GIVE GOD 90
A 90 Day Challenge
Purpose; the purpose of the 90 day challenge is not to arrive at the place you want to be in 90 days, but to observe a significant improvement between where you are now today and 90 days from today.
Whether you wish to improve your health, mental attitude and stability or even you financial situation, the 90 day challenge may place you on the path to improving your life if you are willing to accept a few lifestyle changes. For most people it takes years of living a certain way to be the person you are right now. Face it you didn’t gain or lose weight overnight (even if it seems like it) but over a period of time. Nobody wakes up one day and thinks completely the opposite of what they thought when they went to sleep.
Time and the influence of family, friends, movies, television and music have shaped the person you are right now. There is a way to change and be the person God wants you to be, maybe not tomorrow and maybe not completely changed in 90 days but you can be well on your way. Are you willing to take the 90 day challenge?
There is nothing to buy, so you can’t lose anything by trying except some bad habits. For some this may be as easy as rearranging the way you begin your day, for others it may be more of a challenge. When you begin, don’t think you are testing God, this is all about learning to live according to His instructions. That is no test for Him, He knows this will work, it is how he designed us to live, it is how he created the world to work so that we may have life and live it completely fulfilled.
Before you begin take a minute and write down where you are right now, how you see yourself at this point in your life. Don’t think about where you might want to be only where you are. What you write is unique to you, that is your starting line and certainly not your finish line. Put that paper away and don’t look at it until 90 days have past.
Before going to bed, leave yourself a note, just a reminder to rearrange your morning routine. Whatever you do first thing in the morning, probably needs to be re-thought, so if the first thing you do is check your phone or reach for the TV remote, that’s where you put your note. If it’s the coffee maker leave your note there, just remind yourself to take a few minutes and thank your Creator for allowing you to begin this new life with Him. In other words begin your day with praise and thanksgiving.
Now don’t be too quick to check in with the phone or the news, bad news travels much faster than good news. Try starting you new day with some positive input like reading a short Psalm. (for the 90 day challenge stick to the Bible and leave the commentary works for later) OK now that you have His words in your new life, if you need to listen to how the world is failing turn on the news, check your phone or Facebook.
Believe it or not that is the first step to turning around, something so easy as rearranging your morning schedule to begin your day with something positive. Tonight do the same thing, before going to bed with the negative thoughts of the day in your head, read a Psalm, a short chapter in the prophets or begin with the first few verses of Genesis. Then just before you close your eyes, remember to thank God again for the day, the good and the bad. Tomorrow you begin again with the positive.
By starting and ending your day with prayer and short reading, does more than just bring a positive outlook to your mind; it fulfills one of the Creators instructions for your life.
Deuteronomy 6; 4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:
5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
The first few days if the 90 day challenge is to get you used to changing your lifestyle, turning bad habits into good habits and being able to recognize the negative influences in your life. When you begin to think about what you do and stop simply going through the motions of every day routine, then you begin to see things from a different point of view; a careful, thought – out and chosen point of view. Simply by allowing God to be your positive influence gives a new outlook on things and the more you allow God to influence your life the better you will be.
You may think you already include God in the things you do but now is the time to really examine that. Do you follow His instructions or do you give God advice and do your own thing? Be honest, if you actually want to improve your situation and you have been doing things your way; don’t you think it’s time to do things God’s way? After all, He is the Creator; He designed us to follow His instructions, so let’s take this to the next level.
About day 4 or 5 start thinking about what you eat, when you eat, why you eat and how you eat. This isn’t about a new fad diet or a lesson about clean and unclean food. (That’s for later) This is about lifestyle, what do you eat? Is it mainly fast food, junk food or do you think you eat a healthy balanced diet? When do you eat? Is breakfast skipped for a snack later? Is lunch choked down on the go, is your evening meal turning into a midnight snack? All of these things can influence your overall health, your weight and your finances. Now that you have had a few days of God’s positive influence, think about the food that goes into your body, the body God designed to function His way. You might want to think about some changes.
