Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Not a Fan

Tonight I began reading the book Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman. Though I am not very far into the book, within the first few pages I already felt convicted and that is what I wanted to share about.

Synopsis of Not a Fan:
"Are you a fan or a follower? The dictionary defines a fan as "an enthusiastic admirer." Fans want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires sacrifice. Fans may be fine with repeating a prayer, attending church on the weekend, and slapping a Jesus fish on their bumpers. But is that really the extent of the relationship Jesus wants?...Jesus was never interested in having admirers. It's not fans he is looking for."

With that said, I knew going into this book that my toes would get stepped on. I did not know how quickly they would or just how much it would hit me. In the first chapter, the authors calls you to DTR (define the relationship) with Jesus. He does this by asking "Are you a follower of Jesus?" If anyone were to ask me this before I ever picked up this book, I would have said "well yes, definitely!" Now I am reevaluating my relationship with Jesus. I don't want to be just a fan on the sideline. I want to be a follower who is in the field and on the frontline.

In the very first chapter after asking "Are you a follower of Jesus?", Kyle makes it a point to tell you what he is NOT asking. For example, he is not asking if you go to church (yes I do), he is not asking if you have raised your hand at the end of a sermon one time (yes I have), he is not asking if we grew up going to VBS (yes I did), and he is not asking if have ever kissed dating goodbye (this one particularly caught my eye because I'm in the middle of reading the book this refers to right now...for the second time!).

So many of us, myself included, think just because we are doing this or that (showing up in church on Sunday, tweeting Godly quotes, posting pictures of the "verse of the day" on Instagram, take your pick...) that we are sufficiently doing our part but we are wrong. We have to FOLLOW Jesus, not just be a part of his fan club. And the thing is that it will not be easy. It won't be a one-time thing. It has to be daily thing. The other thing is that it won't be comfortable. It will require multiple changes in your life. For me, over the past couple of months, it has meant a complete change in my friendships, relationships, and lifestyle. My world has been completely changed, but we have to be willing to surrender ourselves to Him...more of Jesus and less of us. But it will so be worth it in the end when we get to spend the rest of eternity in Heaven with our Lord.

Even though I am just beginning this book, I am excited about this journey and I am looking forward to what all the book has to offer me, but more importantly I am so looking forward to what all Jesus has to offer me that I have been missing out on because I haven't been truly seeking and following Him-only admiring Him! In Proverbs 8 verse 17 God tells us, "I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me." He wants an intimate relationship with us- we just have to seek Him! Daily we have to give up our worldly desires and selfish needs...daily we have to take up our cross.

My challenge to you is this week rekindle your relationship with Jesus...get to know him as a friend or confidant and not just as an acquaintance or someone whom you simply admire but do not personally know like celebrities or famous athletes that we are fans of and idolize. Don't put Jesus in the same category as Aaron Rodgers, either of the Manning's, Chipper Jones, or any of the Kardashians (or insert your favorite celebrity/athlete/idol here). Make Jesus more than that because he IS so much more than that. Don't be a fan of Jesus.

Then he said to them all: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Luke 9:23-25

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