Lent like Advent is a season to prepare, a season to draw close to God. In the season that leads up to Christmas and Easter we are much more aware of the meaning behind what we are celebrating…we find ourselves trying to be more intentional in our relationship with Christ. While Christmas is vital in the story of Christ, Easter is what defines what we believe as Christians; without the death a resurrection of Jesus our faith would be meaningless, we would have nothing to put our faith in. “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” 1 Corinthians 15:14
The seasons of Lent and Advent are not scriptural terms, they are not required practice for Christians, in fact some denominations haven’t even heard of Lent or Advent. While they are simply traditions, the goal of what they were started for send a powerful message. A message that we need to dig deeper into our relationship with Christ and what better time than the season of Easter. Lent traditionally is 40 days, which is taken from the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness in Matthew 4. During Lent the focus is on growing in Christ, through Partial Fasting, Prayer, and Bible study.
1) Partial Fasting – “Fasting is the laying aside of food for a period of time when the believer is seeking to know God in a deeper experience. It is to be done as an act before God in the privacy of one’s own pursuit of God.” (C. Robert Marsh, Holman Bible Dictionary) Often our greatest times of growth are when we are taken out of our comfort zone, when we give up what we usually feel like we cannot do without, it displays much more than just willingness, we are displaying our trust to God’s faithfulness…That His strength is greater than our weaknesses. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
2) Prayer – Through fasting enters prayer, our line of communication, bringing it to His feet…talking to the Father in repentance, thankfulness, praise, and worship. The Bible tells us in James 1: 5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God.” When we humble ourselves in fasting and prayer, we are seeking God deeper, seeking wisdom in our relationship with Him.
3) Bible Study – The other piece to the Lent puzzle is studying God’s word…not simply reading quickly through the pages but deeply studying the Word of God. When we are spending 40 days seeking Jesus, the best place to hear from God is right in His word, where He speaks to us, and reveals Himself to us.
Are you up for the task? The challenge? Are you longing to go deeper with Jesus? Pick up your Bible and join us over the next 40 days.