Food is fuel for the human body; that is the most basic concept. We could get the same calories and the same vitamins and the same minerals from a handful of pills or a glass of puréed and liquefied goo but God had better ideas for us. He gave us senses to smell, taste and feel the texture of our food. We are designed to enjoy the fuel we put in our bodies, the food, fellowship with family and friends and the hearing of His words in our heart. So why do we insist on eating on the run? What is so important that we can’t relax and enjoy a meal that is good for us? In today’s society, there are many jobs that require us to be on the go but that is no excuse for improper diet. When we begin to think of food as more than just fuel and how and why we eat as more than just animal instinct; we begin to consider the possibility that if we are made in His image, we should try to reflect that in our lives. Seriously, does anyone have an image in their mind of God answering prayer after prayer with a bag of chips on the desk beside Him???? I hope not.
What we eat is important, many companies pay trillions of dollars every year convincing you that you should purchase their products to feed you and your family. Those same companies spend more dollars every year trying to explain why they use chemicals in their products that shouldn’t be in food at all. At this point in the 90 day challenge, it is more important to prayerfully consider when, why and how you eat than what you eat. As you progress in the challenge what you eat will be addressed and until then try to stay away from any pre-prepared or processed food. For the next few days add to your morning schedule actually sitting down for breakfast with no negative influence. That means no TV, radio or cell phone, remember that bad news travels fast enough and you need time to focus on something positive.
Shift work is stressful, when you need to change from one shift to another it can be really, really stressful. Just because you may be involved with shift work doesn’t mean this challenge is different for you. Adapting routines isn’t that different than switching shifts, so if you go to bed at 9 in the morning, that’s your bedtime routine and your breakfast might be at 6 in the evening. People who work those hours are trained to be stressed by our society. Consider people who work on livestock ranches, certain times of the year they may only get 2 or 3 hours of sleep each night. Look at firefighters, certain days they may not get to sleep at all. Your job is just that; your job, don’t allow what a society that doesn’t do your job to tell you to feel a certain way. Careers are hard enough to manage without the influence of people who have never worked your job. All this to say; you can work shift work and adapt this challenge to meet your needs and help you meet your goals.
Day 8 or 9; time to think about lunch and dinner. Make time to sit down without the negative interruptions and enjoy the meal, the conversation (if you’re not alone) and allow the bad news to wait until later. Lunch and dinner meetings can be either productive and positive or very negative and disconcerting. If you are in a management position, DO NOT use a lunch or dinner meeting for negative input! Keep the bad news and negativity for the conference room or the office. If you have a manager who uses these lunch or dinner meetings to spread negativity, think about politely declining to attend and if that is not possible, be very careful about what you eat while you’re there. (consider avoiding acidic food etc)
Good eating habits are more than what you eat, they include how and when as well. There are times when a sandwich or burger choked down on the go is necessary, break the bad habit. You have the power to choose how you eat and believe it or not bad eating habits are linked to more diseases than smoking.
Day 10 or 11; You’re eating better, beginning and ending you day in prayer and Scripture, you have already replaced bad habits with good habits. Great job! OK so what’s next?
This is a good time to examine our work and rest habits, I suggest Isaiah 56 is a good place to begin. Isaiah reveals God’s plan for our rest and tells us if we choose to guard His Sabbath He will take us to His Holy Mountain. God does more than offer us a day of rest, He insists we have a day in which we do not perform our regular jobs. We are not to do regular work (the kind we know as going to a job and getting paid for it) Many people observe this in different ways and as you gain more knowledge through your study of God’s word, you will find the way that is right for you to guard the day He has set apart for us. We have 6 days to get the things done that we depend on for our survival and comfort. 6 days of work to pay the bills and buy the things we need and want. 6 days to exercise our bodies and make the difficult decisions that guide our lives. 1 day to rest, to separate those worries, 1 day to get revived from the stress of the other 6 days. Make plans to use this 1 day wisely, include a study of the Sabbath in your daily prayer and study time. Learn what day God has already chosen as the day He wants us to rest, come to your own conclusion through prayer and He will guide you to the truth. Then when your day of rest is over, go back to work refreshed and do the best job you are able to do. Work like everything you do is important, even if it seems mundane. The old adage that “a job worth doing is worth doing right” still has meaning. When we think nobody is watching, they are, if you do the smallest chore with the same responsibility as the largest job people notice. Your coworkers will wonder what you’re up to and your managers will see a renewed energy that may have the potential for better opportunities at work. At the very least people will notice a change in your attitude and wonder what you’re up to, and that is a good thing. Your best testimony is not the things you speak, it is the way you live your life. When others see you are different, you don’t need to tell them you are different. Let them ask you what has changed in your life that makes you a new person and you can answer, “I’m learning to follow God’s instructions.”
