“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Proverbs 29:18

Most modern men seem to have completely forgotten their God given purpose and vision for manhood. Distractions have taken over and robbed the majority of men of their joy in the journey of life. It is the duty of every man to get a clear vision and purpose for their life inspired by the Holy Spirit through the scriptures.

In the parable of the sower, Jesus spoke of seed sown among the thorns. (​​Matthew 13:22) It represents the man who hears the Word of God, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, and it becomes unfruitful, overrun by weeds and thorns. The same seed, the Word of God, sown on the good soil, however, produces a harvest of 30, 60, 100.

Which is your life? Good soil producing fruit? Overrun by thorns? Or perhaps mostly good soil, but with annoying weeds that keep on sprouting?

The deceitfulness of the world is only going to get stronger and more prolific; but do not fear; the grace of God also abounds for those who want to receive it.

This challenge is an opportunity to receive the grace of God, fix your eyes on the goal, and run the race set before you.


Creating a Vision Statement

Pursue the spirit of surrender, change and growth as you ask the Holy Spirit to help you write a vision. Make it achievable, concrete and measurable.

Before the Challenge

Let’s craft a vision and commit to it for the 40 days, and beyond.

  1. Start with prayer and surrender to the Lord. Invite the Holy Spirit to guide you each step of the way. 
  2. Begin with taking an honest assessment of your life, firstly before God, and then later you will share it with your brothers;
    Ask yourself these questions:
    1. Where am I? And where do I want to be?
    2. Who do I want to become through this challenge?
    3. Who do I want to be at the end of my life on earth? What do I want to be remembered for?”
  3. Next, articulate clear reasons and goals for change and growth:
    1. Why do I want to change?
    2. Who do I want to change for? 
    3. What specifically do I want to change?


  • Why do I want to change?
      • To bring glory to God.
      • To live in the fullness of life.
      • To help other men become free too.
  • Who do I want to change for? 
      • For my brothers
      • For my wife and children (future wife and children.)
      • For my friends and community.
  • What specifically do I want to change?
    • I want to be completely free from pornography, over-drinking, over-eating, unhealthy media, wasting time, wasting talents etc.
    • To be free from some other dependency or attachment.
    • To be free from depression, anxiety, loneliness, jealousy, envy, unforgiveness etc.
  1. Craft a VISION statement including the three aspects of “Why, who and what.” in regard to the main relationships in your life of God, self, family, brothers etc. It may end up being several sentences.


  • I choose to live fully for God, in every aspect of my life – seeking Him and putting Him first in every decision.
  • I want to be free from anxiety and stress from work, so that I can be present for my wife and children, and have capacity to give to others from the peace and joy that I carry.
  • I want to be completely free from pornography and overpowering sexual desire, so that I can be a strong brother in the Lord for other men, and serve God wholeheartedly with a clear conscience.

  1. Share it with your brothers; get honest feedback, insight. 
  2. Adjust, edit and confirm it.

During the Challenge

  1. Refer to it as needed.
  2. Review and edit goals periodically during the challenge.
  3. Share updates and goal changes with your brothers.


“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37 NIV

When it comes to your own personal connection to God – there is no shortcut. We can learn a lot about God from other people – books, sermons, YouTube messages. We can meet in small groups, large groups, conferences, seminars; online or offline; there are so many blessings to be had. However, we all have to build our own “history with God”, face-to-face, one moment, one day, one year at a time. 

Similar to marriage, your position in your relationship with God is already decided because of the covenant: His grace and completed work at the cross. However, your intimacy, enjoyment, fruitfulness and growth in this relationship is up to you!

You will always need three basic elements:

  • Choice – choosing to desire and pursue a relationship with God.
  • Sacrifice – opening up your schedule and making time; doing whatever it takes to prioritize your relationship with God.
  • Perseverance – committing yourself long-term to knowing Him, and not giving up and not letting failure knock you off course.

