The American Dream
A dream so big, a white picket fence, children playing in the front yard, bills paid for, food on the table, and freedom in all things. What a peaceful life that we paint as our American dream. The American dream seems to cover all we might ever want, but the reality is that the society that we live in today screams, you need more. Another pair of shoes, a nicer car, a bigger home, all the things that people have grown to believe make a person who they are. They believe when someone looks at them and sees all their earthly treasures they will be thought well of. However, I’m more concerned with whether you know Jesus then if you’re driving a Cadillac or wearing a one-thousand dollar pair of shoes matched with your fifteen-hundred dollar purse. These are all areas that we have been brainwashed to think make us a better person. The truth is, there is freedom in Christ, freedom to stop depending on earthy treasures to satisfy us. The bible also teaches us that hard work is a good thing; therefore, I see nothing wrong with having nice things as long as they aren’t what you depend on for identity. We are free to spend our hard earned money on what we decide, as long as we are good stewards of the gifts God has given us. I see too many men and women looking to what they have and feeling like they need more, or taking an unhealthy pride in all they have. I write this blog speaking to my own tendencies to fall into this earthly lie that we can be satisfied by what we have. Through my quiet time today, the Lord has spoken to this area and gently reminded me of His truth and shown me the lies I have bought into.
The Lords Dream
Matthew 6:19-21: ” Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is there your heart will be also” If I were to add up how many hours a week I worry about what I don’t have or think we need to get this for the house, I could probably add a couple extra days to my week. I’ve let myself fall into an anxiety trap that I need more than what I have and that I am suppose to be going on all these special trips, because I’m in my mid-twenties. I find myself unsatisfied, when from an earthy standpoint I have what I need. I have a house, food, clothes, and the ability to enjoy going out with friends, dinners out, and special weekends away. Somehow, I still sit here with a longing. The truth is friends, I’ve placed my own identity in what I have or don’t have, I’ve believed society that certain things will make my life better, instead of looking to the cross and my sweet Jesus to satisfy. Where has that lead me? In transparency, to a place of depression and severe anxiety that has taken root. A place where Satan is feeding lies and taking away the hope that Christ gave to me when he died on the cross for me. Yet, the beautiful thing is this: Jesus is pursing me constantly. He isn’t stepping out of the pictures because of my struggles, He is offering himself fully to me to rest in. The biggest joy of this all, is he offers us all this rest. He gives us the opportunity to stop chasing the things in life that lead to dead ends, and to rejoice in all He has given us. Eternal life, a daily relationship with Jesus, and freedom to live within the graceful bounds he has given us, this is reason to rejoice.
Christ, is beautifully showing us in the latter portion of Matthew 6, that as we seek Him first, all the necessities we need will be given to us. I wonder what life would look like if we truly trusted in the simple goodness of Christ and His provision. If we let go of the tendencies to provide for ourselves and allowed our hearts to rest in what Gods word tells us. Matthew 6:28-30 says: “And why are you worried about clothing? Observe, how the lilies of the field grow; they no not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you the not even Solomon in all of His glory clothed himself like on of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith.” This is our reality, we have no need to worry. There is no reason to depend on ourselves, because then everything else becomes about us. How do I look? How does my car look? How does my house look? Am I enough for people? We have freedom to not have to ask these questions, we can look to Gods word and know exactly what our identity is . The truth about living out our identity in Christ, is we are living in a way that He has created us to. A unique being that He has a specific plan and purpose for. A person whom He has given specific gifts to further His kingdom and to share His name amongst all peoples. Our lives have the potential to look radically different if we would surrender to the King of Kings. As christians our lives are not our own, but our life through Christ is one that will be filled with love, joy, and peace.