We often see advertisements: Follow your dream! Make your dream a reality! Dare to follow your dream! People often believe that if you achieve your dream, you become happy in life. We will see that there is good reason to question this belief.
We have many dreams, especially when we are young. These dreams usually are about an education or success in a sport, a good job, or being an artist. However, it is very uncertain if we can ever realise our dream, because that depends on many things and circumstances which are often outside our control. For example, money, abilities, where we live, ’good luck’, and other circumstances can determine if we will realise our dream or not. It is actually safe to say that it is very unlikely that we will fulfil our dreams. This is because it is often other people or circumstances that decide what will happen.
This is not so with our heavenly calling. This calling asks if we want to follow Jesus, be His disciple, follow in His footsteps, and become like Him (1 Peter 2:21 - CEV). It is written in Hebrews 3:1 (NIV), “Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling…” This is the greatest calling a person can have here on earth. But just as there are requirements for getting a degree or reaching a goal, there are also requirements for fulfilling our heavenly calling.
Jesus says in Luke 14:33 (NIV), “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” In other words, if we don’t give up everything in this world we cannot be His disciple, but if we do—we can be His disciple. We are the ones who decide, because we ourselves can choose to pay the price, and fulfil the conditions. All the power and the grace to carry it out are available from Him who calls us.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 (NIV). In other words, we are created for an important purpose. If we find the works God has prepared for us and do them, we will fulfil our heavenly calling; in this way, our lives can become a great blessing and benefit to the people around us and will bring us happiness.
It is through our senses and our imagination, that our enemy can come in. People are deceived or tricked by their sinful desires, just as Eve was. It is often through the “dream of the good life” that we are deceived. (See 2 Thessalonians 2:10.) If we follow our sinful desires, our life becomes corrupted. Therefore, many people look back on a life full of shock, disappointment and regret. Their dream was a bubble that has burst. Their energy, time and money were sacrificed on the altar of emptiness.
Paul was gripped of his heavenly calling. It was not empty dreams driving his life, but a sincere longing to be a disciple and serve God with everything he had. “It is my eager expectation and hope that I shall not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honoured in my body, whether by life or by death.” Philippians 1:20 (RSV). His longing and hope were based on something that was fully attainable, and he was willing to pay the price.
It is very uncertain if we will ever achieve our dreams, and it is very likely that we will be disappointed if we let everything depend on achieving these dreams. But, it is 100 per cent certain that we can fulfil our heavenly calling, when we are willing to pay the price. No one has ever been disappointed by choosing that path. The choice is yours!