I grew up in Bronco nation. My dad is a win-or-lose Denver Bronco fanatic. Every year when football season arrived, we suddenly had plans on Sunday afternoons and orange and blue could be spotted throughout the house. We even took these family photos last year (I do realize three of my siblings are not wearing Broncos jerseys…but still). Seriously.
Photo Credit: Alyssa Martin Photo
Side note: this is my family. From left: Mike (my husband), me, Micah, Hosea, Mom, Dad, July, Hannah, Kristen, Josh. More on them another time.
My dad LOVES the Broncos, and while he’s disappointed when they lose, it doesn’t stop him from cheering for his favorite team.
I LOVE the Broncos too…if they are winning.
When the rest of the nation cares about them…suddenly I’m their biggest fan. I realized this a couple years ago when they had a stud of a quarterback (I was convinced I would marry Tebow back in my single days). And then of course last year, they were in the Super Bowl (I’d rather not talk about the outcome).
That, friends, is what you call a bandwagon fan. But isn’t this how we are when it comes to following Jesus sometimes? Take a look at Luke 9:59-62 (NIV).
“He said to another man, ‘Follow me.’ But he replied, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’ Still another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.’ Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.'” Luke 9:59-62 (NIV)
These men wanted to follow Jesus IF they could do what they wanted FIRST. They placed a stipulation upon following Christ.
IF _____ THEN I will follow Christ.
When ______ happens, THEN I will follow Christ.
As soon as ______ , THEN I will follow Christ.
Just one last thing, God, THEN I will follow you.
IF the Broncos win, THEN I will watch.
But God doesn’t want stipulations. He doesn’t want part of us, He wants ALL of us. If we wait until the perfect time to lay everything at His feet, that time will never come. There is always something else, always a million reasons NOT to follow Jesus.
Artwork Credit: Amanda Weaver Design
The men in the passage had a barrier. They wanted to follow Jesus, but there was a point where their desires became more important than God’s desires. Where is your line in the sand? When are you off ‘team Jesus’? What are your barriers when it comes to laying 100% of your life down for the Lord?
Sometimes barriers can be GOOD things. The barrier for both of the men in the passage was their family. One wanted to tell his family goodbye and one wanted to care for his father until his death. But Jesus wants all of you. He may not ask you to move across the country to be a foreign missionary, but you have to be WILLING to live in a straw hut. As Billy Graham said,
“Salvation is free. But discipleship costs EVERYTHING.” -Billy Graham
Artwork Credit: Amanda Weaver Design
And friends – it’s well worth it.
My dad was ESTATIC when the Broncos started winning football games a couple seasons ago. Yes, I thought it was neat they were winning, but why was this SUCH a big deal? I thought it through and realized… my dad watches EVERY SINGLE Broncos football game (unless he’s out of the country). Win or lose, my dad is their biggest fan. So when things start to look up, it’s much more exciting for him than it is for me – the bandwagon fan. His excitement makes me wish I followed them all along.
You will go through hard times throughout your walk with Christ. But know that when things turn around – the reward makes it all worth it in the end. And if things never turn around, your rewards in heaven will be awaiting.
Are you really following Jesus or are there barriers, stipulations that you have placed on following Him? If there are then you might be a bandwagon believer, just following Jesus for the good times. I encourage you to get off the bandwagon and start following and trusting Jesus wholeheartedly, in the good times and the bad.
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trials because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12 (NIV)