Who Will Ascend? …The 21-Day Challenge

The maze of Longleat House

The maze of Longleat House (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, here we are: finally at the conclusion of our long series “Who Will Ascend?” Now, it is time to apply the concepts we have discussed and learned together. I challenge you to make a commitment over the next twenty-one days to purposefully ascend the mountain of God and draw nearer to Him. I have laid out a possible plan of attack for how this process can be accomplished. This is not a “1-2-3 you’re free” approach, nor is it a guaranteed recipe for success. It is simply a model that the Lord downloaded to my heart that I believe can be very beneficial if approached with the right attitude and a genuine desire to grow closer to the Lord.

The challenge is broken up into three sections of seven days each. The first seven days focus on individual prayer (I call it spiritual deep cleaning). The second seven days focus on prayer for others. And the third seven days are focused on testimonies. Let me elaborate further:

Days 1–7 (Deep Cleaning):

Over the course of these seven days, select a passage of Scripture to return to each day, examining yourself according to the different aspects of that Scripture. For instance, take the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22–23) and meditate upon a different fruit each day, asking the Lord to reveal your strengths and weaknesses regarding those fruits. Other possibilities include the armor of God (Eph. 6:10–20), or Paul’s descriptions of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4–8 or Romans 12:9–21, among many other possible passages as well. The important thing is not so much which passage you choose, but that you intentionally commit to thoroughly study, meditate, and examine your heart based upon that passage. Keep a daily journal of what the Lord reveals to you, and be intentional about making changes to live according to those standards He has set before you. The reason this is the first seven days is because this process allows you time to remove excess baggage before ascending the mountain. You must leave your bags on the ground level.

Days 8–14 (Removal of Self):

Last week, your prayer time was introspective. Now, it is time to be “extrospective,” so to speak. Your assignment this week is simple: Get in touch with seven different people this week (one per day) and ask how you can pray for them. They can be any seven you want, but hopefully you’ll have a mix of people you know well and people you don’t know as well. When you contact these people, make it as personal as possible. Face-to-face, phone, and video contact are the preferred methods. Text, email, and instant message only if the aforementioned methods are not working or are not practical for that person for some reason. Again, keep a journal of the prayer requests and needs for these people.

Oh, and did I forget to mention that you are not allowed to pray for yourself this week? ‘Cause you aren’t . . . at all. Your prayers are to be entirely others-focused. Don’t limit yourself just to praying for the seven you contact. Pray for everyone in every way that you can think to pray. Allow the Lord to lead you to pray for the right people at the right time. Trust Him to take care of your needs for this one week without praying for yourself. It is biblical and necessary that we do pray for ourselves; don’t get me wrong. Don’t make a lifestyle in which you never pray for yourself. But sometimes, we need to take the time to completely remove self from the equation. This is one of those times.

Days 15–21 (Testify):

This last week, your task is to keep a daily testimony journal. Each day, before your head hits the pillow, you are required to write down one testimony of what you saw the Lord do that day, either in your own life or in someone else’s life. That is part 1.

Part 2 is that you must tell a testimony to at least one person per day. It doesn’t have to be your life story; although, it could be if you have the time and opportunity to do so. But it can be as simple as telling someone how God opened up the way for you to make it on time to work when you thought you would be late. Again, face-to-face, phone, or video calls are preferred. Texting, emailing, and messaging are secondary only if the primary methods fail.

Pretty simple? One testimony in your journal per day; one testimony shared with someone else per day.

The value of doing this is that it constantly redirects your attention back to what God is doing. It keeps you focused on the mountaintop, rather than looking back at the valley. Our testimonies carry so much power that God releases when we tell them to others or ourselves. Make it a habit of telling your testimony to someone every day. Ask yourself, “Have I shared a testimony with someone yet today?” If you haven’t, then your day cannot be over yet. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, according to Revelation 19:10. Tell the testimony of what Jesus is doing, and release the spirit of prophecy into your sphere of influence.

Conclusion

At the end of your 21-day journey, write a journal summary in the journal you have been keeping. Reflect on what God has taught you. In what ways have you ascended in your prayer life? In what areas do you still need to grow? Reflect on His goodness, and seek Him for how to move forward. May He ever bless and strengthen you in your continual quest to ascend and live for Him.

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