Chapter 1. The Position
Mark Foley, Ph.D.
Mark Foley Ph.D.
Allow me to introduce "The Follower's Position"
I can still hear the voice. "Foley! Play your position! Where's your head? What are you thinking? PLAY YOUR POSITION!"
The ball carrier ran right past me for a huge gain because I was out of position and was suckered into a blind side block. I was taken completely out of the play, and our coach, in his not-so-subtle way, was letting me know.
That happened a very long time ago, but I have never forgotten the lesson. I had become distracted from the responsibility of my position, and it carried a heavy price...I was rendered completely ineffective in that play. Effectiveness in every area of your life depends upon you meeting the responsibilities of the position you play...spouse, parent, friend, employer, employee, citizen. This book is about playing your position in the most effective way...on Jesus' terms.
So...what are those terms? Jesus made it clear that the position he expected his followers to maintain was to be in his presence, to "remain in me." He went on to emphasize the result of being in position..."fruitful"..."effective"..."influential"... "productive."
Here is how he put it..."Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me." ( John 15:4)
Lock this in...everything...yes, everything...you hope to accomplish is dependent upon your being in that specific position...in the presence of Jesus.
You will be making some notes along the way. So, open your "notes" app on your phone or pad and set up a page for "Follower's Position." It will be a good reference point as you gain insights into the position you are learning.
Look at the image, and deal with these questions.
What do you think the image has to do with the follower's position?
What does it have to do with what Jesus said about remaining in his presence?
How do you describe the relationship of a follower to a leader?
How do you describe your relationship with Jesus?
As a coach presses upon his players, "You must play your position to win this game!" so Jesus presses upon those who wish to be his followers, "You must remain in me and I in you if you are to understand me and experience my plan for your life."
"The Follower's Position" will help you understand three things.
1. How do I get in the position Jesus prescribed?
2. How do I stay there?
3. When I drift, how do I get back in position?
Note: This must be clear before you go any farther. There is a moment in which one becomes a Christian...a follower of Jesus. Nothing in this book will make sense if you have not experienced that moment.
So take a few minutes and listen to "The Moment" podcast...it may be the most important important seventeen minutes of your life. If you have already experienced that moment, great. You will be ready to move on. If not, you will find it essential to the study.
You will need context for what follows. The "Light in the Star" story is quickest way to get you there. It is broken into three parts and will require investment of about 17 minutes each. It is the story of a flight in an iconic WWII fighter and my introduction to what I have come to call "the follower's position."
Here is some support information... Every thought about God must have basis in the Scripture. The basis for this book is "A Statement of Theological Position". You may want to do a personal study of core beliefs. Here is a good place to start. https://www.effectivesolutions.today/the-canopy. You will also note that I refer to God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. Know that all three names refer to the same person in three unique functions in relation to you. Each name identifies the Creator, Master, and Commander of all that is.
Ok...now you are ready to move on. Click to the next chapter...