Have you ever created a space that was sacred? A time that was solely devoted to worship and to draw closer to the Father? The forty days leading up to the resurrection is the time we celebrate the risen Savior during the season of Easter. Lent isn’t a scriptural activity; it is one created by man but nonetheless, one that can be helpful in our walk with Christ.
There is no mistaking the importance of devoting time to pulling back from the world and focusing in on Jesus; being renewed and refreshed in our walk with Him. This season is a chance to focus on where we are and where God says we should be. A place to say no to the noise around us and to say yes fully to Christ and the Word of God.
We cannot deny the need of devoting an intentional time of sitting with the Lord, not out of habit or ritual but out of intentional Spirit-filled obedience to Him.
Jesus in the Wilderness
When Jesus began His earthly ministry, one marked by His baptism in Matthew 3, we then see Jesus’ next step wasn’t to stand on the temple steps and preach, but He retreated to the wilderness by the leading of the Spirit. He was lead there for the specific reason of being tempted or tested, tested with the intention of proving He is our great redeemer from our enemy, His ultimate victory was on the cross.
Jesus spent 40 days and 40 nights fasting. The enemy began to tempt Him when He was weak from hunger, in hopes of luring Him to sin, enticing Him away from what it was that God had brought Him to earth to do. But, Jesus despite His incredible hunger chose God over temptation, chose faith over fleeting offerings. The enemy never stood a chance against Jesus but lured Him with the temptation to use the power He had as the Son of God. When faced with the temptation Christ pulls the sword of the Spirit from His arsenal of weapons and slays the enemies tactics with the Word of God.
There is something to be said for those forty days of fasting and preparation. In the Jewish culture, fasting was most often accompanied by prayer, Jesus would have done no different. His forty days of fasting and prayer left Him prepared for what the enemy would try to do. It is possible this is why the forty days of Lent is modeled after Jesus’ time in the desert. You see friend, when Jesus focused on prayer, on what was most needed and most valuable, He was ready to do what the Father asked of Him.
What about us?
Are we as prepared for temptation? Are we ready for the tasks that God is asking of us or will ask of us? Certainly, we are not Jesus, but we still have the same miraculous sword that He used. We have the ability not just to know a few random verses but to intimately know the Word of God and the Truth within. We will be prepared with a response that not only protects us but brings life.
As we begin to emerge from winter, we start to see the signs of new life; fresh flowers and blooming trees, many treasures coming back to life after the deadness of winter. Spring renews us and uplifts; it brings warmth to cold places and the sunshine to growing things. Spring is the perfect season to celebrate the resurrection because Christ’s death brought us new life, it revived our dead bodies, it fills us with renewed air in our lungs. It awakens new places in us like the new sprouting flowers of spring.
Let us be challenged to walk this season asking God to breathe new life into dead and dry places in our hearts, to challenge us to grow in ways that can only be stirred by Him. Let us commit to walking with deliberate steps toward the resurrection with our eyes fixed on Jesus Christ and who we are in Him.
We will be looking at three different aspects of creating a meaningful Lent, a purposeful time of renewal in Christ through fasting, prayer, and worship.
This time together will simply focus on these three places; we will be challenged through Scripture and spiritual discipline to grow with Christ. We will meet on Monday’s to start through Lent with Scriptural truth to guide us each week. Whether you have picked up a Lent study already or you are going to follow along right here, I encourage you to seek the most from this time by seeking the most out of your relationship with Christ. Don’t brush off this season as just another religious activity, strive to make it personal, make it intentional.