What story do you have for your life? Everyone has one. At some point in our lives we have all envisioned or imagined what our future may be, who we might meet and what we might do. The world has a story for your life too. Its a story that expresses itself in all parts of culture. The philosophy behind all Disney movie plot lines “follow your heart” or old adages like “the world is your oyster” and even “know thyself” all come from this story. It is the story of self-fulfillment.
This story says that our lives ought to be about realizing our gifts, cultivating them and reaching our full potential. It says that the direction of our lives should be determined by our choices and desires. It says that the highest goal in life is to be happy.
Worldly Christianity is tainted with this thinking. Worldly Christians think they can pursue their own dreams as long as they don’t miss a Sunday or a midweek service.
The Bible tells us to think differently than the world. It instructs us to be renewed in our thinking and to no longer follow the pattern of this world. This includes the story of your self-fulfillment.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Jesus taught that this in the story of the prodigal son, in Luke 15. In his parable, the prodigal son is on this path of self-fulfillment. He acquires wealth, travels the world and spends it all. Just like the prodigal son, we may be tempted to use God’s gifts to pursue our own goals and dreams. But what is so intriguing in the end is that the prodigal son is not satisfied! Even though he chases his dreams, in the end he realizes what will satisfy him is being with his Father. Chasing your dreams and your story will ultimately leave you unsatisfied.
Instead of using God to pursue your dream, have you thought about using your life to pursue God’s dream? You may dream for greater accomplishment in your career and your relationships. God dreams that the world be filled with saved souls, singing and worshipping Him. Instead of using your gifts and your life to serve yourself, why not use them to serve God and his Kingdom?
Jesus’s story for our lives is that we may deny ourselves and take up our cross daily. His story is that our lives be used to complete God’s greater story for the world, that the all peoples would be reconciled to him.