August 8, 2011

American Dream

Prosperous culture makes me weary. As this country continues to decline in economy, and the complaints of the still prosperous grow louder I feel overwhelmed by the entitlement, coveting, and demand that I see in myself, and those around me.  Our spot at the top as an economic world leader is threatened, and with it our wealth, our way of life, and our ability to take for granted the riches and comforts of this world.

The American dream is at stake; the ability to start out with nothing and still have a good chance to gain everything with a little hard work. With work, and doing the right things, we can gain anything we want; wealth, fame, power, and of course, Heaven. The theology of success perverts the call of Jesus as we build our own kingdoms and fashion our own mansions in Heaven, rather than seeking the heart of Jesus and living every waking moment in pursuit of loving Him by loving those around us. So often I am "encouraged" by "Christians" (whatever that term means anymore) who tell me that I'll "get another jewel in my crown," (or something like that), if only I continue to do what is right and work hard.  I don't believe they/we have bad intentions saying that.  I just think we're wrong.

It's the same theology that teaches us that "If you were the only person on earth, Jesus would still have died for you, so that you would go to Heaven." First, any sentence of "doctrine" or "theology" that contains so many "you's" should be banned. We have turned the sacrificial life of worship that Jesus calls us to, into a selfish, marketing campaign built around an eternal reward that is all about US. Pretty sure we're way off. I am confident that when we get to Heaven God won't be so glad we are there so He can worship US. We anticipate Heaven because WE this, and WE that. WE will have no more tears, WE will walk on streets of gold, WE will be rewarded for all the good things WE have done. Stop. If WE get to Heaven expecting it to be a place that's all about us, why anticipate Heaven at all? We live in that kind of place already.

Help me to long for GOD, to want to be with GOD, to worship GOD, to please GOD. I despise my selfishness, my longing for comforts that train me to be content in this world apart from my Savior. I am not saved if I worship myself still.  Salvation is, I believe, being rescued from the worship of self; entering into a oneness with the Spirit, Worship, and Desire of GOD. If HE does not overwhelm every detail of my life in thought, action, and dream - I live in vanity.

Christian. The very word has become a catchphrase, with countless definitions and exhibitions around the world. I don't want to be a Christian anymore. I want to be a believer, a Follower of Jesus. I think I look like a Christian, that's become pretty easy. Jesus is a part of my life; I want Him to BE my Life. That's much harder. I long to be a Follower of Jesus, not just a Christian. I have fewer of examples of what that looks like, but by the grace of God, I do have examples.

As billboards, radio announcements and leaders call us to prayer for our nation, I hope we keep in mind the Kingdom of Heaven, and not the kingdoms of this world. Let's pledge allegiance to the only One Who should have our devotion, and seek His will, not confusing our own. He has called us to make His house (our hearts) a house of prayer for ALL nations (all people) that we may, through Jesus, be one with our Creator as intended before sin entered the world through pursuit of selfish ambition.


Amber Joy said...

Amen, Jamie. I ditto all that!
Wish you would write more often. You are so challenging and encouraging!

Liz Crittenden said...

Your writings/thoughts always challenge me to go deeper -- THANKS!
Keep on Seeking..... Keep on Searching.... keep on being uncomfortable!!
Love ya, girl!
Hugs & Blessings!