DOD 36, 40 Day Challenge
A couple of weeks ago Jamie had DOD encouraging us to pray five times in one day concerning how we run the race (live life). He beat me to the punch on a DOD I had in mind but I am still going to use it again. That is the five times to pray in a day but I want to take it from another angle. Right below this are two things. A partial sentence about the times of prayer I lifted from an article written by Muslim leader while not extreme some of his comments made me uncomfortable especially a military guy reading them off the internet and knowing anything can be tracked. Not important. The other is thing is a link to a more neutral site that gives more details about how Muslims go about the five prayers. Interesting but not necessary for the DOD today.
once in the early morning (after dawn but before sunrise), once in the early afternoon (after the sun had crossed the zenith but before mid-afternoon), once in the later afternoon (but before the setting of the sun), once after the sun had set, and finally in the early hours of the night (after twilight had ended).
Why am I talking about praying five times for the DOD? June of 2015 is when I was exposed and one of my affairs came to light and eventually all would be brought out into the open including other affairs, pornography intake, masturbation and lying. The first few months while I was scared I might lose my family these things had a hold on me. I wanted so bad for them to be gone. Yet I still viewed porn and masturbated although less it was still happening. I had a couple of contacts with the last person I had an affair with and if presented the opportunity under the right circumstances I don’t know what I would have done. I am glad to say that did not happen. This stuff still owned me. As I struggled and searched for how to get free I realized that while I was afraid to lose my family and parts of my life I didn’t hate my sin because it was sin but because of what the sin may cost me. I didn’t hate it like God did. I knew that was an issue. At times I was horrified by my sin but it wasn’t ingrained in me.
So here is a really cool experience I had. It was sometime in October of 2012, Fall break for the schools. My family and I went to my dad’s home in Illinois. The kids had wanted to go camping and my dad lives on a lake. The compromise was to set up a tent in the backyard the night we got there. My wife, Kylene would be gone with a friend for the night and be back late the next day I think. Point is I was with the kids “camping”. So we put a blow up mattress in the tent (like I said “camping”). Three of my four slept in the tent. I set up a cot outside. In was Fall and the night was cool. I had a sleeping bag, couple of blankets over it and a hat on to stay warm. Plus there was a fire going in the pit. It had been a nice day but got cooler that night. The wind was blowing some all night. How do I know? Because I think I woke up about 8 or 9 times that night. More on that in a minute. So as I lay there after the kids were asleep I prayed. I prayed to God to help me hate my sin to be appalled by it. To be disgusted. I feel asleep praying that. About an hour later I woke up. Fire was low so I got up poked at it and grabbed more wood from the ample pile there and built it up. As I would slide back in my sleeping bag watching the fire, I would begin to pray again to hate my sin. This was my routine all night. Each time I awoke I got up stoked the fire and prayed to hate my sin and feel asleep praying for it. This was not planned just kind of happened. That night was so moving to me. I couldn’t recreate it but I know I will watch for opportunities like that again in the future.
So does that mean I hated my sin with a passion the next day? No but I did dislike it more. I continued to pray for that disgust for my behavior. It started to come more and more. I can say now I am appalled and disgusted by what I did and I mourn my actions. I hate that sin. Because God has helped me to become this there are so many temptations that don’t even phase me anymore. It makes it so easy to turn from the crap the world offers me.
While I did not change overnight I can say the first week of November that year was the last time I masturbated. Also during the last week of October I quit viewing any porn except for two consecutive days in February 2016. I have been faithful. All of that I see as so shallow and makes my stomach turn to think of it.
I don’t say any of this to say look at me. I tell you this because I know this kind of freedom exists but not without God and effort (seeking God). He changed me. He helped me hate my sin. He helped me see the shallow nature of it. Eventually He showed me the good stuff without all that junk but first He helped me hate it the way He hates. I am sad about it like Him.
Ephesians 5:12 tells us it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do. I wish I hadn’t done the things I did. I wish I didn’t know some of the things I learned while in my sin. I am ashamed to say I even know certain things. I want to keep it that way. It motivates me to stay away. Actually it motivates me to move in the other direction.
Pray at least five times today to hate the sin that entangles you most right now. Pray for a heart like God’s that hates the sin but not the sinner (even if that sinner is you). Here is another point about the Muslims five times praying. Those are prescribed times. They can always choose to pray more. I challenge you to pray at least five times today. If you are moved to pray more, then pray more.
Exodus 27:21 “In the tent of meeting, outside the curtain that shields the ark of the covenant law, Aaron and his sons are to keep the lamps burning before the Lord from evening till morning. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the Israelites for the generations to come.” The tent of meeting is where God’s presence was and it is where the priests could go to meet God. Jesus makes it so the Spirit is in our heart. We can meet with God in our heart. Did you catch that? Lamps were burning from evening till morning. All night long. The light is always on for you to meet with God. Always.
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