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  • Shari Gabourel

The Scripture Challenge

I don’t know if you are familiar with what an Internet challenge is, but because I have two daughters in adolescence, I became knowledgeable quick.

An Internet challenge is a cultural phenomenon defined as “Internet users recording themselves taking a challenge and then distributing the resulting video through social media sites, often inspiring or daring others to repeat the challenge.”3 Due to these online influences and seeking attention by “liking” a behavior with global encouragement, there are no boundaries or limits to whom you can reach…


On any given day, my youngest can be found intently watching a well-known viral philanthropist or an energetic family engaged in some amusing or nonsensical challenge. Whatever the contest, once it is finished, the winner is usually awarded an outlandish prize that, in my opinion, is disproportionate to the venture itself.


After admittedly living the last several months in a state of consternation, a thought came to me during my God time.


What if there was a Scripture Challenge?


For example, what if you could select a certain biblical passage to engage in for 7-days and in the end, be rewarded with an incredible prize?


Let’s say the passage on the table is the very popularized and often recited reference from Proverbs 3:5-8.

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

8 It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.


The goal in this case would be to endeavor to accomplish the first three directives in verses five through seven. And if successful, the end result would subsequently and naturally follow as asserted in verse eight:\


8 It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.


Because I’m no stranger to this passage, I should be able to manage this test with NO PROBLEM!


The task at hand is simple. For the next seven days, all I must do is…


Trust in the Lord…with ALL my heart.


I am to be unsuspecting of the Lord when I petition Him in prayer. I must rest my mind on the integrity of who God is. Likewise, my entire inner self, my disposition—my temper and natural tendencies are expected to rely on the Lord God.


Further, I am not permitted to lean, rely, or even rest my mind on my own understanding—how I comprehend things to be or should be.


Okay…I need to stop for a minute.


As I begin deconstructing the first imperative sentence, which in grammatical nature is directing or ordering me—in a slightly bossy way to trust in the Lord with all my heart, I’m now beginning to feel a bit apprehensive.


Why?


Because I don’t know if I am completely up for the challenge.


Sure, I’m familiar with the text and have recited it countless times.


But as I begin to peer into the charge, I discern a responsibility I have often treated as theoretical.


Truth is, my execution of the text would generally look like this:


I will trust in the Lord with all my heart…when I see the COVID case numbers dwindle.


I will trust in the Lord with all my heart…after the U.S. Presidential Inauguration.


I will trust in the Lord with all my heart when my husband can guarantee he will never transgress our sacred vows.


I will trust in the Lord with all my heart when my adolescent daughter stops secretly rolling her eyes (at least she thinks it’s secret) and sighing heavily when I ask her to clean her God-forsaken room.


Until such time, I will regrettably continue to only partially trust in Him.


Perhaps I should reconsider this endeavor. Or maybe I should move forward with reinforcements.

In my last correspondence, I acknowledged what I believe to be one of my God-given responsibilities, which is to support the body of Christ through means of encouragement. I also noted that whatever it was you were responsible for, that we should do it together.


My friends, I cannot convincingly or victoriously fulfill this Scripture challenge without YOU. I am not an independent member, but a dependent member of God’s family. In other words, I depend on you (1 Cor. 12:12-25).


To be sure, trusting in the Lord with all my heart is not to be commenced and concluded within a seven-day period. It is to be achieved over a lifetime. But because you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time, that is how I’m going to approach this lifelong Scripture challenge…one day at a time.


Are you with me?


Please say yes!


What encouraging thoughts, words, or biblical insights would you have to share with me?


What gifts has the Lord irrevocably given you that have lied dormant and are in desperate need to be utilized…at such a time as this?


I would love to know.


So until we meet again, let’s see how we fare during the coming days as we each:


5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,and do not lean on your own understanding.


6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.


7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.


8 It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.


Proverbs 3: 5-8 New American Standard Bible 2020


Doing it different, but still doing it,


Shari


References:

https://www.clinicaladvisor.com/home/20th-anniversary-clinical-pearl-giveaway/internet-challenges-and-teenagers-a-guide-for-primary-care-providers/

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