We all are born with a deep desire to connect to God. However, we are also surrounded by obstacles, distractions, temptations in this world (weeds and thorns) and we are tempted to give up. 

During FREEDOM40 let’s make it a prayer and a priority to establish a deep foundation in your God connection. Develop and nurture a vision, and persevere in seeking and building your relationship with God.


Everytime you remember, breathe out a prayer to God something like this:

  • Lord, thank-you that I am connected to You in Christ.
  • Lead me to deepen our connection.
  • Help me make time with you my #1 priority in life.
  • Show me more!

Set a goal of 60 minutes per day. Start with half if it is too much of a challenge and work towards it.

  • Read the devotion, memorize the shout and discover God through His Word.
  • Spend ⅓ of your time in scripture meditation. (Including the shout.)

Establishing a Regular Prayer Time

If you don’t already prioritize regular time with God, use FREEDOM40 to create this lifelong life-giving habit.

  • When? 
    • Choose the same time every day if possible.
    • As much as possible make this a priority first thing in the day. Go to bed and get up earlier to make it possible if necessary.
    • Connecting a prayer time to something already in your routine is helpful. Eg. as soon as waking up, before breakfast, on the way to work, during lunch break.
    • Integrate the content with your normal day; keep it in mind during work, leisure time, study, chores; use every opportunity to build your connection to God.
  • Where?
    • Rid yourself of all distractions: phones and devices off. 
    • Set a timer if you’re on a schedule. 
    • Find places where you can relax, be yourself and come alive. Eg. nature, local park, favorite chair/room at home.
    • As much as possible go there daily. Have an alternative location ready if you can’t go to your usual spot.
    • Use time alone to continue the conversation with God. Commuting, walking, riding your bike/motorbike, driving your car, cooking, doing housework, exercising etc.
  • Don’t give up! 
    • Keep trying until you find a long-term routine that works for you and gives you life.

Suggested Prayer Patterns

If you don’t already have your own prayer pattern, consider this one below. Remember, prayer is a very personal thing and these are only suggestions. Keep persevering until you find your own life-giving routine.

3X3 Personal Prayer Pattern 

Daily Verse & Shout (about 25 minutes)

  • Read the daily content of FREEDOM40.
  • Memorise the shout and meditate on it for 10-20 minutes.
  • Use the scripture to talk to God using “TWA” – thanking, worshiping, asking.
    • Thanking: Focus on what God has done for us, in general, and specifically in your life. “I thank-you for…” 
    • “I worship you because You are… “ Focus on who God is – His character and His nature.
    • “Lord, I’m asking… “
  • Write down a few thoughts from this.

Discovery Bible (about 25 minutes)

  • Read the Daily Discovery Passage twice.
    • Use different versions/languages if possible.
    • Write down phrases that stand out.
  • Listen – Invite the Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts and meditations as you ask the following questions:
    • What does this passage teach me about God?
    • What does this passage teach me about people, myself?
    • Write down some notes.
  • Obey – Ask God to show you how to act on what you have read.
    • What is something concrete that I can do in response to this word?
    • Who do I need to share this word with?
    • Write down some thoughts and personal decisions.

Prayer for others (about 10 minutes)

  • Ask God to show you who and what to pray for.
  • Create and pray for your regular prayer list. Include family, FREEDOM40 brothers, co-workers, friends, neighbours etc. 
  • Pray for whoever God puts on your heart to pray for. 
  • Keep a prayer list with you during the day.
  • Use these passages to pray for people if you need: Ephesians 1:15–23, 3:14–21, Philippians 1:9–11, Colossians 1:3–14



Why the Disciplines are So Important

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:25-27

Men thrive in an environment similar to a sports team, where a common goal is clearly articulated and they spur each other along to achieve that goal, excelling both individually, for the team, for their loved ones, and for the fans. On the practice field, it is vital to remember the upcoming championship game; otherwise the practice just becomes mundane, rote, tiresome. 

