This is CourageCast: Faith, Inspiration, and Motivation for Today.
Hey everyone, it's Eric, and welcome back to another episode of Courage Cast, and welcome to the CourageousCommunity. If you want to join our Courageous Community, just go to courageouscommunity.com, click on the Community link, and you can join the Facebook community. A lot of times that I said "community" in that. I might need to change all of that, but for now, just go ahead and click on that link, and you'll be part of the Courageous Community, and it'll be great to have you there to participate in all the conversations that we're having related to the episodes, but also related to what your challenges are, what your obstacles are. What courageous thing are you doing that you want to share with the rest of us? Also, when you're on that website, Courageous Community, you can download a free audio called "Who I Am in Christ." Just put in your email, and you'll get a free one-hour download that you can listen to as you just soak in to God's word and what He says about you. I think you'll really experience a great breakthrough there, I'm pretty sure.
All right, today's message results from a reading that I'm doing. I'm currently reading a book called Radical, by David Platt, Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. I have to admit, I am one that has believed in the American dream, and it's something that is inherently good about our country, it's something that's inherently incredible and awesome, and something that we can all be proud of, that in America, you can have the ability to accomplish anything. There's nothing inherently wrong about this assumption, except for one dangerous assumption. There's certainly nothing wrong with hard work and having high aspirations, there's nothing bad about that. The freedom that we have to pursue our goals is something that we should celebrate, and even Scripture backs up these things, but there's a dangerous assumption that we can make that's underlying the American dream, and this is talked about here in the book.
The Danger of the American Dream
"The dangerous assumption," he says is, "we unknowingly accept in the American dream is that our greatest asset is our own ability. The American dream prizes what people can accomplish when they believe in themselves and trust in themselves, and we are drawn toward such thinking. Of course we are, because it builds us up, it builds up our own selves, but the Gospel has different priorities. The Gospel beckons us to die to ourselves and to believe in God, and to trust in His power. In the Gospel, God confronts us with our utter inability to accomplish anything of value apart from Him. This is what Jesus meant when he said, 'I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me, and I in him, he will bear much fruit, but apart from me, you can do nothing.'"
He's very black-and-white in this book, and Scripture is very, very black-and-white. As a matter of fact, that Scripture comes straight out of John 15:5, if you want to read that. That's what I want to leave you with today, this little bit of courage, which actually takes a lot of courage, because the Gospel calls us, Jesus calls us to take up our cross and follow him. Jesus calls us to die to ourselves and follow him. We are to lay all things down, and we are to trust in him. This is from the perspective of the Kingdom of Heaven, okay?
This is a very difficult thing to do, but I want to remember this. I want to remember this, because I want to accomplish Kingdom things, and I know you do as well. It's so easy for us to get caught up in our own business, in our own causes, in something that will drive us. In other words, we will drive it, and it will depend on us. Let us not get so caught up in ourselves that we think that anything, anything can't be done without us. That's what this makes me think of, is that whatever we're creating, whatever we're doing, whatever we put our hands to, let us not forget who it is that put that dream inside of us, who it is that we are following as we are doing it, who is our leader, and who it is that does the heavy lifting for us. It's God, it's God, and apart from Him, we can do nothing, but with Him, all things are possible.
It's that black-and-white that we have to set our minds to, and set our hearts to doing, as we go about our daily business of doing. That is why God wants us to come to Him and pray a prayer of surrender, and we ask Him to give us our daily bread, because we remember who He is and what He can do, and that we fill our minds and our hearts with faith in Him, that with Him, it is possible, and with Him, it can be done. That is why we don't pay attention to fear, because if we begin to trust ourselves, then we are susceptible to experiencing fear and making decisions based on fear. Lies result because of our listening to fear. Mistakes happen because we listen to fear, and we trust in ourselves. When we trust in Him, we have the ability to do all things, and all things are possible.
We're still imperfect, because we're ever-growing and ever-changing in Christ, but we have His grace upon us, and we have His mercy upon us, and when we allow Him to lead, then Kingdom things can begin to happen. In the world's eyes, it may not even look big sometimes, but sometimes, in the world's eyes, it can be awesome. It can be literally something that fills us with awe and wonder, and can lead people to Christ, even, and can bring others to faith, and we want to bring others along with us in this journey. It's an adventure that we are on. Let's go on this adventure together, and let's remember that we're not pursuing the American dream. We are taking our faith back, and we're remembering that we're pursuing something greater in Christ as we move forward towards our dream.
That's my encouragement for you today. I'll be with you again on another episode of Courage Cast. I'm Eric Nordhoff.