Hey there. :)
In this article, I was given the freedom to write about whatever is currently on my heart. And currently, there's a whole lot of things I could write about. Believe me, bearing my soul to y'all could take ages...
But somewhere in the jumbled mess that is my brain, there's one thing that Jesus has been showing me in particular lately that I feel like I should share. And that is are we really followers of Jesus?
In youth group the past couple weeks we've been watching a video series called "Not a Fan" (also available via book) and journaling our thoughts on the series. And oh my goodness, this series will turn your life around. The videos follow the life of a man named Eric, from his teen years, to his radical transformation into a believer of Christ, up until his unexpected death in his mid-fourties. The loss crushes his family and friends, but also prompts them to examine his lifestyle and how he blatantly and unashamedly followed Christ. Each episode follows one of Eric's family members or friends and how they reacted during his life and after his death. Meanwhile, the narrator and author, Pastor Kyle Idleman, parallels the person with someone in the Bible and how they responded to Jesus, distinguishing the fans from the followers.
What does being a follower of Jesus really look like? Going to church on Sundays and Wednesdays? Dressing modestly? Refraining from sin whenever possible? Contributing to a Christian blog?
Sure these are all good things to do, but believe it or not, that is not only what following Christ should look like. Jesus never said "to follow me, you can just be a good girl and just go about your day." Jesus wasn't about the mamby-pamby stuff. He commanded His followers in Luke 9:23: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." I don't know about y'all, but my relationship with God hasn't exactly been costing me my comfort, or my happiness, or my reputation.
Fans are the people who admire from the sidelines, they're the Christians who worship Jesus on Sundays, give their tithe every week, and even help out with church programs. But they're not willing to give everything. EVERYTHING YOU GUYS! That's what Jesus calls from us. He calls us to sacrifice. He calls us to obey without question. He calls us to do the insane...the impossible. He calls us to death.
Does this sound like your current walk with God? Honestly, mine is far from measuring up to this. I mean, I haven't been persecuted much lately. I haven't given up anything for anyone else, let alone God. He says in Revelation 3:15 - 16 to pick a side: "I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth."
Fans let stuff get in the way. People. Email. Clothes. iPod. Food. Addictions. Excuses. Whatever. You cannot be a true follower of Christ until you are willing to give it all away. Willing to do whatever. And I believe that when we do, He will bless us with joy and peace beyond any compare. If we are only willing to listen. Listen and obey and let go.
What are we waiting for!?