In less than 2 weeks you have turned your life around, you might even be able to notice a change in yourself. The people around you will notice a change, they will see you becoming the person God wants you to be and now is when things might get tough. Don’t be surprised when you hear negative things from your friends who used to offer positive support. Their idea of positive is probably from the world view and you have been working toward seeing things from God’s point of view. Even people who honestly believe they are living a Godly life will find fault and criticize. Just because you don’t do things the way “they” think you should doesn’t mean you’re wrong and it doesn’t always mean they are right either. We are created as individuals; each one is given a gift to reach others in the way God designed us to. Some may be musically talented while others are more academic, some athletic and the majority work in the background, supporting all the others with their individual gifts.
Have you thought about how you affect the people around you? Are you a positive influence in the lives of your family and friends? Is the way you speak to them and even dress around them show that you respect them? Do you present yourself in such a way that people enjoy being around you? Look at physical self, are you happy and satisfied or just content? How can we learn to love our neighbor as our self if we don’t respect our self, enough to care about how others see us? Yes this goes against the world view of they can take me or leave me but don’t confuse showing respect to others by the way you present yourself to “showing off” or being something you are not. Would you feel comfortable with a doctor who didn’t brush their teeth or comb their hair and dressed in pajamas? Probably not, and learning to respect yourself and others is the first step to learning to love others as yourself, Leviticus 19; 18.
This might be a difficult change to make for some and it may take the most work. We live in a society today that doesn’t make human interaction a priority and that means we don’t practice being around each other enough. While texting and email may be one way to communicate, if we speak in the same manner as we text we show a lack of caring for the person we are with. When we demonstrate respect and use those social skills, the people around us feel compelled to do the same. If we act like animals the people we are around will show a lack of respect to us. God wants us to be His example in the world, He gives humans the power of speech and action, use them to be a positive influence on the people around you and think about how much better you begin to feel inside. When you smile, some people think you are happy, others wonder what you have been doing.
For the last 2 weeks of your first month, keep up the good work and keep practicing showing respect for others. Continue daily with your prayer and study time and don’t neglect your body. Plenty of work and exercise, food that is good for you and rest.
Day 30, time to look at the first month. Have you been consistent? Be honest, have you really been waking up and giving thanks and praise, studying and beginning your day with God’s positive words? Have you been working on your social skills and showing others respect by your actions and appearance? If you have, GREAT! If not, why? This will only work if you want it to work. No other person is able to step into your life and change it for you. You are the one and if you need to start over then begin again.
Now that you have gotten this far you can believe that you are well on your way to following the basic instructions God gave us; Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. Deuteronomy 6; 5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Yes, believe it or not when you decide to follow God’s instructions you are showing Him respect and love. When you try to live your life according to the idea He has for you (Jeremiah 29; 11) you are demonstrating to Him that the gifts He has given you will not be wasted. God doesn’t want to hear we love you; God wants to see we love Him. Our actions and our decisions are how we show that love.
If you have been showing respect to the people in your life, practicing those social skills and smiling, then you are demonstrating love for others. (Leviticus 19; 18) People need to be respected, for some it is easy to show respect while others take a lot of work. Sometimes the best way to respect someone is to keep plenty of space between you and them. The command is to love you neighbor, that doesn’t mean we need to hold their hand and sing “Kum By Ya” some people, especially those who choose to reject God need to observe us from a distance. They need to see that it is how we live our lives that’s makes us happy and able to maintain a positive attitude in this crazy world.