Today is Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of Lent. Lent is a 40-day (excluding Sundays) journey marked by Christians for repentance, fasting, reflection, and ultimately celebration. The 40-day journey represents Matthew’s account of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. During this season of Lent, believers are encouraged to journey through the wilderness (so-to-speak) with Jesus while focusing on Jesus’ life, ministry, sacrifice, and eventual resurrection.
As Christians, we believe Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for the sin of all humanity. While all of humanity falls short of God’s glory we have the ability to offer our bodies as living sacrifices in appreciation and worship to God.
During this 40-day journey, take note of the sacrifices you can make to glorify God. Be sure to make sure this journey is to draw near to God and to offer Him all the glory and not self-seeking. For example, some people give up junk food to lose weight. While that’s a good practice for our own lives, the sole purpose isn’t to draw close to God.
Fast and pray, read Scripture and demand Satan and his fleshly desires to flee from you. Give it your all – if you mess up, get back up again and start over. No one is perfect!
I like this quote from the great German-American poet and novelist, Charles Bukowski:
“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”Bukowski
May the Spirit of God guide you in your journey this Lent. As you seek Christ, I pray that God would open the doors that you will find Him.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, guide us all in this Lenten journey. Help us to understand true sacrifice as we give up of our own desires, our own wants, and seek Your truth and Your will in our lives and in our world. Amen.