Much of modern day American evangelicalism is geared around the idea that God wants us all to pursue and fulfill our dreams. In fact, if you peel back the layers to this idea, you can find a subtle but consistent notion that God exists to be your wingman in the task of accomplishing your dream and having an awesome life.
Now, it’s true that God wants us to live life to the fullest. It’s true that he offers a joy-saturated reality, unlike any similar offering. But what’s subtly missed is the fact that all of this life and joy is found in us giving away ourselves, not finding ourselves – through our dreams or anything else.
Do I think God wants you to pursue your dream? Well, that depends. If your dream is about God’s positioning you to make him famous and to benefit the city, then yes. The answer is yes. God does plant a vision in some of us (sometimes in the form of a “dream”) that is set towards the gospel’s presentation in the city. That’s an awesome dream, and it’s a dream about Jesus and the people it will benefit. But if your dream is about you, then the answer might change.
I’m not saying that God has no interest in you enjoying stuff. I believe he gives us “things” in life for our enjoyment. But a dream is something that you set your life on, and followers of Jesus are to set their lives on the glory of God.
So, back to Jesus. He said, “Take up your cross and follow me”. To be honest, that’s about the most open-ended command I’ve ever heard.
“Okay Jesus. I’ll take up my cross, but where are we headed?”.
And the answer is simple: After Jesus. Don’t follow your dream. Don’t even follow what God would have you do. Simply follow Jesus.
Here’s my dream: to figure out how to follow Jesus. And if I figure that out, then it simply doesn’t matter where I end up, because I’ll be where I belong.