Are you observing Lent this year?

Not belonging to a denomination that observes Lent, I’ve never really understood it until a few years ago.  But since then, every year, I’ve asked The Lord what He would like for me to do to participate in these special 40 days.  For those of you who are like me, and aren’t too informed about Lent, here is some information I found helpful:

The purpose of Lent is to be a season of fasting, self-denial, Christian growth, penitence, conversion, and simplicity. Lent, which comes from the Teutonic (Germanic) word for springtime, can be viewed as a spiritual spring cleaning [Jennifer here – like “Spring Cleaning of the Heart Posts 1, 2, and 3]: a time for taking spiritual inventory and then cleaning out those things which hinder our corporate and personal relationships with Jesus Christ and our service to him. Thus it is fitting that the season of Lent begin with a symbol of repentance: placing ashes mixed with oil on one’s head or forehead. However, we must remember that our Lenten disciplines are supposed to ultimately transform our entire person: body, soul, and spirit.

In praying about being transformed body, soul, and spirit, I felt The Lord lead me to something different for Lent last year.  Instead of giving up something (like chocolate, shopping, facebook, etc – of which, unfortunately, my fleshly self would find a quick replacement), The Lord led me to ADD something to my life – as unto Him – for His glory in my body, soul, and spirit.  He called me to commit to add a few healthy habits and to exercise my body on a consistent level – for Him.  Not so that I would look better in my clothes or feel better about myself.  But just For Him.  For His purposes in and through my life.  It was a sweet time, a true blessing to add as unto the Lord.

But this year the Lord is leading me to a fast again. A denial of indulgence in the overage.  In all areas.  Over eating, over time-wasting, over spending, over sleeping, over speaking…  A silent moment by moment surrender of the overage to The Lord for His use to do with as He pleases.  I’m not capable of this kind of gift.  He must do it through me.  And I must love Him by obeying and staying consistently close to Jesus, depending upon His strength to restrain and refrain when my mind, body, and mouth want to continue on full speed ahead.  It will not be easy.  But it will be good.

Ashes mixed with oil.  Death to self empowered by the Holy Spirit. Shaped by the Grace of God and the Cross of Jesus Christ.

I say out loud that I love Him with my all. 

Now it’s time to fully live like it.

“Make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed.

We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!”  Romans 13:11-14 MSG

 “God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation’s available for everyone! We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life.

This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness.”  Titus 2:11-14 MSG

Energetic in goodness…  Energetic in Godliness… turning our backs on indulgence… not squandering these precious daylight hours. 


About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com