I just finished Kyle Idleman’s “Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus.” I was a fan. And I was not just a fan, I’m a follower of the truths he presented. Most importantly, I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. “Not a Fan” reminded me of the importance of counting the cost and living as a doulas, a slave to Christ, one who takes up their cross, follows Him, and dies daily.
Idleman presented truths boldly while also maintaining a sense of humor. One of the passages that struck me most was the following:
“A few months ago I was speaking in Houston, Texas, and a good-sized man, with a good-sized belt buckle, came up to me with tears in his eyes. He began to tell me the story of his prodigal daughter, how she went to college and totally turned her back on the faith. As soon as he started the story I knew how it would go. I’ve heard it so many times, even the details seem predictable. But when he finished, he didn’t ask me why she was doing this or what had gone wrong. He wasn’t looking for an explanation. Instead, with one sentence he put his finger on what he thought happened. Here’s what he said…
We raised her in Church, but we didn’t raise her in Christ.
You hear what he is saying? We raised her to look right on the outside but didn’t teach her about the inside. We taught her to keep all the rules, but she never really had a relationship. We made her feel guilty for the wrong things she did, but somehow she missed God’s amazing grace.
We taught her to be a fan of Jesus — instead of a follower of Jesus.”
This situation is all too common. As my dad frequently says, “The heart of the problem is the problem of the heart.” I thank God for giving me parents who always looked to the deeper side of my disobedience by dealing with the spiritual side of things first. You can only look good on the outside for so long. For effects that last a lifetime, your heart has to be changed and the Spirit must live in you. And when the Spirit lives inside of you, you can’t just be a fan, you are compelled to be a follower. You WANT to give up everything. He changes your whole outlook on life.
By His grace and because of His grace, may we die daily to ourselves and live to the glory of God, not just as fans, but as followers.
And He said to all, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.”