I am a huge Star Wars fan. The famous franchise has staked its claim in many areas of my life: my heart, my closet, even my kitchen cabinets. Tonight, I’ll be standing in line at GameStop to be one of the first people to own Star Wars Battlefront 2 (lol).
If you can’t already tell, this is a facet of my life in which I choose to express a special enthusiasm. However, I am also a fan of many other things: Pokémon, Jane Austen, panda bears, reading, eating burgers, writing, ect. ect. ect…
For a while, I was a pretty big fan of Jesus too. Like anything else I was a fan of, I would spend a lot of time getting to know Him better and enjoy what all He had to offer me: peace, joy, salvation, and redemption to name a few.
But is it truly enough to just be a fan of Jesus?
The answer, honestly, is no. Most fans fawn over more than one specific fandom, and justly so (there are a lot of good fandoms out there). But is that also the way we should treat Jesus? By making Him take turns with things that are supposedly “just as good” as He is? Jesus never puts us on the back burner, and neither should you.
I may ship Han and Leia hardcore, but when will either of them ever look straight back at me through the TV and tell me that I am enough? That I am actually worth something to them? That I am worth getting to know?
In this case, the answer is never. But in the case of Another, the answer is absolutely and without ceasing.
God tells us literally hundreds of times to trust in Him and to have no fear, but we often find that this is a lot easier said than done. Weak attempts are often made to “wish” our fears away or, worse, ignore them altogether, but does this ever really work?
Friends, the only thing that I can tell you that truly does work is the act of sacrifice. The act of offering up your many fears and what trust you have to God in order for Him to take care of those fears for you is what distinguishes you as follower. Not a fan.
You may not see the light at the end of the tunnel, but you continue to walk straight into that mysteriously sweet assurance that exists beyond all reason. You begin to crave the discipleship of Another as you find yourself truly wanting to give Him the honor He deserves. You become hidden in the safety of His love as you trust in Him completely, listening to Him intently as He leads you down paths that you yourself could never follow without getting lost, confused, and wounded in the dark.
He calls each and every one of us by name to follow Him, whispering to our hearts to let everything go that weighs us down on the journey and extinguishes our light. You are then able to begin to know the Lord like you would a friend, a friend you yearn to follow.
God could care less about being just another fan of yours. He wants to stick things out with you, even when things get ugly. Even during the times you resent Him so much you scream inside your head:
“If this is your will for me now, You don’t love me!”
“If this is all You are willing to give me, I want no bloody part of it!”
These are the toxic, toxic thoughts of a very unhappy fan. A fan whose favorite team didn’t win, whose favorite character was recast with a really crappy actor.
When times get hard for a follower, they search for and cling to God even more as they make the conscious decision to proclaim truth over their life:
“You love me. You plan good things for me. I’ll take it.”
“You know exactly what You are doing.”
Perhaps now is a good time to ask yourself if you are more of a fan or a follower. Being a follower isn’t easy. In fact, it can be really really hard. But with God and the faith of a mustard seed, anything is possible.
Even when it hurts like hell, we can praise Him.