The 40 days of Lent is not about giving up chocolate, soda or computer games. It is not about giving more in the collection plate, or serving once a week at the soup kitchen. These are all good things, but they are not necessarily all that Lent is about. It is about meeting God on the road to the Cross and dying to our self.
Self is a powerful person. I don’t believe there are many of us who have not planted “ourSELF” firmly on the throne of our life. Giving ourself totally over to God and having Him sit on the throne of our life means sacrifice – sacrific of SELF.
The 40 days of Lent is a annual retreat where God’s children imitate Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness. Forty has always been a significant number in Scripture. Besides Jesus, Moses spent 40 on the mountain to seek the face of God. The people of Israel were in the wilderness for 40 years in preparation for their entry into the promised land. Elijah fasted for 40 days as he journeyed in the wilderness to the mountain of God. All of these examples were people in a process of preparation. Jesus was preparing for His earthly ministry which He knew would lead up to his death and resurrection.
We are called to be in a state of preparation these 40 days of Lent to celebrate the feast of Easter, our Christian passover. The original idea of “giving up something for Lent” was for God’s people to die to self and give their SELF over to God. God sent His only Son to DIE on a cross to be the final sacrifice for our sins. He wants us to take up our cross, die to our SELF and follow Him.
So instead of giving up something frivolous for Lent that you have no intention of giving up forever, try instead to focus on good spiritual habits that you can establish during this 40 day preparation in honor of Christ dying on the cross for you. If you don’t currently have a specific time of devotion where you read Scripture and pray, establish a time. If you have trouble always being in control of your life instead of letting God have control, deny yourself – even if it is just little things. Example: you walk in the break room and there is a box of warm donuts there, deny yourself and give glory the God (don’t even tell anyone you did it) or someone cuts you off in traffic and you want to scream at the person who did it, deny yourself and pray for them instead (don’t even tell anyone you did it). Be creative this Lent season. What you do, do it so that God is more in control of your life and your SELF is less.
EASTER is coming soon! Alleluia!
22 And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.