Catchy right? Well I didn’t come up with it, it’s the title of a great new book I’m about to finish up. If you enjoy and are inspired by Francis Chan I think you would learn a lot from this author as well, Kyle Idleman and the book “not a fan.” And if you haven’t read or even heard of Francis Chan (what is wrong with you! 😉 just kidding!) this is still a great book for anyone and everyone.
This book couldn’t have fallen into my lap at a better time. God always seems to work like that. On New Years Day our youth pastor gave a message and referenced this book a number of times. But for whatever reason I didn’t catch that he was actually referencing the book. I was totally paying attention too because I was intrigued by these stories he was sharing and I was curious of a fellow teens shirt that read “not a fan.” on it. But I didn’t put it all together.
I received a Barnes and Noble gift card for my birthday from Joyce, Jason’s aunt. Initially I thought “What will I do with this gift card?” I mean, buy a book? huh? No that didn’t cross my mind. I did decide eventually that I would buy a book for myself. Because I don’t have a lot of spare time to read I always want to find something that will feed my spiritual appetite. I fill my mind with enough junk that I really can’t afford to read anything secular lol. And especially as of late! I happened to ask my mother if she had read anything new, she reads tons of books plus she would know if my dad had read anything good. She told me she was reading this book “not a fan.” and finally the pastor’s sermon, the boys shirt, it all clicked. And it’s clicking even more as the stories sound so familiar. I’ll read one and think “Didn’t Kyle already speak of this story?” and realize it was one the pastor had read.
ANYWAY getting a little off track here. This book will open your eyes. It will present Truth to you that will be hard to swallow, in fact some may not want to hear it and may not want to accept it. It has made me realize that there are things in my life that really are not acceptable as a Christian and I try to justify them because I want my fun, easy, comfortable way. Kyle uses the analogy of a report he saw of a woman who claimed to be a vegetarian. She says “I usually eat vegetarian, but I really like sausage.” She calls herself a “Flexetarian”. Basically she really likes vegetarian but isn’t 100% committed. And Kyle goes on to say that this is how a lot of people treat their commitment to Jesus. “I really like Jesus but I’m not 100% committed.” You may not say or think that in so many words but if you are withholding anything from Jesus, that speaks loud enough to him that you aren’t fully committed. Kyle challenges his readers to examine their lives, their commitments, and he presents different questions through out the book that help you define whether you’re a true follower or a fan.
I will be really honest with you. Lately I have felt like a fan. I know there have been points in my life where I was surrendered to Christ and wanted Him to have my everything. But not lately. Reading this book I didn’t fit the full description of a fan but I most definitely did not fit the full description of a follower. I left off in the middle of a chapter one afternoon. As the day was coming to an end and the girls were in bed all I wanted to do was check out. Wanted I REALLY wanted to do was veg out on some mindless TV. I thought to myself “I’ve done my quiet time this morning, I’ve read my book, I’ve read my bible, I totally deserve some me time.” (Such a fans way of thinking!) I ended up going back to my book though. I truly could feel the Holy Spirit pulling at me. I picked up where I left off and began reading “So what do you do if you’re a fan, that wants to be a follower but your heart just isn’t in it?” Generally that’s how I feel. He writes “You want to come after Christ with a passionate pursuit, but the truth is you feel apathetic and indifferent.” And here is the part that really got me. “You don’t want to feel that way but you do.”
I absolutely do not want to feel this way. I’m human, we all want to FEEL good, FEEL happy, FEEL SOMETHING. It is so unbelievably frustrating to want so badly to be “on fire” for Christ but feel like you are just giving him lip service most of the time. My worship on Christmas Eve was the first time in a while that I had been provoked with so much emotion and love for my Savior. It was a sweet reminder from Him that He loves me too and wants me to come after Him the way He comes after me.
Kyle writes about how we should treat our relationship with Christ like that of our romantic relationship. So when it seems like the fire is dying down, do things that you did in the beginning. Kneel by your bed in prayer, sing loudly to worship music when your alone, read your bible daily. I noticed a lot of those things I really already do but I have been lacking in my prayer life. And I remembered a study FBCL did as a church and it talked about conversation with God being one of the most important aspects of the relationship. How can you have a relationship with someone if you don’t ever talk?
So, here I go again. 🙂 Time to die to myself, pick up my cross, surrender to Him. It’s not easy, no one ever said it would be and if they did, you were misinformed. Most Christians are familiar with this verse Luke 9:23 If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. Kyle writes about how the cross was a symbol for suffering. And he states this provoking question: Am I really carrying a cross if there is no suffering and sacrifice?
A question worth posting around my house as a reminder of what I’m committed too. So…. are you a fan or a follower? I challenge you to go get the book. 😉 It’s killing this fan and reviving the follower in me. Praise God!