In my continued goal to continue my spiritual journey by reading the Bible and other religious works, I am enjoying non-fiction more than I ever thought. The latest in my readings? Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman.
This is an excellent book about what it truly means to follow Christ. So many people are fair-weather fans, but Christ longs for followers. The book tackles these issues simply and with humor. I learned a lot from reading this book but the biggest component that stuck with me? That Jesus asks us to die for him.
We live in a world where we follow Jesus only if it makes us comfortable. We must step outside our comfort zone to follow Jesus. Idleman points out that when Jesus asked us to take up the cross, he did not intend for us to be comfortable. The cross was a sign of humiliation, suffering, and ultimately death. Jesus lived through the literal translation of the cross and we have to take up the metaphorical one.
Jesus’ invitation is take up our cross daily, so we have to choose to die daily. The idea of any kind of death is scary but Idleman points out that the dead don’t think about Earthly worries; they have fully surrendered to themselves and God.
I don’t die daily. But I have my moments. But moments aren’t enough. I have to live my life for Jesus with him at the center. It’s easy to get confused and become obsessed with family, the job, the money, the things, the trips. While we are often given these rewards, it should be the work we do with Jesus that earns them. With him, every one of those things is better.
As Jesus’ disciples we are to take up the cross each day. To steal a line from the best zombie comic book ever: “WE ARE THE WALKING DEAD!” We should live our lives not based on this worldly needs and goals; this is the death we should make.
So how to be the Walking Dead? Do something outside your comfort zone that Jesus calls you to do. Help a stranger, make a donation, speak about God outside of your house, adopt animal from a humane shelter, anything that makes the world a better place. Some of these ideas might seem foolish but everything that you do out of love for those that live on this earth is helping you become the Walking Dead.So I have to start with myself. Lately, I have had a myriad of reasons to not take up my cross. I’ve been sick, I’ve been tired, and I’ve been facially strained. But each day I have to decide to pick up my cross. I have to not avoid the parents I loose patients with, I have to give a dollar to the charity at the check out line, and I have to tell any and everyone I am praying for them. Each small step will lead to bigger steps as I die for Jesus.
So I am going to be a Jesus zombie. Not even a gun shot to a head will kill me then!