Faithful Follower or Fair-Weathered Fan?

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Like a spiritual father that he was, Paul exhorts his spiritual children in Corinth to not be swishy washy in their walk. We read his words in 1 Cor 15:58 where he says, “…be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord”. As he closed this first letter he seemed to be giving them a last nugget of encouragement to keep them from vacillating in their commitment to following Christ.

Some years back when our hometown team was on the verge of going to the World Series, which they did eventually clinched. People came out of the woodwork and jumped on the bandwagon of being a fan. Everyone was buying t-shirts, banners and talking the talk at the water fountain and coffee counter. Everyone seemed to be diehard committed fans all of a sudden. They call these type fans, fare-weathered fans, because they are only committed to the team when it is easy and convenient.

I think many believers fall in this same type category of commitment in their walk with the Lord. You might call them fare weathered Christians. They are committed to Christ and His teachings as long as there aren’t any storms of life or a losing season in their daily disciplines. On the other side of the coin when they are in the midst of over flowing blessings it is easy to jump on the bandwagon of commitment. Yet, Paul knew that the believer was called to stand firm in their faith no matter what comes their way. Jesus said in Luke 9:62, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God”. Therefore, Paul also exhorts the believers in 1 Cor 9:24-26 to be like


   Only being committed when it is easy and convenient is being a fare-weathered fan for Christ


the runner in a race that runs to win the race not just to be strolling down the track of life and also to those believers in Ephesus He says, “having done all to stand therefore stand”. (Eph. 6:12) Commitment without endurance is just a desire that never manifests into reality. The followers of Christ must live a lifestyle committed to being obedience to Christ rather than just being hinged with some sort of sacrifice. What I am trying to say is there must be more than just sacrifice. (1 Sam 15:22-23) Commitment is a must for every believer!

In Ps. 132 we read the psalmists conversation with the Lord, where he prayed that God would remember David’s commitment to Him. From the sheep fields to the Kingship it seems that this determined commitment that was birthed in him, grew more and more over time. The Spirit describes his determination and intensity in Acts 13:22, saying, “a man after My own heart, who will do all My will”. The Psalmist briefly reminds God of David’s commitment in Ps 132:2-5 which says, “How he … vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob: “Surely I will not go into the chamber of my house, Or go up to the comfort of my bed; I will not give sleep to my eyes … Until I find a place for the Lord”. David never strayed from this passionate commitment to God, in fact if anything, it increased. Scripture reveals how David wasn’t perfect, but his heart was moved for God and the more he leaned into intimacy with Jesus, I believe God kept pouring His heart into him. In a sense, you could say God was stoking the fire of heaven in David’s heart over the years.

After your gone, how will people remember your commitment to God? What will be written on your headstone? Have you given Him opportunity to increase your burning passion to the point that your commitment is at the same intensity as David?

 

 

 

 

 

Rock Hard is Only Good in Marbles!

564757841Rocking fields in southern Idaho was an early temporary job that my friends and I would do. We would get paid to walk behind a tractor and trailer in the unplanted fields in early spring, picking up rocks that the freeze would bring to the surface through the winter. We would work, hang out and play around the fields and harvest equipment. Yet, I didn’t fully understand the whole process of sowing and reaping even though I grew up around the farming industry. But it was these memories that would later bring understanding and clarity to many Biblical principles that I would enjoy studying.

One such parable that we find is in Mark 4:3-20, where Jesus talks to the crowd about the farmer who sows seeds in the field. He reveals to His disciples deeper insight once the crowd leaves and it is more intimate. (vs10-11)

As Jesus unfolds this story to us He reveals the farmer as a messenger spreading seeds, which is the Word of God, in the field. The focus is not on any faultiness of the messenger or the seed, but on the condition of the soil. In Luke’s account of this parable, Jesus explains that the soil represents the field of our heart. (Lk 8:12)


Often we allow the weeds of life’s circumstances to defile our heart, causing God’s Word to fall on unprepared heart-soil. (tweet)


conditions are likened to four different types of soils along with the outcome of planting the seed in each one. Therefore, as the Word of God falls on our heart we find it necessary that the condition of our heart be receptive and prepared for bearing good fruit.

In Ps 51:10 King David knew that he had a heart condition making him drift from the things of God. After his sinful action and consequences of them, he cried out to the Lord, saying “Create in me a clean heart, O God”. David knew he had let his heart be defiled. To often along the journey of life we also allow the weeds of life’s circumstances to defile our heart, which can cause different reactions to God’s Word.

Back in the Gospel of Mark Jesus explains the seed falling on well-trampled and hard soil; where the birds of the air or the enemy of our soul comes and easily steals away the Word of truth, before it has a chance to be planted. Then secondly, we see the seed falling on shallow soil that has no depth because of underlining rock.


Let us be good farmers of our heart’s soil, making ready for the planting of God’s Word. (tweet)


lets us know if we don’t allow His Word to go down deep and bear roots in our life that at the first onslaught of persecution we will succumb to the pressure and the Word will wilt in us. Making our spiritual life stunted and immature.

Thirdly, when the Word falls amongst the soil of our heart full of thorns and thistles, it begins to grow and it is immediately choked-out by the weeds. Representing the cares of life overtaking our attention and priority stifling any spiritual growth.

Finally, the seed falls on good soil. It’s only when the Word of God is planted in good soil that it will produce a fruitfulness some thirty, sixty or a hundred fold. So we must tend to the field of our heart and make sure it is prepared for the word to grow in us. We do that by prayer and fasting, praise and worship and communing with the Holy Spirit. Let us be good farmers of our heart’s soil, making ready for the planting of God’s Word.