Challenge is a call to take part in a contest or competition, according to the dictionary. It’s a call to fight in a battle or a duel.
As children of God, the enemy is calling us out to fight for our salvation. The Lord said that he is our light and our salvation, whom shall we fear because the Lord is our strength, and then we should not be afraid, according to Psalms 27:1. The enemy is always going to bring challenges to our doors. He’s going to test our faith, seeking a way to shake you and brings fear for you to crumble and fall. The enemy wants your faith to fall or roll over and play dead because he doesn’t want you to fight back. He does want you to stand up according to how God sees you as a contender of faith. Contender of who you trust in, plus we trust in God. That’s why 1Peter five, verses seven, said we should cast all our cares upon him, for he cared for us. So we are trusting in God, knowing we can do all things through Christ, which is our strength.
So let us look at some areas
“And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” Philemon 1:6
- Living according to our faith or personal believes in Christ Jesus.
In living out our faith, we are living according to the words of God instilled in us. By reading God’s words, allowing them to comes alive within us. It is the Spirit of God in us springing up as living water, causing us to live according to His will and Word. There is busyness; I’m way too busy for this, sometimes for God. We can’t always work and don’t have a positive balance. Our emotions have to be in perspective, or a thought process put into practice effectively. As human beings, there will be frustration, but remind yourself that creating a balance is necessary. Choose to meditate, close that computer and relax, because one gets caught up, the mind becomes clogged, and then become overwhelmed. The frustration will come, ask, how am I going to do this? How will I finish without feeling burnt out? It is not putting Christ on the back burner but finding time for God to create spiritual health. When spiritually healthy, there is a balance between the natural and spiritual. When God is in control, everything else will fall into line.
However, when things are out of control, the mind can go wondering. It is that feeling of uncoordinated activities of daily living that may even feel meaningless. With love in our hearts, a job done to perfection or satisfaction, Work is viewed as an earthly reward and a heavenly reward. It is pleasing God doing what is right when no one is watching you. When “short cuts” are taken in anything done, one’s character chipped away one piece at a time, reason; no one knows that lively conscience yet keeps nudging for what is right.
- We are living within the culture of the antichrist.
“Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ:” 2 Corinthians 10:5
We live when many things are wrong but called right, and the right stuff is looked at as wrong. Within a changing culture, biblical principles can be, twisted for the gain of the enemy. We’re engaging within the antichrist culture that tries to prevent one from speaking up for holiness and righteousness in Christ Jesus. As the bible puts it, speaking the truth where God is concerned may be looked at as taboo in some areas because people don’t want to hear the validity of Christ’s purity. As believers in Christ Jesus, we stand with our forefathers that our God is a deliverer. There cannot be an in-between; we are either hot or cold if lukewarm God will spew us out.
- Impurities or temptations
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” Matthew 6:13
Pressure is placed on us as temptation in the form of lust of eyes or flesh. There are drugs, alcohol, and bullying, which come as peer pressure, with several things going on persons, tempted or encouraged to indulge in drugs, in alcoholism, to the point where they are intoxicated. They don’t know who they are or their stand. They’re bullied to the point where persons commit suicide because they feel inadequate or not measuring up to those around them. Bullying can come from different areas such as schools, workplaces, or just the society with varying levels of bullying, feasting inadequacies in persons.
- Identity and self-image issue
“ But the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you,” 1 Peter 5:10
How do people view me? How do I see myself? Obesity is a big thing in our society. Some persons may feel inadequate because they’re not specific dress size or like that model or person out there. I don’t fit in a number two dress or males; I’m not sure the size they wear. We are looking at the images portrayed on our social media or television. We’re matriculating ourselves to those things and finding ourselves having identity issues or crises. We are, separated from who God says we are. And so, we can’t look at that. So, that model out there or that person on the television is a perfect size as they may make it out to be. But we don’t know what they’re going through don’t know how they went through that process. Some people are starving themselves, half-dead to look a certain way. They’re taking different chemical enhancements or body sculpturing. Surgical configuring of the body to look a certain way is, thought of as a good lifestyle. However, there are still side effects to all of that. One should strive to balance what to eat, do exercise, and your mental status. Find peace in God, be comfortable with yourself, and find that balance and not allow peer pressure and the image portrayed to affect you. Also, shopping, one can get caught up maximizing on credit cards. People may get caught up because there’s designer stuff they “got to have.” But what does it genuinely mean? Why this brand or that? Are you trying to fill a void that can only be satisfied by God?
- Issues within the Family
“You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalms 32:7
What is going on with financial problems, divorce, problems with the children, and extended family problems? There are family issues that will come later if you’re in a relationship. Young people find themselves trying to find that perfect partner. The challenges that are coming out in the family, family members don’t always agree and agree to disagree. You have to know your family members, and sometimes I’m like, okay, I don’t want to know them because some people have different points of view that may not be the point of view you hold. However, knowing that one’s point of view is in line with Christ, Jesus is vital as an ambassador. We are thinking about how Christ wants us to believe, adhering to the things of Christ, not going along with the crowd for popularity because we want to be comfortable and accepted.
- The negative media influences
“Should he reason with unprofitable talk, Or by speeches with which he can do no good? Job 15:3
What is the media saying to us? We often look at the media and know that we’re living in a time of crisis where we can see all the negative things coming from the coronavirus. You have heard of the many deaths. Still, we don’t see the recovery. We don’t see the persons that didn’t die. We do not hear much about the survivors. Reported is not of a significant magnitude related to the death toll and how many persons have it.
Then there is violence. I have seen recently in the media that one person’s death created a spiral of violent attacks in different communities. Why violence? People do not see themselves or understand who they are and do not realize that violence is not the answer. There must be a voice that does not come with destruction. There is power that comes from adhering to the voice of God. God’s voice is more than a soft voice but a powerful entity bringing clarification, direction, and empowerment to the one taking heed to the agent.
I encourage you to use this as an affirmation. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord, your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9