Sunday, February 27, 2011

40 Day Challenge - Introduction (The Dirty Pantry)....

I recently received my copy of "Revive" magazine from Life Action Ministries.  At the end of the magazine there is a personal worksheet called, "40 Days of Change".  I immediately felt I should make this my own personal challenge.  As I write this I pray the Lord will give me strength to carry through and commit to this for 40 days.  This is how the challenge works:  Each day we are encouraged to "put off" ways, attitudes and desires that are not consistent and obedient to God's teaching.  This is taken directly from Ephesians 4:22-24.  Think of it as cleaning out your pantry and getting rid of any junk food.  Getting rid of the junk food is not enough because after awhile of staring at an empty pantry, you will long to fill it (and your belly) with some food.  You may slowly slip back into putting junk into your pantry (less guilt) or you may rapidly do so to "get it over with".  You now have two choices:  1)  Replenish the cabinet with junk food that will leave you feeling worse, disease you, and never satisfy OR 2)  Replenish the pantry with wholesome food that will fill you, satisfy you, and make you healthy.  (Are you with me so far?)  This is where the "putting on" comes in.  The wholesome food could best be compared to fruit of the Spirit.  Enter another concept from the same early stated body of scripture...."renewing the mind".  At first replacing the junk food with wholesome food won't be easy.  Junk food is cheap and quick to attain and makes you feel good initially.  Wholesome food is costly and hard to grasp as your body rids itself of the "junk".  Your mind will tell you, "Go for the junk".  Your body is crying, "NO, Go for the wholesome food!".  The Bible tells us to "take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ".  The war always begins in the mind (ongoing) but the battle was won on the Cross (past, present, and future).
....Enough said, I knew this would become longwinded.  If you would like to join me in "cleaning out the pantry" (this is the "putting off" process), read on....if not, I ask for your prayers and support.  To those joining in "pantry cleaning", read the steps below suggested by Life Action Ministry:
  • Each day we will have a "put off" and a "put on" with suggested scripture reading.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what needs to be "put off" and confess your sin to God.
  • Write on an index card one or more practical ways you could "put on" obedience in this area.
  • Take the card with you and review it throughout the day.
If you have committed to this challenge, I would love to hear from you as we "clean" together...this way I can pray for you and we can hold one another accountable.  Also, pray for me, that I can be diligent in this posting for the next 40 days...

Alright, ready.....set......go!

Our first challenge begins tomorrow and I'll give you a hint, it has to do with love.

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