally get to this major league stadium and then we lose all sense of reality. We are in our own “Field of Dreams”. If we can’t get in the game the best thing is to get a prize possession from the actual game. It is a great memory. Now why on earth do a lot of us value this prize possession more than the one who created the greatest baseball players, Jesus?

1. A baseball is real; we can feel it, hold it and show it to others.

2. We can boast that we were there. Somehow we feel a little bigger for being the one to catch that ball.

Until our faith in Jesus becomes tangible we will always value the imposter more than the original. So what is the imposter of this world?

Satan is called the “Prince” of this world. Satan knows our weaknesses and will attack us where we are the most vulnerable. So how do we get a tangible faith when the imposter is doing everything he can to keep us living a lie that: "Things” are more important than Jesus.

Most of you have been on the front line of our ministry through prayers and financial giving. Most people before they go on the mission field are at 85% to 90% of their budget before they go into the field. We felt God calling us to do His work so we went. After writing devotionals for 13 years and now three years full time we are at 36% of budget and our budget s not big. At times it seems so maddening that I would pull me hair out. Oh that’s where my hair went!!!!! So for the past there years we have made it “ONLY” in the nick of time. We have been at 36% of budget but then a “Miracle Happens” again, and again and again. Our bills get paid. Now we feel strangled again. I am going to ask you the question, “What should we do?” God has proven Himself faithful. Much like the Israelites who received “Manna” only for the day we are only guaranteed “Our daily bread.” What would you do? Would you go out and get a job and secure fianc├ęs till you could get back on your feet? Would you continue to trust in God (Even though things look impossible)? What if you are so tired you feel like you cannot go one? You see all the questions that I have for you today you could have the same ones for me. It may not be finances that have you in a bind but some other worry or concern.

Back to my first statement

“Until our faith in Jesus becomes tangible we will always value the imposter more than the original.”

How do we get our faith from the drawing board into our hearts? Trials, trials and more trials. It is not until we are broken with no where else to go that the God of the universe shows up in a huge way. He is the only One who can overcome, heal, restore, lift up and set us on from footing. It is not until we are paralyzed with fear that we cry out to God. It is not until we are destitute that we see our need for a Savior. Jesus. Yes we all have trials but what will we do when the trials come?

Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”

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