One of my Black Friday purchases was a book called “Not a Fan” by Kyle Idleman. The premise is that many Christians think they are Christ followers, but are really more like Christ fans. The book defines a fan as “an enthusiastic admirer” and discusses how fans tend to love Jesus when the going is good or comfortable, but are unwilling to compromise their comfort when it conflicts God’s will for them.
Chapter 10, entitled “Deny-A Total Surrender”, discusses the application of Luke 9:23, where Jesus says, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself.” The author states (page 144) “We talk a lot about the truth that being a Christian means believing in Jesus-but we don’t say much about denying ourselves. That is such an unappealing message. How do you deny yourself in a culture that says it’s all about yourself?”
Boy isn’t that the truth?? One one hand, I have society telling me that I deserve to have a good life, and enjoy the American dream….on the other hand, the Bible calls me to take up my cross daily and die to myself. No wonder my head is generally spinning…. Is there a balance?
Although my selfish side doesn’t want to hear it, I don’t believe there is a happy medium. I think that’s the point…. I don’t think we can sit on the fence and be half in the world and half in Jesus. Total surrender…that’s really scary for someone who likes having control over their own life! I’m definitely better than I used to be, but I certainly haven’t given God ultimate control over my life! I suspect few of us have, although we may be unwilling to admit it to anyone…
What’s the hang up? For me, it’s fear… Fear of failure, as well as fear of success…or simply put, fear of not being in control.
The first step is admitting you have a problem though, right?