Want some joy in this season? Want to be refreshed? Will you join me for a 20:20 Challenge?
Ok. I know this sounds like a sales pitch. Believe me, I am no salesman. God laid this challenge on my heart Saturday morning. And, since then He has already confirmed this challenge to me four times. That gets me excited! So, I don’t want to keep this challenge all for myself. I want you to be blessed and refreshed, to experience joy, too.
As I opened my Bible on Saturday, I read the oh-so-familiar Psalm 1. It begins….
“Oh, the joys of those who”…some versions say “Blessed is the man”, “Happy are those” (NLT, ESV, GNT) Joyful, Blessed, Happy. I want some of that especially in the middle of this pandemic.
Psalm 1:1 quickly tells us what NOT to do: “follow the advice of the wicked, stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.” My version: be careful who or what you follow, see and hear; where and with who you allow yourself to stand, sit and connect; and what you allow out of your mouth and what you comment/post on social media.” All these things feed our mind negatively, rob our joy.
Now that we have the Don’ts out of the way, let’s look at the life-changing DO’s that led me to my 20:20 Challenge.
“Oh, the joys (blessings, happiness) of those who…
“delight in the law of the Lord and meditate on it day and night.” Psalm 1:2 (NLT)
My version: Love the word of the Lord and spend time meditating on it DAY and NIGHT. Let it sink deep down into the roots of your soul.
I am going to be honest with you. Most mornings the first thing I do is pick up my phone. I check messages, email, news, etc. And, then I remember to stop and take a quiet pause with the Lord. I am pretty consistent at a morning quiet pause with the Lord. But, at night I usually end the evening with my phone or a book in hand. I don’t spend time again in scripture before bed.
And, it hit me…the joy comes from starting and ending our days with the word of God. Meditating on it. He didn’t say day OR night. He said AND.
I began to consider what would happen if I put this into practice? If I begin to meditate day and night on God’s word…if I made it a habit?
Well, Psalm 1:3 tells me:
“They will be like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.”
Flourishing, bearing fruit, never dry and withered, always prospering.
Spending time in God gives life to our soul. Trees by the river flourish and grow because their roots tap into the life-giving water. When we tap into the Living Water, the Word of Life, when we pause to open up our Bibles and meditate on God’s word, we have what we need to flourish and grow, to weather the drought, too.
So that night, before turning out the light, I opened my Bible again and I read Proverbs 1.
Look what the Lord showed me:
“But all who listen to me will live in peace (safely, securely), untroubled by fear of harm.” Proverbs 1:33 (NLT)
The Passion Translation says this:
“But the one who always listens to me
will live undisturbed in a heavenly peace.
Free from fear,
confident and courageous,
you will rest unafraid and sheltered
from the storms of life.”
Wow! Free from fear…so many of us need that right now. Right here, in the middle of this uncertain pandemic. Resting unafraid and sheltered from the storms of life. It was the exact thing I needed to hear before bed. To put my mind at rest.
Sunday morning came and I opened up to Psalm 19…because today is the 19th. No other reason. Just needed a passage to read.
Once again, the Lord confirmed the importance and benefits of meditating on His word, day AND night.
“The instructions of the Lord are perfect,
reviving the soul.
The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The commandments of the Lord are right,
bringing joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are clear,
giving insight for living.”
Psalm 19:7-8 (NLT)
When we spend time in God’s word, He revives and restores our soul. He gives us strength and wisdom and directs our path. He gives us joy, insight, and understanding.
See what I mean? I have paused day and night the last few days and God showed me clearly in His word the benefits of it. It changes my heart (attitude), mind (thoughts), and soul (passions/desires).
So here’s your 20:20 challenge:
for the next 20 days,
spend 20 minutes in God’s word
day AND night.
Maybe for you that is 10 minutes in the morning and 10 at night. Maybe you can do 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night.
I bet you have the time. Ask yourself how much time you are spending on social media, movies, videos, news, etc. While most of us are under some type of safe-at-home order for the next several weeks, replace some of this time with a quiet pause in God’s word day AND night. Soak in the life-giving water to nourish and refresh your heart, mind, and soul.
My final confirmation for this challenge is that today is 4/20/20. No better day to start.
Drop a comment and let me know you are joining me in this challenge. And, let me know what God is teaching you through it.
Oh, the joys to be found, my friends.