If you’re a fan of anything, you know there is a big difference between being a fan and being a player in the game. Here are a few:
A fan never steps foot on the field. A player practically lives on it.
A fan watches the game from a distance. A player is in the game real-time.
A fan never takes a hit. A player feels every impact, bruise, and broken bone.
A fan never helps an injured teammate. A player carries them off the field and cares for their wounds.
A fan yells at the coach, thinking they know better. A player listens to the coach’s direction for the benefit of the team.
There are a lot of fans in the world of sports but few real players. In comparison, there are a lot of fans of Jesus but fewer players on his team.
A fan of Jesus believes that he exists. Still, they never surrender their life to him, join his family, and serve in his house, helping to proclaim his name. When the time comes to help someone in need, it always seems to be too inconvenient.
You see, we can say that we are followers of Christ, but, sadly, our actions can speak otherwise. Satan is a perfect example of that. He knows who Jesus is, but knowing about Jesus isn’t going to cut it for Satan, and it won’t cut it for us.
We must be followers of him and players on his team. A follower, by definition, is a person who imitates or copies the actions of another. We are to be imitators, copiers, and followers of Christ. He is our coach, our King, our most excellent teammate, and our friend.
I think James said it best when he said this, “You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?” (James 2:19-21)
In other words, if you only ever sit in the bleachers, you really don’t have any faith at all.
So which one are you? Are you a fan or a player? If you find yourself in the fan department, it’s never too late to start getting in the game and joining God’s team.
The last thing the world needs is another spectator Christian who only shouts from the stands and never joins the team. Who complains when things don’t go their way and abandons the team.
What the world needs now is Christians, Christ-followers, who aren’t afraid to get on the field and get their hands dirty. Those who don’t shrink from the hits but take them head-on while continuing to advance down the field. The world needs a united church fighting for the unity and victory that only comes through Jesus, our living hope.
The world needs people who listen to the words of our coach when he says, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Matthew 12:30)