How do I convey what is heavy on my heart without coming across as holier than thou or sounding preachy? As I ponder my dilemma I realize that no matter how much sugar I pile on top of what I am about to say, for some it will not taste so good. In fact, as I have been studying God’s word and His truth has been soaking into the my thick-skinned brain I realize that by His truth I too have been found guilty of crossing over the line. Sometimes I stumble over the line from follower to fan and yes on occasion I have jumped.
In John 14:15 Jesus says, “If you love Me, you will obey me.” I see no gray area, no place to argue that this statement from our savior and King could mean anything else other than stop it, don’t go there! So why do we cross over the line? Is it because of anger, fear, hurt, disappointment, frustration, circumstances, ignorance, diarrhea of the mouth or constipation of thought? Truth be told we can all come up with excuses to justify our disobedience to God.
But honestly, whatever our reason might be, there really is no valid excuse for any of us who call ourselves followers of Christ to intentionally step over the line of God’s pure holiness and trample on the toes of his amazing grace with the sharp heels of our flagrant disobedience. Yep, believe it or not sometimes we disobey God just because it is what we want to do. We know it is not what God wants, but we want it, so we jump! You jump! I jump! We jump! Wiggle! Wiggle! Wiggle! Now for some, maybe the line is dim because they just don’t know God’s will, His character, His ways and His faithfulness. Even that excuse doesn’t hold water for long! And please don’t sing me that song, “Baby I was born that way.” We were created as the moral image bearers of God and we make a choice to carry His image into the world, or not! We are to be a mirror of who God is to the world. Romans 8:28-30: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” We have been predestined to bear the very image of Christ!
Yes we are cracked mirrors but goodness look at His word and see that God uses broken vessels, people just like you and I. Broken, slightly dented, marred, used, imperfect, hallelujah! My God can take the most broken and cracked vessel and use it in ways we could never fathom. Our problem is we don’t get deep into His word and allow His word to get deep into us. Look at those Israelites leaving Egypt. Why did God bring them to the foot of Mt. Sinai and then give them His law? They had spent over 400 years in bondage to a pagan nation who worshipped a whole bunch of little g’s. God brought them out of Egypt, but for a sinful nation to have a intimate relationship with a Holy God, He now had to get Egypt out of them. God’s word, every part of it, is to set us free from the things that enslave us, so that we can have an intimate relationship with Him. WOW!
The moment you or I step over that line from Follower to Fan it us, not God that has moved. It is us, not God, that has built a wall. I don’t know about you but I want to walk with Him, talk with Him, experience His presence night and day. I don’t want to be hiding in the bushes of this life, naked and ashamed, fleeing from the only One that has ever loved me with every ounce of His being, even to death on the cross. Do you? As this blog unfolds I know there may be some of you who discover that you are a fan. That you believe and cheer Him on, maybe you even want his autograph, but when He says follow Me, give up your will, take up Mine, you put your fingers in your ear and shake your head like you just don’t care. You may say you believe and that you love Him but when it comes to the evidence in your life even CSI can’t find any. I don’t want to sink your battleship but that is not the relationship God desires for any of us. If you are content to be a fan then whose bed are your boots really under?
As followers how do we learn to live our lives in such a way that everything we say and do points to Him? How can we know what He wants, Who He is, what His will is for us and where the line in the sand that separates a follower from a fan is? How do we avoid crossing over to the dark side? It is by getting into His word and His word getting into us. Getting the Egypt out of us by filling ourselves with Him. God’s intention is not to rob of us of something we might think is valuable but to allow each and every one of His children to experience the most priceless and precious gift we can have in this unpredictable walk-a-bout on this wild and crazy planet we call Earth. An awesome, intimate and loving relationship with Him. I want that even more than I want to be sitting in a rocking chair on a deck in a cabin in Tennessee and drinking strawberry soda.
When we step over the line from follower to fan everything changes. Gloom, despair, agony! Not just for us but for all those looking on. We are no longer the image bearers of God that we were created to be. We are no longer that sweet aroma of Christ that can bless the socks off of those who love God and yes even offend the britches off those who don’t know Him. We have crossed over the line from stepping stone to stumbling block. We are no longer salt and light as God designed us to be. We have just slid down an 8 foot razor blade and landed in a bowl of alcohol. Ouch! . We have taken off the glorious designer clothes of our creator and clothed ourselves in pauper’s rags that reek of stinkweed.
I want to be a follower. I don’t want to be a spectator applauding my savior, content to get His autograph but not willing to know Him. Content to listen to the music of His heart but not willing to let Him be the music of mine. Content to follow Him around as long as where He leads doesn’t require anything of me. God forbid! And He does!
Let’s walk and talk together, sit at the feet of Jesus, walk along the road with Him. Gosh, spend so much time with Him that we are covered by the dust from His nail pierced precious feet. Let’s jump into His word, study His word and make His word away of life. Let’s immerse ourselves in His word, not being content to skim our toes along the surface. Let’s do it! You know you want to! No swimsuit’s nor swimming lessons required:)
I can’t speak for you but I choose not to skinny dip through the pages of His Word. I am ready to chunky dunk! Immerse myself so deep in His word that every ounce of my being is oozing Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! So here I am! There you are! Let’s go dancing through the pages of His love letters as we discover the line that separates a fan from a follower. Let’s dive in, head first as we go deeper and deeper, into the mighty oceans of His will, His faithfulness, His holiness, plunging into the very depths of God’s heart. Will you chunky dunk with me or will you remain at the surface content to skinny dip? What say you?