Be Challenged

     One of my favorite parts of skiing is sitting at the base looking up at the mountain after a long day and saying to myself “wow I did that”. Looking up at the steepness, moguls, and trees I’m often amazed that I made it down in one piece. I’ve had the opportunity this last year to really challenge myself on skis, and have been enjoying getting better.

     The process of getting from top to bottom is often full of bumps, challenges, cliffs, rocks, and trees. It’s been invigorating leaving the nice open groomed runs and challenging myself to do harder terrain.  I feel that we need to apply a similar mindset to our faith. We often times get ourselves in a series of spiritual laziness in that we no longer allow God to challenge us. We find something we like to do and only do that. We stop growing and allow ourselves to get comfortable.

     As human beings it’s our natural desire to resist change. We enjoy the status quo and habitually combat something that might cause life to change. That’s one of the big reasons we have such a hard time being Christians. We like the idea of being saved, praying a couple times a day, cracking open our Bible once a day, but have zero desire to change our lifestyle or allow God to shake things up in our lives. We formulate a tunnel vision of how we expect our lives to go, and God needs to fit in it somehow on our terms.

     Like anything, in order to become better at something we have to train, practice, and take direction from someone that knows more than we do, we have to be teachable. Our faith is the same way. We have to first study Gods word on a daily basis. Open our hearts and our minds to what God is teaching us. We have to not only study it, but apply it to our lives. Allow it to change our attitudes on our life. If we don’t, were just wasting our time.   Like anything in life, the first part of change is what we do on a personal level. If we don’t have a desire to change, were not going to.

     Once we obtain new knowledge the next thing we have to do is put it in practice. It doesn’t make sense to obtain a plethora of knowledge if we don’t ever use it. When I was in the military I remember we had two ways, the school house way and the field way. You learned by the school house way then once you went to the field and put it into practice you realized it was a little different. You allow experience to shape how to apply the knowledge you have learned, that’s how one develops wisdom. Its so important to apply what we’ve learned.

     We often times find it easy to hide in our churches and private studies and never truly have a desire to put our knowledge into practice. We don’t like the idea of our world getting rocked when we don’t properly apply our knowledge. But the truth I’ve discovered is God lets us get knocked down, so we can get back up and keep trying. One of the things I love about learning to be a better skier is being able to lay in the snow and instantly identify why I fell. I either lost my balance, lost control of my edges, or not able to do that particular run. Our faith is the same way. When we fall we have to look and see why we failed. We’re not getting into our Bibles enough, talking to God enough, or simply not meditating enough on his word.

     This week I want to challenge you to allow God to challenge you. Step out of your comfort zone for God. Do something for him that you wouldn’t normally do. Challenge yourself to dive deeper into God’s word and not only read it, but see how it applies to your life. It always amazes me how much I can still learn from Gods word, and passages I’ve learned and memorized years ago.

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