Waking Up to God's Dream for My Life
Ephesians 2:10 states that we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Forget what the culture tells you. The true you cannot be found by following your dreams. The true you is found when you grab hold of God’s dream for your life. Of course, discovering all that God has planned for your life cannot be done by simply reading this blog, but I hope your journey starts here.
Every journey begins with a single step. Let’s take a few of those steps right now.
First steps, of course, are always the hardest. This one, however, is even more so because it is a step that must be taken daily—in fact, moment by moment.
That first step is this. Stop focusing on your own dreams and desires, and no longer live by other people’s expectations. Instead, focus on daily living out the life God has planned for you. Begin conforming your life to His purposes.
I guarantee that when you stand before God on the last day, He will not ask, “Did you follow your dreams?” Nor will He ask, “Did you do what everyone expected?” Rather, He will ask, “Did you do what I created you to do? Did you become what I designed you to be?”
Since God may very well ask us those questions one day, we should take a moment and try to answer them. The Bible says that God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn, with many brothers and sisters.
In short, God created us to be like His Son, Jesus. He wants all of us to take on the very character and attitude of Christ. He wants us all to become like Christ in what we value, in what we think, and in how we act.
Philippians 2:5 makes it pretty simple, your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had.
On a wall near the main entrance to the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, is a portrait with the following inscription: "James Butler Bonham--no picture of him exists. This portrait is of his nephew, Major James Bonham, deceased, who greatly resembled his uncle. It is placed here by the family that people may know the appearance of the man who died for freedom."
There is no literal portrait of Jesus either. However, we should be living our lives in such a way that people see Jesus in us. As Christians (which means “Christ ones”), we should be working and striving and praying every day to be more like Christ.
This process is not an overnight event! It is more like the story of a severely overweight woman who hired a personal trainer to help her lose weight. This trainer placed the woman in front of a full-length mirror and had her look at herself in that mirror.
Embarrassed by her appearance, she could barely peek for more than a few seconds. Meanwhile, the trainer took a permanent marker and created an outline of a slimmer figure on the mirror. He then told the woman, “If you do what you must, you will look like this.”
Each day, the woman met with her trainer, worked out, exercised, and watched what she ate. Discipline became the name of the game. At the end of each week, she would stand in front of that mirror again, and each week she still did not fit into the lines. Yet, she was moving closer.
Finally, after more than twenty months of diligent exercise, discipline, and healthy choices, she stepped in front of that mirror and fit that outline exactly.
Now, this story is not about the woman becoming a size 00 super model. No, it is about a woman disciplining herself to make consistently healthy choices. Likewise, this story is not meant to be analogy about you becoming the next Billy Graham or Mother Teresa. No, it is about you making the choices necessary to become more and more like Jesus Christ.
It might seem a daunting task to become like Christ. But again, each journey begins with a single step. When we discipline ourselves by watching what we put into our hearts and minds, by doing the hard work of Bible study, by investing in prayer, and by faithfully surrounding ourselves with a group of like-minded believers, we begin to deepen and mature.
Slowly but surely, as we look in the mirror, we see that a little more each week, each month, each year, we are becoming like Christ in how we think, in how we act, and in what we value.
Please understand. Discovering the true you does not involve becoming like your parents, or patterning your life after some historical figure, media personality, or movie star. Discovering the true you involves embracing who you are called to be like: Jesus Christ.
Are you ready to begin step one? Take that first step today, then in my next blog, we'll talk about taking step two.