“And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Write these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel’. So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights. He neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.” – Exodus 34:27-28
“And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil, And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry.” – Luke 4:1-2
In July, I started reading the Bible in chronological order. When I got to Exodus, chapter 34 really spoke to me how Moses spent 40 days and 40 nights on Mount Sinai in solitude with God. Throughout the Bible, we can see that “40 days” comes up multiple times, usually representing a time of spiritual growth and discipline.
In Genesis, the Great Flood that lasted for 40 days shows the importance of repentance and how it strengthened Noah’s faith. Jesus also spends 40 days in the wilderness after He is baptized. He is tempted by Satan yet responds with God’s Word and Truth to fight the devil off.
Inspired by these stories centered around 40 days, I felt like the Lord was wanting me to come up with a 40-day plan of my own. In John 15, Jesus speaks about the importance of abiding in Him in order to build spiritual growth with Him. He also teaches us that our love and relationship with God directly impacts how we can love others. In Jesus’ walk, we can see how His relationship with His Father directly overflows into His love and ministry to others.
I am very thankful for the opportunities I have been given in my life to serve others around me in my job, my church, and my community in Birmingham. It is wild to see how much has changed within almost a year of moving to a new city and still transitioning in this season of life. However, I know that my time with the Lord does play a large role on how I am able to lead and love others around me. Nothing comes from my own strength, but through the work of the Holy Spirit within me. I have to be intentional and persist in my time with the Lord so that God can use me in the ways that He wants to.
Within these 30 days of pursuit so far, I have learned that God allows me to walk through challenges to produce endurance and character in my spiritual walk. In the Bible, the 40-day time period that God uses is usually a period where He strengthens the faith of His people by guiding them to seek Him and lean on Him during difficult challenges. God continues to show me that His mercies are new every morning, and He is continually renewing me day by day. Each day, we can grow more in our spiritual walk which is a patient process when we wholeheartedly pursue Him.
I wanted to share some of the routines and habits that I am pursuing during this 40-day period. Here are some listed below if you would like any ideas for your own walk with Christ:
- Only listen to worship music
- Read two chapters of a Christ-centered book each day
- No social media except for spiritual content (either posting or reading)
- Spend an hour with the Lord each morning before you start the day
- Listen to a Christian podcast once a day
- Memorize scripture for 10 minutes every other day
- Commit to discipleship groups and involvement at church
- Two evenings in at home each week for physical and mental rest
- Go on a walk outside for at least 20 minutes a day
God continues to also show me that my spiritual health is a growing process every day that requires patience and intentionality. Yes, there have been days where I have not completed all the tasks I wish I had, or I have fallen short. But, nothing can change overnight. Taking it one day at a time, God offers grace and strengthens us where we are planted. He continues to remind me how seen and heard I am by Him. By turning away from temptation, repenting, and relying mainly on Christ and His strength, He can do so much work within us. I hope this encourages you to pursue Christ more within your day. Maybe start with something small or find a friend to hold each other accountable within your walk and spiritual growth. I would love to hear how this impacts you or what your takeaways are from it.