It’s that time of year again when we start to think about New Year’s resolutions. 2020 promises to hold many adventures for each of us, some of them exciting, some not so much. Some adventures we will prepare for, some will come upon us very unexpectedly. In all your adventures, will you accept the 2020 DDC Challenge: Depend on God and Be Disciplined?
Depend on God
Whatever may come, throughout the year ahead, and for the rest of our lives, we may depend on God to be a faithful refuge and strength for us. While there are many reasons to depend on God, the 2020 DDC Challenge: Depend on God and Be Disciplined will mainly focus on depending on God for refuge, strength, and rest as we are disciplined to become more like Christ.
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.Psalm 34:8 NIV
What joy for all who take refuge in him!Psalm 2:12 NLT
He Provides Refuge, Strength, and Rest
Abundant blessings are available to those who depend on God as they embark on their adventures.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.Psalm 84:5 NIV
And as we depend on Him, He provides His rest.
Blessed are those who honor my Sabbath days of rest and keep themselves from doing wrong.Isaiah 56:2 NLT
In our American culture there are many temptations to not depend on God. Many obstacles to rest. Many reasons to resist the Lord. And while we may consider discipline as a negative to be avoided, God uses His teaching techniques to grow us more and more into Christlikeness.
Joyful are those you discipline, LORD, those you teach with your instructions.Psalm 94:12 NLT
Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.Revelation 3:19 ESV
Certainly the forces of evil devise many obstacles to prevent our dependency upon Christ. Some obstacles may appear so benign that we don’t even notice them as obstacles. Other trials so great that we may be tempted to give up on our pursuit of Christlikeness.
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.James 1:12 NIV
Don’t Be Offended by God
While there are many who do not realize their need of a desperately dependent relationship on the Lord, blessings are promised to those who do not turn away from Him.
And tell him, “God blesses those who do not turn away because of me.”Matthew 11:6 NLT
Embracing God’s provision that may seem offensive from a worldly standpoint, promises His blessing.
Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.Luke 7:23 NIV
Accept the Challenge
With the 2018 Challenge we started with the foundations of spiritual maturity, namely Connect to God’s Word and the 2nd stage Fear the Lord. For the 2019 Challenge we considered the 3rd stage of spiritual development, Experience Forgiveness of Sin and the 4th stage, Desire Righteousness.
The 2020 DDC Challenge: Depend on God and Be Disciplined will continue motivating us to move forward in spiritual maturity. In a modified chronological reading plan using the Beyond Suffering Bible NLT we will daily search for ways to complete the following sentences:
- God will . . .
- I should . . .
I plan to use the 2020 Daily Diary to keep a record of the insights God reveals through His Word.
Beginning January 2, 2020, Thursday morning (10:00-noon) and Thursday evening discussion groups (7:00-9:00) will process the insights we gleaned throughout the week in regards to depending on God and His discipline in our lives.
Beyond Suffering Bible NLT
For the 2020 DDC Challenge: Depend on God and Be Disciplined we chose to use the Beyond Suffering Bible NLT with extensive notes by Joni Eareckson Tada and the experts at Joni and Friends Christian Institute on Disability. Throughout the years we have watched Joni be a living example of how to depend on God when most others would have given up under His hand of discipline (teaching/training). As a result, Joni and Friends will daily challenge us to find Christ relevant to every area of our lives.
Even though the Beyond Suffering Bible NLT comes in paperback version, I don’t recommend it for this 2020 challenge. You will be investing a year of your life in this adventure, so use the more durable hardcover version! The links included are for the hardcover version only. The Amazon links are affiliate links, so DDCommunity will receive a small percentage if you purchase from these links. If you choose Desperately Dependent Community as your favorite charity on AmazonSmile, DDC receives benefits every time you shop on Amazon. We would deeply appreciate your support!
I’d Love to But . . .
Can’t participate in our discussion groups? Those who do actively participate in our weekly discussion groups certainly find they achieve greater insight through the daily readings. But we also understand that is not possible for everyone. If you would like to participate but can’t join our group, just Contact Us and we will be sure to provide you with the reading plan and access to a special online group to post discussion questions and insights.
Will You Accept the Challenge?
Will you accept the 2020 DDC Challenge: Depend on God and Be Disciplined? Not sure? Email us with your commitment and/or your questions. We are eagerly anticipating what we will see God do in hearts and lives as we depend on Him for refuge, strength, and rest and we are disciplined to become more like Christ.