Monday, June 11, 2012

Why You Should NOT Take A Break This Summer

A few weeks ago, I asked what you were planning to do to grow closer to God this summer. Remember? (If not, click here!)

I know that many of us participate in Bible studies during the school year, but we usually take the summer off. Which makes perfect sense. It’s hard to schedule group sessions around vacations and swim lessons.

What doesn’t make sense?

Taking the summer off.

We aren’t in first grade anymore. We’re supposed to be ever growing, ever learning, ever maturing.

Go ahead and take the summer off from scheduled, group study. But please don’t put your Bible and journal up on a shelf with plans to dig them back out in September.

We must remember that we are in a war. Our enemy doesn’t take summers off. For whole battalions to decide they aren’t going to fight for three months out of the year reveals a serious lack of spiritual maturity on the part of people who should be battle hardened warriors.

Make no mistake about it...if you aren't growing closer to God then you're moving away from Him. The enemy will gladly watch you drift and then he'll unleash every obstacle in his arsenal to be sure you never get as close as you once were.

Now that I’ve gotten all up in your business, let me share with you a resource you might want to consider. You could think of it as a summer refresher course.

Depending on where you are in your walk with the Lord, it might sound like a remedial class.

Trust me, it’s not.

A dear friend of mine (Lori Roeleveld of Deeper with Jesus in Rhode Island), threw out a call to take “The God Challenge” this summer by reading 40 Ways to Get Closer to God written by Jerry (Chip) MacGregor with Keri Wyatt Kent.

It sounded perfect. Maybe a little lighter than what I’d been planning, but hey, it’s summer.

Did I mention that this is not a remedial class?


It’s not that these challenges are hard. If you’ve been following God for any length of time, you may even read the challenge for that day and think, “Seriously? That’s it? I do that all the time.” I’ve had a few of those days.

To my surprise and embarrassment, when I attempt the challenge I often discover that I needed some work on that particular discipline after all. Consider me Gibbs slapped by God!

I’m not going to give it all away, but I started this in late May. It’s June 11th and I’m not even up to Day 10. I’m trying not to read or jump ahead until I have actually done, or at least planned when I will do, each activity. I'm taking my time because I don't want to just read a book about getting closer to God.

I want to actually get closer to God.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll share with you some of my adventures, what I’m learning, and what God is showing me about how amazing He is. If you’d like to jump in and join the fun, that would be fantastic. (Please send me a shout out in the comments!)

Whether you choose to join in on #TheGodChallenge (our Twitter hashtag) or not, please do something. Read the New Testament. Pray for each member of your family every day. Read the Psalms slowly (I did that last year - loved it!).

Your enemy is not taking the summer off. You shouldn’t either.


The Joy Dare continues...

3 Gifts Painted ~ Roses painted the perfect pink; baby faces painted in watermelon juice; smiles painted on the faces of friends reunited


Courtney said...

I couldn't agree with you more. There is a temptation to let all schedules - and all disciplines - go out the window in the summer. Thank you for this reminder to NOT do that. I read Psalms slowly last year, and it was life changing. I'm working on Proverbs now. I'll have to check out the book you mentioned, too. Thanks!

Jacqui said...

I agree, our "adversary the devil roams about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour." It's important that we keep in the Word. We can get tired and desire to kick back, take it easy, but that's when we are most vulnerable. Thanks for sharing!

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Courtney - Thanks for stopping by! Praying for you to see God anew as you travel through Proverbs!!
Jacqui - It's so easy to run out of steam, but you're right...taking it easy leaves us vulnerable. Thanks for that reminder!!

Cathy Baker said...

I recently downloaded the study but have not yet started the challenge. Thanks to this reminder, tomorrow will be my first day of 40+. :) Thanks Lynn (and Lori!)

sheri said...

Glad to read this again tonight! Am planning to do this study although I am starting a new book with my Buble Study Group next week for the summer!
Where do I go to download this study?!?
Thanks, Lynn!