This summer I have been reading some amazing books, such as "Weird" by Craig Groeshcel and "Radical" by David Platt. But I am currently reading a book called "not a fan" by Kyle Idleman, this book has totally convicted me as far as my commitment to Christ and my walk with Him.
Let me explain what I'm talking about. Pastor Idleman explains the difference between the Christian fan and the Christian follower. Let's define a fan; Websters ditinary defines fan as "an enthusiastic admirer" you know the guy at the football game with no shirt and a painted face and chest. This fan who sits in the stands and cheers for his favorite team. He has a signed jersey and multiple bumper stickers on the back of his car. But he is never in the game, never breaks a sweat or takes a hard hit in the open field. He knows all about the players and can rattle off their latest stats, but he doesn't know the players. He yells and cheers, but nothing is required of him. There is no sacrifice he has to make. And the truth is, as excited as he seems, if the team he's cheering for starts to let him down and has a few off seasons, his passion will wane pretty quickly. If the team continues to have a bad season, expect him to jump off the band wagon and begin cheering for another team. He is an enthusiastic admirer, a fan.
Pastor Idleman continues to say that Jesus has a lot of fans these day. Fans who cheer for Him when things are going well, but who walk away when it's a difficult season. Fans who sit safely in the stands cheering, but they know nothing of the sacrifice and pain of the field. Fans of Jesus who know all about Him, but don't know Him.
A follower is described as this; "The person who accepts the leadership of another" a disciple. We tend to define belief as the acceptance of something as real or true. But biblical belief is more than just an intellectual acceptance or heartfelt acknowledgment; it is a commitment to follow. Following by definition requires more than mental assent, it calls for movement. If you read through the four Gospels that tell of Christ's life you'll find that Jesus says "Believe in me" about five times. But care to guess how many times Jesus said "Follow me"? About twenty nine times.
Pastor Idleman is not saying that following is more important than believing. What he is saying is that they are firmly connected.
A follower is a person who listens to what the Lord says whether it is all so quiet or very loud, and acts on it. A follower puts himself or herself out of the comfort zone to do the work of the Lord. A follower gives up everything he/she has for the Lord. A follower forsakes his/her relationship with family or friends for Christ. A follower puts Christ 1st in everything.
So I put this in front of you, as it was put in front of me. Are you a fan of Jesus or a follower?
Blessings to You