As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.” But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” He said to another person, “Come, follow me.”
The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead![a]Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.”
Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.” But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”
~ Luke 9:57-62 (NLT)
Fans like to root for Jesus on Sundays but tend to disappear during the week. Followers of Jesus, however, are die-hards. Which one are you?
Notice in the above passage that Jesus doesn't have much room for fans. He basically says, "Wherever I go, whenever I go there, whatever am I doing, you need to be with me, or this is NOT going to work!"
With that in mind, allow me to ask you a few questions:
Are you willing to follow Jesus WHEREVER, or do you tend to put down the cross? You’re willing to follow Jesus, but at 7:00 pm on Friday night you are going to the movies. You’ll have to put the cross down for a couple hours because Jesus sure isn’t walking in to see the movie you plan on seeing! You’re willing to follow Jesus, but you are not going over to that relative’s house to apologize! "They can come to me Jesus!" You exclaim.
Here is the difference between a fan and follower. A fan waits to hear WHERE and then decides. Meanwhile., a follower says “YES!” first and then hears where he or she is going.
How about this question? Are you willing to follow Jesus WHENEVER He says, or do you tend to pick up and put down the cross depending on the time of day or the day of the week? You might say, "I am willing to follow you Jesus, but I have a soccer game next Sunday morning and I’ll need to drop that cross for a few hours. I can’t make church because soccer comes first."
Here is the difference between a fan and follower with this. A fan will always be ready to follow Jesus tomorrow, while a follower is ready to drop everything right now.
Finally, are you willing to follow Jesus with WHATEVER He says, or do you tend to have conditions? You find yourself saying things like, "I want to follow you Jesus, but I can’t give my money to that! If I do, then I can’t buy this!" "I want to follow you Jesus, but I am not getting rid of these CDs or MP3’s or DVDS." "I am willing to follow Jesus, but don’t ask for my remote control. Don’t ask me to give up this website."
Here, again is the difference between fan and follower. A fan is willing to make Jesus a priority in his or her life, but a follower is ready to make Jesus THE ONLY priority.
Please understand. Jesus loves us so much. He died to have a relationship with us, and He is not interested in sharing your heart. He settled for nothing less than to give His all in total sacrifice for you. He will settle for nothing less than complete devotion and whole-hearted affection in return.
So where are you? Are you willing to stand up for Christ--even when no one else does? Are you willing to walk forward with Christ--even if everyone else is walking backward? Are you willing to get out of a relationship that is not helping you live for Christ or live like Christ? Are you will to throw out any entertainment that is not helping you live for Christ or like Christ? Are you willing to say ‘No’ to yourself, so you can ‘yes’ to Christ?
Are you willing to die to yourself, so you can live for Christ? Are you willing to care more about what will save the most people and help them grow in Christ than you care about your own wants and desires? Are you willing to pay the price? Are you willing to let Christ interfere with your life for God’s glory and the benefit of desperately needy world?
Are you willing to do all these things NOT because you think it is a duty, NOT because you think it is in the rule book, NOT because it will make you look holy or good, NOT for any of that, but because Christ is worth it, because Christ suffered and died for you, and because there is a lost and hurting world heading to Hell and they need to know about our amazing Christ!
So, which is it? Are you a fan or a follower?
NOTE: For a fuller understanding of this, check out Kyle Idleman's excellent book Not a Fan