Many Christian men once had a passion for God and yet didn’t keep their eyes on the prize. Freedom40 is all about considering and planning how to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” Hebrews 10:24

The challenge disciplines are formulated to help “train ourselves in godliness.” (1 Timothy 4:7) but in themselves don’t earn us any points with God! Rather, we are practicing, training ourselves in self-control in the physical realm, so we can bring that strength to the eternal, spiritual realm, where it really matters.

Rely on the Holy Spirit. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Know that it is the Holy Spirit that works in you to bring about His character – including self-control. Constantly turn within – not to self – but to knowledge of Him living in you, empowering you to live in step with Him.

Watch for pride.

What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? 1 Corinthians 4:7

Nothing we do externally impresses God. He is constantly looking at our hearts. Comparison will only lead to either pride or self-pity. Be careful how you communicate your commitment to FREEDOM40. Jesus warns of doing works for people’s approval; at the same time exhorts us to shine our light! Paul tells people to follow and copy his example.

Let the Spirit lead as you humbly communicate about the challenge to others.

Watch for fear of failure.

Many men have tasted failure one too many times and decided that taking on a challenge is not worth the risk. Don’t believe that lie! Give any past disappointments or fears to the Lord. Ask Him to heal your damaged heart. Call to Him, like Peter, and say: “Lord, if it really is you, tell me to come to you on the water.” (Matthew 14:28)

Share your fears vulnerably with your brothers and have them pray with you.

Watch for fear of man.

One of the most common regrets of dying people is that they lived their lives according to other people’s expectations. Don’t let it happen to you! Fear of man will prove to be a trap (Proverbs 29:25) keeping you from being fruitful in what really matters.

If you have overwhelming fear of man, share it with your brothers – consider freedom from the fear of man to be part of your vision statement.

Remember the “cloud of witnesses” and the “joy set before you.”

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

We are eternal beings – this life will be over in the blink of an eye. All that will remain will be our eternal investments – works done unto the Lord in faith, love and obedience. Everything will be tested with fire. (1 Corinthians 3:13-15) 

Let us be found faithful with what God has given us in this life, to hear those words: 

“Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23)

Two things help immensely in this:
Firstly, keeping eternal joy constantly before us. Knowing that life is a vapor, but how I live now counts in eternity. Jesus Himself kept the joy of His eternal Kingdom constantly before Him as He endured the cross.

Secondly, know that we are being cheered on by a huge cloud of witnesses, and one day we will be a part of that cloud ourselves.

The writer of Hebrews mysteriously states that:

… only together with us would they be made perfect. (Hebrews 11:40)

Think of a relay race – somehow, the way we receive the baton, run, and then pass it on to the next generation is of utmost spiritual importance.  May God give us insight in to these things as we:

“… run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

The Disciplines 

During FREEDOM40, you will commit to the following physical disciplines:

Set Disciplines

  • Cold shower (1 minute, before/after your normal bath/shower)
  • Food
    • Fast three meals a week, or one day a week until dinner-time.
    • No sweets, desserts or snacking between meals.
    • No sweet drinks or alcohol.
  • Media
    • No SNS; minimum texting.
    • No screens (except work/study related.)
    • No newspapers, magazines etc. Only uplifting reading etc.
    • Only uplifting music.
  • Exercise
    • Self-determined aerobic exercise. (Recommended 30 minutes, 5 times a week.)
    • Self-determined weight training. (Recommended 5+ minutes per day.)

Flexible disciplines

  • Pray, ask God, and decide on any disciplines to start during the challenge. Examples:
    • Spending regular quality time with friends, brothers, wife/kids etc.
    • Regular jogging, training, walking etc.
    • Language study, musical training, programming, specific reading or study etc.
    • Try something new that you have never tried before, such as composing, writing, painting, etc., things that you have not had time to do before.
    • Cooking, house/environment cleaning, tidying, personal organizing etc.


