Growing up I had a friend who shall remain nameless, who consistently said they were the fan of whatever team was doing the best. For those of you who may not be that into sports, or sport-fanning, then let me tell you that this is not allowed in the sport fan world. This is called a bandwagon fan. For example, a bandwagon fan will miraculously change their allegiances from one team to another as they become better and win championships.
My friend just happened to like the best teams in each sport. This meant growing up in the 1990s, he just happened to be a fan of the New York Yankees, the Chicago Bulls, the Dallas Cowboys, and in hockey he was a Detroit Red Wings fan. He just happened to like all the best teams in every sport.
To say the least, no one liked watching or discussing sports around him because he just would “like” all the best players and tell you how he has always been a fan of them. This was especially funny when in 1995 his beloved Dallas Cowboys lost to their rival the San Francisco 49ers in the game before the Super Bowl. I was so excited to go into school the next day to see how he was taking the loss. I was expecting tears, and sadness, but when I saw him at school, he had a smile on his face. As the crowd parted I was shocked to see him wearing 49ers gear and celebrating their win for the entire day.
Bandwagon fans are just the worst!
But then I realized something. I tend to have this same attitude, not with sports, but with God. I find myself asking what God can give me, what can I get from Him, if it is not what I like I will switch allegiances to something else, like food, a relationship, money, or even, ironically, to sports.
The prophet Elijah had the same problem to deal with in Israel. “And Elijah came near to all the people and said, 'How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.' And the people did not answer him a word.” Simply put the word limping here means wavering. The people of Israel were wavering between other gods and God Almighty, just like a bandwagon fan switches teams. Elijah on behalf of God challenged them to pick one. Of course, the only choice is God, but by trying to be a bandwagon worshipper, the people of Israel were trying to gain the benefits of both other gods, and the Lord God. When we waver in our worship and think something other than God can give us what we need, then we are no longer worshipping God. God does not leave room for being on the fence especially when we are talking about our heart’s allegiances. God does not leave room for us to worship him in our preferred way, he asks us to worship Him in His way. We cannot sin, and then claim that while sinning we are doing it for Jesus. The problem is sometimes the sin is not something as easily as recognizable as being drunk or having an affair. Sometimes the sin is harder to detect, or at least more socially acceptable. Sometimes the sin is pride, or gluttony, or even something as simple as the need to control, or need for more power, or the need for comfort.
I want to leave you with this question. If God desires our undivided heart, then what other desire is preventing us from being fully devoted to God? We cannot claim to worship God, and something else because this just means we are not worshipping God at all. Is your heart on the fence? Is your heart wavering between God and another object of worship? Or are you claiming to worship God when you are still seeking benefits from another source? Check your heart! God does not allow us to be bandwagon worshipers of Him. And please on a side note, just do not be a bandwagon fan!