We have all heard it, and most of us have probably said it, whether in seriousness or in jest – “living the dream!” What does it mean to be “living the dream,” though? Of course, the answer to that question is subjective because “living the dream” can mean different things for different people. Generally and simply put, though, the statement implies that life is good. Things are going well. You are happy and thankful.
Are you “living the dream?” Why or why not?
From a Christian perspective according to the Word of God, living the best life we can live means living according to God’s plan for us. Oftentimes, this is in conflict with the typical idea of “living the dream,” though, because God’s plan is in accordance with God’s Word. And, God’s Word calls us to do things that are often uncomfortable and often not so “dreamy.” Loving your enemies, praying for those who persecute you, rejoicing in suffering, surrendering your life, and calling people to repentance, for example, are not usually statements associated with “living the dream.”
“Living the dream” – if meaning the best life we can live – is different when you have a Christian perspective, though, because your eternal status impacts your present reality. Because of what is to come for all who know and follow Jesus Christ, we can find great contentment and satisfaction now, even when things are difficult. While we might not be “living the dream” according to cultural and material expectations, we can be consumed with the hope and peace that people truly long for when they think of “living the dream.”
On Sunday morning, Lord willing, I will be preaching on perhaps the most important section in Hebrews (chapter 10, verses 19-39). Verses 19-25, in particular, are really an amazing summary with which the author of Hebrews seems to be challenging his readers throughout the book. In this message, I hope to help you understand why “Jesus Gives the Better Life,” and this is the living reality now and eternally.
To live the superior life – the life consumed with objective hope today because of the certainty of tomorrow – you must know and follow the One who gave you life. The Author of life is certainly the One who knows best, and if we try to “live the dream” apart from His plan, we will be disappointed soon and more importantly, for eternity.
Instead, “Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23).
Are you “holding on” and doing so with confident assurance? If so, then you understand what “living the dream” really means because you know nothing/no one else satisfies like Jesus satisfies. Does that mean earthly riches and great health and ongoing comfort? No. What it does mean, though, is a “true heart in full assurance of faith,” (Hebrews 10:22), and while the world’s riches can be taken away, those riches (eternal life and the assurance of it) can never be taken away.
For those reasons, those who have genuine faith in Jesus Christ are “living the life,” and they are doing so in community with others who are “living the life.” As we will see Sunday when looking at verses 24-25, the expectation and assumption is that sincere Christ-followers will remain faithful not only to Christ but also to His church. The Bible does not speak of a Christian who does not both endure in the faith and remain with the church. Such an idea is contrary to what the Bible clearly teaches.
The Apostle John, for example, when speaking of those who had abandoned their local church, says, “They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. However, they went out so that it might be made clear that none of them belongs to us” (1 John 2:19). When he said “none of them belongs to us,” he was declaring that those who are without a church family are without Christ.
The author of Hebrews, then, is not trying to convince Christians to gather with their church but rather is declaring that sincere Christians will gather with their church, whereas those who are simply professing faith in Christ but not truly possessing faith in Christ will eventually abandon Christ and His church.
Do you possess saving faith in Jesus? If so, your values and priorities will reflect such faith as you seek to grow closer to Jesus, grow in service to His church, and grow in commitment to His mission. If not, would you consider surrendering your life to Him today?