Worldwide, many men find it difficult to build deep, trusting friendships. A government survey in the UK found that 31% of men confess they do not have a ‘best friend’. The problem in Japan seems to be even more significant, where an online poll recently found that 50% of middle aged men confess to not having any significant friendships. (2022-2)

Deep, trusting friendships are one of life’s greatest blessings; friendships are costly, and take much time and effort, but are worth it!

You could say that Jesus was the ultimate “friendship evangelist”! He chose 12 men to spend over three years with; to share the ups and downs of daily life, as well as the most euphoric experiences as people were healed, the dead raised; and then the storms of persecution, betrayal, the cross, the resurrection and ascension. Jesus shared all these moments mostly with just a dozen men – and particularly with three.

As you embark on these 40 days, take a moment to “take stock” of the friendships that you have, and rekindle a passion and a resolve to both be a good friend, and to build friendships.

The ball is in your court. Significant friendships require three main aspects:

  • Positivity
  • Regularity
  • Vulnerablity

As our Christ-centered friendships are centered around the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, they are infused with faith, love and hope – overflowing with supernatural Kingdom positivity.

As we commit to prioritizing communication and time with brothers we will build a rhythm of regularity.

As we embrace humility and the fear of the Lord, opening our hearts to share one-another’s burdens, we will build deep trust and faithfulness through our vulnerability

Don’t stop once the challenge is over! Keep fanning the flames of each-other’s lives as you continue to journey together.

Spread the joy. Many men are just waiting for someone to reach out and show them the way in these things. Others, although desperately desiring friendship, will possibly be unable to continue at the intensity you model. Don’t give up, and don’t cool down. Just leave the door open and tell them to come back whenever they’re ready.

Let’s pray and believe for a movement of God-centered friendships to spread across Japan and the world.


Make these Commitments to your Brotherhood:

Before the Challenge

  • Commit to do this challenge with 1, 2 or 3 other men (split larger groups) and decide on your means of communication.
  • Commit to share openly and honestly all your communications.
  • Arrange an Orientation Meeting.

During the Challenge

  • Commit to communicate daily through Daily texts or phone calls.
    • As you read, meditate and pray through the content daily, share thoughts and decisions by text or phone.
  • Commit to connect weekly at Weekly Meetings
    • Share updates on goals and disciplines as needed.
  • Commit to praying daily for your brothers. 

After the Challenge

  • Plan to come together at least once for a fun time: hiking, sports, hot-spring, worship night, meal together etc.


Personal Preparation

  • Read through all these notes.
  • Pray about doing the FREEDOM40 challenge. If you sense God challenge you to do it, commit to it wholeheartedly.
  • BROTHERS – Pray about inviting 2-4 other men to do it together with. Share the content.
  • VISION – Create your vision statement.
    • Check the list of disciplines 
    • Create your concrete plan for exercise and any extra disciplines.
  • Arrange an orientation meeting with your brothers.


Orientation Meeting

One or two weeks before beginning the challenge, arrange to get together online or in person.

Before the meeting:

During the meeting:

  • Open with prayer.
  • Choose a Psalm for TWA. Read and pray through it for a set time. (eg. 10 minutes.)  
  • Share brief introductions if necessary.
  • Testimony from an experienced brother. (5 minutes.)
  • If needed, split larger groups into smaller groups of 2-3 people.
  • Each brother share their vision statement.
  • Each brother share their concrete plans for exercise and extra disciplines, if any.
  • Married men, share the response of your wife to the challenge.
  • Everyone take notes from what brothers have shared for future reference.
  • Share feedback if appropriate.
  • Pray and bless one another. 
  • Confirm time and format for next week’s meeting.

Daily Content

  • Prioritize and establish your daily God Connection using:
    • Devotional content.
    • Daily verse and shout (memory passage.) Take it with you all day. Let it be on your lips as much as possible.
    • Discovery Bible
    • Prayer for others, including your family and brothers.
  • Share with your brothers.


