The American Dream or God’s Dream for America?

Written by Craig Denison

I was out running the other morning and the Lord began illuminating my heart as he so often does. Something about the rhythm of running and the peace of dawn allows me to hear from God more clearly. As I ran I felt like he asked me a simple question, “Are you living the American dream or my dream for America?” As my ran came to a close I knew I had some processing to do with the Holy Spirit.

I find it so easy to get swept up in Dallas culture. To be honest Dallas doesn’t have a lot going for it on the natural beauty side. We count every tree, hill and bluebonnet here blessed. But what we lack in nature we make up for in that which is man made. A true Texan is one who rises up against his or her circumstances. Where there’s not a lake we build one. Where there aren’t trees we plant them. Where there shouldn’t be a city we just drop one down and look for oil. We pride ourselves on becoming a success by pulling ourselves up by our boot straps and needing no one and no thing. And I don’t think we’re alone. 

As I was attempting to answer God’s question honestly I realized how self-sufficient I’d not only become, but desired to be. I realized that I wanted to be known for being self-made. I wanted the affirmation of others. I wanted to do things only I could have done and be celebrated for it. In so many ways I wanted the American dream and felt truly ashamed for it. 

Then I began wrestling with the other half of God’s question. What’s his dream for America? What does his “good and acceptable and perfect will" look like for us specifically? 

When I think about the things God is about in my life, one thing stands out above the rest. I believe that above all else his desire is simply for communion with us. His dream for America is that we would be a people centered around meeting with him. That we would be a people that simply desire to know him rather than working so hard to be known ourselves. His dream is that we would capture the truth that we are already more known, more loved, more valued and more important than any worldly accolade could ever prove. 

Do you know that God has a dream for your life? If you were to be really honest, are you living his dream or the American dream? May God overwhelm you with a revelation of how wonderful his dream is for your life. And may we all begin to center our lives around his dream that we would live the lives we were created for— lives of communion with our perfectly kind heavenly Father. 

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2