Currently I am reading the Kindle edition of Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus by Kyle Idleman. In the opening chapter the author writes, ‘Here’s my point: many of us are quick to say, “Yes, I’m a follower of Jesus,” but I’m not sure we truly understand what we are saying.’
And so the purpose of this book, in my mind, is to challenge the person who claims to be a Christian (and that includes me) to do a little self-examination and determine if, according to Scripture and the work of the Holy Spirit, he or she is simply a fan or truly a follower of Christ Jesus. At least, that is the intent with which I am currently reading the book.
So in the first six chapters, Mr. Idleman offers five questions – I challenge you to take a few minutes and consider each of these questions … the questions and subsequent statements are all from the book.
Diagnosing Fandom –
- Have you made a decision for Jesus or have you committed to Jesus? Many have made a decision to believe in Jesus without making a commitment to follow Jesus. The gospel allows for no such distinction.
- Do you just know about Jesus, or do you really know Him? Fans have a tendency to confuse their knowledge for intimacy. They don’t recognize the difference between knowing about Jesus and truly knowing Jesus.
- Is Jesus one of many or is He your one and only? Jesus makes it clear that he will not share your affection. Following Him requires your whole heart.
- Are you more focused on the outside than the inside? Instead of following Jesus they (fans) are following religious rules and rituals. They have confused the targets. (To paraphrase another quote in the book, fans tend to be raised up in Church instead of being raised up in Christ.)
- Are you a self-empowered fan or a Spirit-filled follower? Fans try to play the role of the Holy Spirit, but trying to be God has a tendency to wear you out.
My hope is that as you took a serious look at each of these questions, the Holy Spirit gave you assurance that you are indeed a follower of Christ Jesus and a child of God.
If you came up with the answer ‘I am a fan’ my hope and prayer is that one day real soon you will find you have become a committed follower of Jesus.
If your answers left you somewhat in between the two, check back tomorrow. There are three more questions and a chapter of Matthew that should help resolve any remaining issues you may have.
(BTW – I highly recommend this book. The conclusions the author arrives at are well supported by all the Bible passages included within the book.)