I Challenge You: 40 Days of Temptation
If you all haven’t come to David Colbert’s Bible Study, you need to start. It is held at 6:00 every Tuesday. The location is typically at Starbucks on 127, but sometimes it changes. The location is always available at hickorydiscipleship.wordpress.com. We’re currently doing a very close read of The Gospels and discovering all kinds of interesting things about their history and incorrect assumptions we make about the books. Anyway, during our study, I got the inspiration for this blog from the book of Mark: “The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.” (Mark 1:12-13)
If you’re anything like me, it is hard to go through a single day without bending to temptation. With our lives of relative pleasure, our reliance on God is lessened. We don’t need to worry about God keeping us warm at night because we have heaters, comforters, and fluffy pets to keep us comfy. We don’t need to worry about getting water during a drought because we can just go to the store and buy bottled water for cheap.
The challenge that I am issuing this week is the most difficult challenge I have issued thus far in this series. I do not blame you or look at you negatively if you do not want to attempt this challenge. I believe that one of the ways we improve spiritually is to follow the path of Jesus. We must emulate his life of perfection, or at least strive to do so. If Jesus—a man no different that you or I—was able to resist temptation for not only forty days, but his entire life, then why can’t we do the same?
Here’s my challenge for this week (there will be several options):
- Option 1 (Easy): Resist temptation for three days. Actively monitor your thoughts and actions. Make sure you don’t bend to Satan’s will. Try to overcome evil and spit in its face by attempting to live a good life for three days.
- Option 2 (Intermediate): Resist temptation for seven days. One or two days might be easy to do, but when it comes to long-term goals, we begin to stumble. We get worn down, tired, beaten, and succumb. Showcase your fortitude by denying evil its wishes for seven days.
- Option 3 (Hard): Resist temptation for forty days, just as Jesus did after his baptism. I am going to try to hit this goal. I believe I can succeed. Belief is the first step. If you start out planning to fail, you will fail. By denying ourselves the fun and selfish delight that comes with sin, we can gain a new appreciation for what Jesus did. We can become regimented and build up a resilience toward evil.
It is important to point out with any of these options that it is fine if you fail. We don’t have to live perfect lives to be saved; Jesus already live the perfect life. It is by putting ourselves to the limit to see what is possible with our broken, fallen bodies. I challenge you to deny yourself for God.
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March 20, 2019
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