Returning to the example of the temptation in the wilderness…it was only after the resurrection of the perfectly sinless Jesus Christ on Easter morning…that Satan realized he had been outsmarted and out-maneuvered by the elevated, transcendent life-script of Jesus designed for the redemption of mankind…on the cross of Calvary…that only a blemish-free Jesus of Nazareth could procure for us…the God/man substitution in our place as the just atonement for our sins.
Attempting to fix this world through the means of the power and glory of the kingdoms of this world…through standard politics…has no overlap…has absolutely nothing in common with being the singular Passover Lamb of God sacrifice for mankind’s sins.
The biblical narrative stories of faith likewise have elevated life-scripts with callings that have nothing to do with pursuing the American Dream.
This is what distinguishes the Bible from all other religions, philosophies, and worldviews.
The consistent and repetitive theme of God’s higher ways and thoughts (Isa. 55:8-9) integrated into the life-stories of the people of faith in the Bible…is a compelling evidence for the divine origin of these unique life-scripts…but also provides a major clue into the purpose and meaning of human life.
Mistakenly lowering our sights upon the bottom portion of the American Dream…acquiring materialistic things alone…again illuminates and elucidates the real truth about God.
Satan does not care about human well-being…as deficient junior-level gods possessing only the knowledge of good and evil…but lacking divine foresight and absolute goodness.
In the biblical narrative stories of faith…and Christ’s sacrifice on the cross at Calvary…God reveals the bend-over-backwards…self-sacrifice at-all-costs…love-filled value and worth He places in our relationship to Him.
The American Dream subtly morphs into a deceptive half-truth when it focuses solely on the financial materialism of acquiring things…when it descends into the covetousness of amassing worldly wealth as its primary goal.
The God-created human capacity to pursue the higher ideals of the American Dream…as specified and included within a detailed God-composed journey of faith life-script…having positive direction and momentum…becomes knocked-off course, slowed-down, and diluted by the distractions that worldly conventional normalcy and thinking present in the form of goals and aspirations focused entirely upon the lower bottom-third of the American Dream…upon materialistic things alone.
What is criminally deceptive here is that all that Satan has to offer in his limited capacity…is a blanket, generalized appeal of the pursuit of materialistic things…according to the worldly conventional normalcy and thinking of the lower third of the American Dream…being offered across-the-board equally to every person…because this is the outer boundary-line of what Satan is capable of envisioning for human beings…the enticing worldly pride of self-validation through the obtaining of the ownership of material things.
Only God possess the divinely timeless foresight and absolute goodness…to compose life-script journeys of faith tailored precisely to the unique talents and abilities He has created within each individual person.
Being tempted to go our own way according to standard worldly thinking and normalcy…is a form of robbery…designed to prevent people from actualizing their highest potential…from realizing our created destinies that only God our Creator would or could have the complete knowledge of.
Jesus could have decided to use the power and glory of the kingdoms of this world to solve the political, economic, and cultural problems within the contemporary context of the first-century.
But this alone would not have re-established…have repaired…the temporarily broken relationship between God and people…lost years ago in the Garden of Eden.
Whether Satan understood all this…I personally do not think he did.
The cross at Calvary takes us back to the Garden of Eden…where we can start-over again by each of us individually saying: “I’m sorry…I messed-up…I want you God in my life…I will look upward to Jesus Christ as my Savior and King from now on” (Num. 21:8-9; Mt. 4:17).
God is love…He just is. God loves us…He just does.
Satan hates God and he hates us…I don’t know why.
Finally, when a dashingly handsome young man courts a beautiful young woman to be his wife…the suitability of the young man’s fortune…his financial status and ability to support a family…must be considered by the young woman.
We see this reality exhibited in nature by the male bird “displaying” his brilliant colors or his song pattern to a prospective female bird…and in the violent head-butting to establish the dominant male in a herd of North American bison…or in the horn-butting competition between mountain goat males…determining who can mate with the females in the herd.
Yet Jesus Christ offers His forgiveness, redemption, eternal life, and the fresh new start of a personal relationship with God…through the lowest imaginable status of the cross on Calvary…the lowest definition of failure in terms of worldly success, power, and glory.
The apostle Paul…in taking the gospel message to the Greco-Roman world in the first-century…battled against this negative perception coming from the standpoint of worldly convention normalcy…calling it the “offense of the cross” (Gal. 5:11)…many people then and today thinking that a divine “god” could not be executed by Roman crucifixion.
Jesus has nothing to offer in terms of the lower third of the American Dream…as translated into the past or present.
If Jesus enlists us into becoming the “father of faith” like Abraham…or governor of Egypt like Joseph…or deliverer of the Israelites from Egypt like Moses…or to become the king of Israel like David…or to be the premier evangelical missionary apostle to the larger Greco-Roman world in the first-century…like His own unique life-script…then these callings and missions will go through the cross.
This description of the essence of the biblical narrative stories of faith…separates-out and illuminates the parts of the American Dream…according to Christian thought that differentiates the ideal at the top of the American Dream…from the open and blatant covetousness exhibited in the pursuit of material wealth alone…at the bottom of the American Dream.
This corruption by Satan of the higher ideals of the American Dream…higher ideals and aspirations subsumed within a God-composed journey of faith as portrayed within the biblical narrative stories of faith…is consistent with the temptations in the Garden of Eden and of Jesus in the wilderness…designed to rob people of the fullness of achieving their divinely intended and created destinies.
Human beings possessing the knowledge of good and evil…are complete and whole when connected to our Creator God who possesses timeless foresight and absolute moral goodness.
The real American Dream points us straight toward the biblical narrative stories of faith…and the true living God who possesses all of the information regarding our created purpose and destiny in life.