So here we go! The beginning of the One Year No Dating Challenge! I hope you are joining us here and participating in this yearlong challenge.
This is how it will work:
On the 1st of each month (except I’m posting it a day early this month) I will post a monthly theme and some thoughts about the theme that you can think and pray about throughout the month. I may also include some extras like scripture verses for you to memorize and study and a challenge or two.
This is what to expect:
The One Year No Dating Challenge is not about dating, men, or marriage. It’s not about “if I do this then maybe God will send me a husband.”
The mission of the One Year No Dating Challenge is grow your relationship with Jesus so that you can discover who you are in Him and who He created your to be in order to live out those truths in your relationships and daily life.
So let’s get started!
This Month’s Theme: God wants a growing relationship with you.
God wants a relationship with you. And that’s all He wants.
I remember back to the day I was baptized. I was twelve years old. That morning after putting on dry clothes and after the service ended I walked to my parents’ car and thought, “Okay, God, for now on I’m not going to do anything wrong. I not going to back-talk my parents or yell at my brother. I’m going to be perfect.”
That lasted all of an hour, and I felt so defeated. I had just been baptized after all, right?
I’ve struggled ever since with the bondage of perfectionism.
So I get it. I understand that a relationship with God seems out-of-reach and maybe even mystical.
It’s taken me this long – I’m now 38 – to really grasp what a relationship with God means.
First of all, it’s free. Well, it’s not free, but it’s free for you and me. Jesus’ death on the Cross made it possible for us to know God. Before that, sin kept us from a relationship with Him. Even though God created us for a relationship with Him, and that has always been His will, He is also a just God. When sin entered the world there had to be payment for it. The only sufficient payment was for God Himself to come to earth and die for us. And that’s what He did. Jesus paid our debt and restored our relationship with God.
However, even though it’s free, it does take some effort just like any other relationship does. This is where many people get hung up, and this is what keeps us from truly experiencing the abundant life Jesus’ promises.
You can’t just sit on the sidelines – never talking to God in prayer, never learning about who He is through Bible reading and studying, never being sharpened in community by other mature believers, and never loving other people through serving – and expect to have a life full of hope, peace, love, and joy. It’s impossible because these are supernatural experiences, contrary to our human existence, and the true versions of them are only available through a relationship with Jesus.
The basis for the One Year No Dating Challenge is your relationship with Jesus. This month your challenge is to cultivate that relationship. If you’re not yet a Christian, read this post “How to Become a Christian” first.
Month 1 Challenge: Read your Bible and pray at least 5 days a week.
I know that reading the Bible can be daunting. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that it’s an easy book to read. I wouldn’t call it easy, but it is supernatural. It is living and active. The Holy Spirit will bless your efforts and open your mind so that it becomes understandable. It’s one of those things that the more you do it, the easier it gets.
If you need a more understandable Bible translation to start with, you might like the New Living Translation (NLT). Possibly start with it.
If you need a place to start, read this post “Bible Study Options for the New Year“. And feel free to leave me a comment below if you have any questions.
Okay, this first month’s challenge is the basis for the rest of the challenge. Who’s in? Let us know in the comments!