Fan or Follower?

like Jesus

Many social media outlets utilize tools such as “like”, “fan” pages, “follow” etc. for members to interact with each other, with topics, writings, photos, and so on. Even here on WordPress, bloggers can give readers the option of “liking” a post, and/or “following” the blogger. By “liking” a posting, the reader merely indicates they read the post and enjoyed it. By choosing to “follow”, the reader links him/herself with the blogger, receiving every post, update, announcement the blogger publishes. In any outlet, “following” calls for more commitment than “liking” or even joining a “fan” page.

Churches today are filled with “fans”, filled with people who “like” Jesus, but precious few are true followers. By definition, a fan is “an enthusiastic admirer.” But a follower is “one who walks after (in the footsteps of) their master, teacher.” Kyle Idleman, author of “Not A Fan”, writes, “(Fans) want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires something of them.”

God spoke of “fans” in Isaiah 29:13, stating, “They honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.” Jesus threw down the gauntlet when He declared in Luke 9:23, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Jesus is not, nor was He ever, interested in fans, in people liking Him. He called for followers, nothing less than total devotion, total commitment. All-in, or nothing.

There is no forgiveness without repentance.

There is no salvation without surrender.

There is no life without death.

There is no believing without following. (Idleman)

Are you a fan, or a follower?

2 responses to “Fan or Follower?

  1. The hardest part of being a committed Follower is when you feel you are walking in darkness. We ALL like to be able to SEE where our next step will be, and to feel that what we are putting our foot down on will hold us up!
    But I have had several times in my life when I felt I have been left in a dark room, walking in circles in the dark, and just hoping I would not fall into an unseen hole… Or, times when I was Following to the best of my understanding and yet terrible things have happened in my life. THAT makes it awfully hard to continue putting your Faith and Confidence in Following…
    If my Earthly Dad left me in ‘darkness’ without guidance, or knew I was about to be badly hurt, and did nothing to prevent it, yet expected me to continue to follow him for my every step and decision — in order to ‘prove my Love for him’ — it would be VERY HARD to continue to do that!
    I have NEVER understood why GOD would CREATE a ‘system’ that He KNEW would lead to the suffering and pain that Jesus went thru, nor the pain and suffering that HE was going to expect from we ‘mere mortals’ in order to show our Love and Praise for HIM…?
    As a ‘mere mortal’ I know that I would never create such a system!
    YES, I try my very hardest to be a Follower, and far MORE than just a ‘fan’… But I must say, I am a VERY CONFUSED, and somewhat disappointed, Follower.

    • Floyd, I had no idea you were in such a painful place, my friend. It grabbed my heart to read your honest words. I know there are many times that following Christ looks and feels like stumbling through a dark forest. After Hebron “parted company” with me, I felt completely lost for a time, not knowing why it happened, and what I was to do next. Then I had two major surgeries, and have been trying to help my parents, whose health (esp. my father’s) has been faltering as of late. It certainly is hard to trust when you don’t know which way to turn, you can’t go back the way you came, and you can’t see the way forward. I know the feeling.
      And yet, I remember a preacher once declared, “When you can’t always trace His hand, you can always trust His heart.” I couple that with the God I see in the Bible, OT and NT, personified in Jesus, and I am assured that God loves me, will see me through, and I will not be forsaken.
      After I got “dropped off the bus” so to speak by Hebron, I had a dream where God told me, “It’s ok, I got you. Let’s go.” He has brought me back to that, and many scriptures related, many times. When the way looks dim, in a world filled with pain and suffering, I know God is with me. He has gone before me, sent Jesus to experience the pain of this life, and He can identify with our sorrows and sufferings. I can’t always see a foot in front of my face, but I choose to trust Him, and to follow His Word and leading.
      God’s got us both, my friend. The unseen hand in the dark that’s got us. I can’t see the big picture, don’t know all the “whys”, but He loves us, and will lead us through. I hold onto that.
      Love ya bro,

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