I woke up this morning thinking about how much POWER is packed into the word CHALLENGE when a Christian applies it to their walk with Jesus. Self-challenge. NOT group challenge. Internal, introspective challenge. NOT external, judgmental challenge.
I am thinking of CHALLENGE in the context of exposing pathways for spiritual growth, NOT imposing guilt that would cause our faith to regress.
Just think how magnificent it would be if we could conduct regular and deep examinations of where we are with God WITHOUT it producing feelings of guilt and crippling inadequacy.
Here’s another HUGE benefit in guilt-free spiritual examination and challenge:
It ensures that we actually DO IT by asking hard questions that produce answers God can use to grow our faith and deploy us in service for his Kingdom.
If our pre-programmed, default response to any challenge we point toward our walk with God is negative and guilt-ridden, it means we will never challenge anything.
The easy argument against self-examination might read: “Why should I put myself through that pain? I’m a Christian and it will be ok.”
Let’s try it right now with this challenge: How much are you “CHASING COMFORT” to escape life’s pain?
Our screens light up all day every day with pitches aiming to have us succumb to the lie that we should have EVERYTHING.
The jump is surprisingly short to wanting more and more COMFORT in the things we buy and what we do.
It is hardly a surprise that some Christians want to have an “EVERYTHING FAITH” that showcases mastery of their “Christian Everything List.” From memorizing the Bible to serving people in need. Tithing to fellowship. Self-control to self-sacrifice ensconced in a façade’s false promise of security.
Is that you? Yes? Are you sure? No? Are you sure? Now let’s circle back to this month’s theme: God’s LOVE.
There is one word that should be on the Christian Everything List that is often overlooked or omitted—LOVE.
The road to everything starts and ends with love. Love for God. Love for others. Here’s your challenge: Have YOU overlooked the word LOVE?
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37
I ask God to strengthen my faith to choose HIM over ME and my lust for EVERYTHING. To fill me with his contentment and joy and wisdom. To help me to always start with love, stay with love, and end everything with love on my faith journey.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
How do you come out after CHALLENGING YOURSELF on how much LOVE is in your faith walk with Christ?
“I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burned—but if I have no love, this does me no good.” 1 Corinthians 13:3
“Human desires are like the world of the dead—there is always room for more.” Proverbs 27:20