At our last small group, we finished Chapter 1 of One.Life by Scot McKnight. It was an interesting discussion that focused on the idea that God gives us our dreams, hopes, aspirations for a reason. We wrestled with the reality that the reason He gave them to us is not necessarily for personal wealth, power, or status, but rather for the pursuit of Christ. Meaning, that by pursuing our dreams the Kingdom of God is made known.
I know that for me my dream of playing professional baseball drove me for a LONG time. I would watch baseball on TV or go to games and say to myself “I want to be them someday”. As I became a Christian and matured in my faith I realized that what I really wanted was “to have a platform like them”. In other words, I dreamed God would give me the talent not only to play the game of baseball, but also to be an ambassador for Him by using the doors opened through playing baseball.
To be able to see that dream lived out then and even still as I type is very humbling. I may not be a professional baseball player by profession any longer, but doors still open because of it and Christ is still preached through my life.
However, sometimes following God-given dreams will mean going down difficult roads. These roads are most notably in the things that we have to say “no” to in order to say “yes” to the following God’s dream for us.
I related well to one of my small group friends who said that choosing to follow Christ in High School meant saying “no” to a lot of what the cool kids were doing. This also meant ridicule and loneliness were the difficult byproducts of that decision.
If we decide that we want to follow God’s dream for us, we must start by following Christ. If our pursuit of our dream doesn’t lead us closer to Him then we have the wrong dream. However, if our dream presses us closer into Christ then regardless of the challenges we face we are on the right track.
Scot McKnight says, “The only thing that is enough is Jesus, and the only way to get to Jesus is to follow him, and that means one thing: giving your One.Life to him and to his dream.” –One.Life
So my question for all of us is this…
What has following Jesus cost you?
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” – Mathew 16:24-25
Jesus is saying the Grace I offer is free, but the relationship that follows will cost you.
This may mean you lose friends, identity, comfort, addictions, cravings, relationships, or even financial security, but what you gain in the end has eternal implications.
The pursuit of our dreams is a wonderful gift from God that should always lead to a changed life.
If it’s a God-given dream it has to.
It’s impossible to live the same life you lived before you met Christ as after.
Following Jesus will always come at a cost.