Everyday I come to my apartment complex and play a few games of 9-Ball by myself. I have a good time - and I get some good practice. The greatest reward is that you win every time. This is what the following post is about.
When we play games with ourselves - or when we study by ourselves we don't get the full benefit. Regardless if we're studying God's word, a class, or anything else. The only way we will challenge ourselves and learn anything is if we take the chance and ask others to help us. No matter what we're doing, we must have someone to challenge what we are saying. That's part of what this blog is - a way to reach a mass of people and have them challenge what I'm saying; a way for them to ask me questions so that we can all understand what God is trying to tell us. I encourage everyone to have some form of expression that can be shared with people so that others can look at it and challenge what they are saying and ask questions about it.
Even God challenged the beliefs of His disciples - He did this to ensure that they knew what He was saying. He wanted to make sure that the leaders He was sending out knew exactly what He would do. While I'm not saying I'm in any way, shape, or form blessed with the exact same knowledge and wisdom that the disciples had - I do know that we must challenge each other the same way that we are accountable for each other; if for nothing else than to gain a better understanding of the Lord's text.
And not just the Lord's text, but his meaning. Let's face it - Jesus loved parables, and even though He told us the meaning - we still must understand and relate that to what that means in our modern life. When you ask a friend if they are alright and they say, "Fine," yet look like something is clearly wrong, you don't just accept it do you? No, you pester them until you find a way to help them with the problem. I understand that this is a slightly backwards way of explaining this; but just as you pester that friend, you must pester the Lord's word until you figure out the meaning and interpretation to apply that to your life. And to do this properly you must have someone with whom you can challenge and ask questions. When you come to a conclusion, you may not always be right - in fact, more times than not you'll probably find yourself wrong in some way. However, when you work with someone and have them challenge you, you find that you can interpret things in a much clearer way. And when they challenge you, you find that you are challenging yourself to summon answers from a deeper place than the shallow answers you come up with on your own.
This is why people have a tendency to talk with God - He can challenge you in ways you could only dream about. Pray that He can challenge you enough that you can come up with the answer to that question of Faith you've been struggling with. Pray that He can challenge you enough to want to share His word to numerous followers. Pray that He can challenge you enough to live for Him. He will challenge you. Welcome it - it's the only you'll grow in His image.