Daily Texts or Phone Calls

 “That which is not scheduled is not prioritized.”  Unknown Quote

This simple phrase constantly challenges me. If we value something we will open our calendars and add it to our schedules. A date with your wife, meetings with brothers, fellowship and fun times, special worship and prayer events etc. Unless something comes so naturally that it is ingrained into our lifestyle, we will need to discipline ourselves to create new life-giving priorities in our lives.

It has genuinely surprised us how many busy Japanese men have made time to call and talk on the phone, or even meet up at the local park to talk and pray DAILY! Yes, daily. This is by no means a directive, but rather an encouragement – anything of value in life is going to require commitment and sometimes sacrifice. In this case, committing part of your day to this. Here are some hints:

  • Choose either daily texting or a daily phone call.
  • Choose the best platform for both.
  • For daily phone calls – adjust to the schedule of the less flexible person.
  • Set clear expectations for length of time – communicate and honor boundaries.

Text or phone call content:

  • Impressions, thoughts and decisions based on the daily content.
  • Updates on the disciplines. 
  • Updates on your vision for the challenge, if any.
  • Other prayer needs.

Weekly Meetings

Before the meeting:

  • Choose online or in-person. We suggest online to make a regular meeting more achievable unless motivation is high to meet in person weekly.
  • We suggest a minimum 30 minute, maximum 90 minute meeting – unless you include more fellowship, meal etc.
  • Set clear expectations for length of time – communicate and honor boundaries. 

Meeting schedule:

  • Open with prayer
  • Choose a Psalm for TWA. Read and pray through it for a set time. (eg. 10 minutes.) 
  • One brother share a recent testimony. (max. 5 minutes.)
  • If needed, split larger groups into smaller groups of 2-3 people, especially if time is limited.
  • Each brother share a 2 minute update from the week while answering these questions: 
    • Where are you?
    • Share about any struggles and/or victories this week?
  • Share feedback if appropriate.
  • Pray for one another.

For Married Men

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her… (Ephesians 5:25).

The very best thing you can do to bless your wife, marriage and family, is to go right back to the foundation of your relationship with God, and build from the bottom up.  To build trust and life-long companionship with your wife, you might need to address the brokenness or distractions of the past that have had a negative impact.

During the challenge, you will need to have her on your side, understanding why you are doing it. This may take extra patience and humility to communicate until she understands. Plan well in advance to sit down and talk through the following points:

Share the Four Values

Along with your personal vision for doing FREEDOM40, share an outline of the commitments you will be making to the brotherhood, the disciplines and your daily schedule changes to prioritize your God connection.

Understand that your relationship with her is the most important thing to you under heaven; she must be on your team for this. Be patient and take time sharing your heart if she doesn’t understand straight away. 

Ask her to pray for you.

If your wife is a believer then invite her to partner through prayer. Take this opportunity to nurture regular prayer times together with your wife, if you don’t already do this.

Confess and ask forgiveness for any past failures. 

God may show you things that He wants you to confess and apologize to your wife for. Take time to listen to the Holy Spirit. Are there ways you have let down your wife (children) in the past years? Make a sincere and appropriate apology to them. This type of humility can lead to deep healing and strengthen trust in your marriage and family.

“Is there something I can do to help you?”

This simple question has saved marriages! As you remove the distractions of screens and media from your life for this season, you can take extra time with God in prayer and also practically serve your wife more. Consider asking your wife this question once a day.

Keep family first.

To get the most out of it, it is necessary to take the FREEDOM40 challenge seriously. However, there may be times when keeping the disciplines will lead to disappointment in your wife, children or extended family. Remember that the spirit of what we are doing is heart transformation, and the physical disciplines are secondary – so if they end up hindering relationships then consider putting them aside for that moment:


  • Eating cake or dessert that someone prepared especially for the moment.
  • Enjoying watching a favorite sports team play with the whole family.
  • Joining in wholeheartedly with a regular family celebration; Thanksgiving, Christmas, anniversaries, birthdays etc.

Again, ask the Holy Spirit, and also freely share your decisions with your brothers for their prayer and moral support.