I played softball for many years, and I loved every minute of it. As I grew up I’d find myself in the stands rather than on the field. While sitting in the stands, oh how I wanted to be a part of that next pitch, take a run around the bases, or catch a line drive. I also remember it took a lot of effort to be a member of the team. We had a lot of practice, and we did some running as well.
I was passionate about softball. What are you most passionate about? It could be a sport, making a quilt, creating beautiful wood carving, or a million other things. No matter the passion, it takes effort to be fully involved. Young or old, being passionate about the Lord’s work should be our number one priority. We need to be more than a fan sitting on the bench, we need to be committed followers of the Lord.
Are we going to sit on the sidelines and watch others build the kingdom? If we choose to be a fan of the work, we will never be satisfied or fully complete God’s plan for us. I can tell you playing in a softball game was far greater than sitting on the sidelines. I can also testify that rolling up your sleeves to pray, study the word, and live a life as a soldier for the Lord is far greater than getting saved and sitting in the recliner waiting on the Lord to return.
It’s time that we reflect on our lives and ask this question. Are we a fan? That's something who continues to side on the sidelines, or are we a follower? If we are followers we are passionate about our relationship with the Lord and it’s our heart's desire to see others to come to know him.
In Scripture Nicodemus, a Pharisee and member of the Jewish council, was a fan of Jesus. Without a doubt, Nicodemus knew Jesus was of God because of the signs and wonders that followed our Lord. In John 3:1-11, he visited the Lord at night. I’ll call him a “secret admirer” at that point. He wanted to speak to Jesus, but he didn’t want to be seen by other people.
Next we see Nicodemus in a room with 72 members of the council. Of course these men were out to get the Lord. After hearing their accusations, Nicodemus spoke in John 7:51, “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?” I see a transition coming. He was a fan and I do believe we have a follower in the making.
As the body of our Lord was hanging on the cross in John 19, we see Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea come out in the open and remove the body of Jesus. We also read that Nicodemus brought 75 pounds of expensive spices to prepare the body for burial. At this point we have a follower of Jesus. Nicodemus turned from a secret admirer to one who showcased his allegiance to Jesus.
Where do you find yourself today? Are you a fan or a follower? If you are a follower, you are committed to Christ. Your life is not your own; you’ve surrendered it to God’s will.
Next you are consistent in your walk with the Lord. Showing up to church each week doesn’t make us a follower. We acknowledge the Lord is our master 24/7. A follower is not always going to live a life of comfort. Selling out to God will cost us something, but we will gain everything. Last, a follower is confident in God. Jeremiah 17:7 says, “Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who confidence is in him.”
My prayer is that we will reflect on our lives and make the changes necessary to be more than fans. Let us be sold-out, surrendered followers of Almighty God.