The Lent That Sticks

Ever since I got saved in August 2010, I have done something to acknowledge the Lent season. I was raised Catholic but that doesn’t have anything to do with it. When I got saved for real, you know when this happens, I had a strong desire to follow Jesus and His teachings. Practicing Lent is not a teaching, it’s something that certain denominational churches have come up with. It’s about observing the 40 days before Easter, representing the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert.

I feel that most people are turned off to observing Lent because they think it’s for the church. I have to say that I am turned off to denominational churches, they are the Pharisees of our day. I am learning more and more about Jesus and how the church of His day hated Him. I know most people don’t know this but it was the church who crucified Jesus. Now I know it was the plan of God but Jesus confronted them on many occasions about how they followed rules but they didn’t know God.

This is what is happening today. People are in church doing church things and they think they have to observe Lent. I choose to observe Lent because of my obedient heart towards God. If you are just going through the motions with an empty heart you are wasting your time and energy. God knows. He sees your heart. That is all He sees for that matter. The things you do or don’t do, doesn’t matter to Him, it’s the state of your heart that counts.

My husband teases me about my Lent devotion. He will say there is Lent all over the table or something funny like that. Today he made another comment like that and something was said to me in my spirit. Whatever it is your doing for Lent season keep doing it. Lent sticks to stuff right? Well, how about letting this Lent stick to your heart and soul? The only Lent that sticks is one done out of love. We love because He first loved us. Out of love we want to please God. Don’t do anything out of obligation, God doesn’t see it or feel it. He wants our love, fellowship, relationship.

I have been reading lately about soaking in His presence and intimacy with God. I found out that I do these things without realizing it just by following the Holy Spirit. I learned from Kim Walker Smith that stopping and talking to God, asking Him questions, this is intimacy with Him. Waiting for His answer, soaking in His presence. The problem we have is we are so rushed all the time and we forget. I have written about this before that forgetting God is the real sin. We have to fight to keep an awareness of His presence. This is what I am aiming for now, to stop and ask the Holy Spirit for direction, what choice to choose, what to say. I want Him in my every moment. This is the Lent that sticks. The Holy Spirit is stuck to you, inside of you, if your a believer, welcome Him, talk to Him, commune with Him. This is what He is waiting for. I read the other day that God is waiting for you to wait on Him! I loved that!

Jesus just wants us. Our belief, faith, love, trust. Following church rules doesn’t bring you closer to Him. Loving Him does.

Be Like Mary

Mary is beautiful in my eyes because of her willingness to obey.  Luke 1:38, 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant[a] of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. I know in my life I have wanted to obey, but couldn’t muster up the ability to do it.  I pray to be willing. I pray this whenever I feel myself slipping back into just wanting to be in my cave. When we look at our circumstances around us and they don’t line up with what God is saying in our heart, we need to trust Him, obey Him, cooperate with Him, to see a miracle! This is when miracles happen! When we are in alignment with God’s divine will. Mary did all this and gave birth to our Savior, Jesus Christ! God’s ways  are higher than our ways, Isaiah 55:8-9, For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

They don’t make sense in our natural minds, but that’s why we need to trust, obey and cooperate. Follow as Mary did and you will experience God in your own life!

About this time last year I watched an awesome movie about Mary called Full of Grace, it is so good!

Survive Or Thrive

One day these two words came to me and I decided some further insight was needed. I felt that it would be beneficial to know the difference between surviving and thriving and living for God’s kingdom. I think of surviving as something wild animals do. They live outdoors, always looking for food and shelter. Unfortunately there are some people who are living this way, just surviving. Matthew 10:31 tells us we are worth more to God than many sparrows, so I know God didn’t intend for us to just survive. How many times has some one asked us,” How are you doing?” and we respond ” surviving.” Well, I don’t know about you but I want more! I want more from my life than just looking for my next meal and wondering if my needs will be met. I remember something Jesus said about the life He gives. In John 10:10 Jesus said, The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]. See, Satan wants us to just survive and not really live. He wants us to be caught up in our own survival so that we can’t focus on anything worth eternal value. Have you seen the show Survivor? You can see from watching this show what surviving does to people. It turns them evil and then adding the love of money to it and they are doomed!  But Jesus said He came to give us life to the full and to enjoy life! In order for us to do this we have to be thriving! And how do we thrive in life? We follow the Holy Spirit. It came to me that if I am truly following the Holy Spirit in every step I take it, He will lead me to the life that is full and I will enjoy it because I know I am in the will of God! Jesus wants us to enjoy our life and to thrive! When we are thriving we can then focus on other people and overflow His blessings to them. This is called Kingdom living.