Augustine once wrote of a disturbing dream he had in his young days when he was obsessed with Cicero and the art of rhetoric and debate. In the dream, he thought that he had died and was at the gates of heaven. The keeper of the gate asked him, “Who are you”? Augustine answered, “I am Augustine of Milan”. “What are you?”, continued the keeper. “A Christian” responded Augustine. “You are not a Christian,” said the keeper flatly, “You are a Ciceronian” (meaning a disciple of Cicero Rome’s greatest orator).
The keeper explained that people in this world are estimated not by what they call themselves, but by what dominated their life in the last world.
“YOU CANNOT ENTER HERE” answered the keeper, and Augustine was shocked awake.
We don’t need to have an alarming dream to ask this crucial question. What is the force that drives my life? Is a pursuing success, riches, or material possessions? Is it seeking significance, fame, justice, or philanthropy? In America, the word “Christian” has come to mean many things other than being a follower of Christ. It has become the symbol of political conservatives and anyone who espouses views juxtaposed to liberal values. In some places, you are either a Christian or a Catholic, a Christian or a Muslim, and your passport is stamped accordingly. But what is stamped on one’s documents is a poor test to see if it is the dominating force of their life. For those who work for God, this applies most. God, who was once our passion, can become our “JOB”, and what we once did for the cause of Christ can now be no more than rigid professionalism.
Jesus stated that it’s more important that God knows you then that you claim to know God.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and cast out demons in Your name, and do many mighty works in Your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me,
you workers of lawlessness’.
Matthew 7:21 –23
After the unsettling dream, Augustine resolved that for the rest of his life, the dominating force that drove him would be Christ. We cannot separate the supreme force that drives us from the destiny that becomes us. So what is the force that dominates your life?