I am told that the training to be a Navy Seal is intense—very intense. However, there is one particular week during this training known as “Hell Week.” It is the worst of the worst—physical and mental anguish, but with a new dimension added: an out known as the Bell! At all the training events that week, there is a bell close by. All the trainees are told where the bell is (within easy access to each of them). Anytime during that week, if the trainee becomes so exhausted, so hurt; so cold, all he has to do is ring the Bell and the pain stops. No more punishment to his body. But there is a consequence: he is no longer eligible to become a Navy Seal. He leaves. He quits. So, the motto goes, “Don’t ring that bell!”
So, why do they train with this much intensity? If you want to be stronger, you must lift more weight. You need to make your muscles groan. If you want to learn, you must discipline yourself to study. If God wants to make you a better person, He does it through “distress” or “trials.” God never said our lives would be easy, but our trials are His training ground for us. He is making us ready for the purpose He has made us for.
Satan’s goal is to separate us from our faith to prevent us from fulfilling our purpose. He is trying to make our trials seem so bad that we abandon God. We stop going to the Word, we quit our purpose, we get distracted. He may attack our health, but he’s after our faith; he may attack our marriage, but he is after our faith; he may attack our finances and our job, but he is after our faith. He places the Bell of Life in front of us—alcohol, drugs, divorce, quitting . . . Don’t ring that bell!
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to have you, to sift you like wheat, but I have pleaded in prayer for you that your faith should not completely fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen and build up the faith of your brothers.”
We pray to You, Lord, for ourselves and those we pray for. Help us! Give us the strength today to take one more step towards the purpose You have created us for. To have the courage and conviction to keep away from those “outs” created by the world to distract us from You. Grant us the wisdom to realize that sometimes we need to ask for the help of others when the urge becomes too great to handle—and that it’s okay for us to accept this help. But most importantly, Lord, as You prayed for Simon Peter, we ask Your intercession into our lives to keep us Yours. We will not ring that bell! We will never give up!
Have a great day.