My reading today is talking about fasting. From what I learned in scripture yesterday, fasting has a whole new meaning for me. It isn’t about going without food or giving up something I like to do. Anyone can do those things for a short period of Lent, forty days. It’s not about the act itself that matters. Most people who do these practices are really miserable doing it or they are prideful thinking they are doing something spiritual and it makes them look good. This isn’t what God is looking for. He wants us to be humble, which means don’t think highly of ourselves. He wants us to be happy serving Him and not miserable. If we don’t have the joy of the Lord then don’t do it. One day this came to me when I was emptying the washer. I felt God saying if you don’t have joy in your work it doesn’t mean anything. When we deny our fleshly desires, which most of the time translates to ” I don’t feel like it”, when we choose to do it anyway it does entail a type of suffering for us. It goes against our nature and it can be painful. So every time we deny our thoughts, our words, our actions, we are fasting from our sinful nature. This is what God wants for us, to break away from the world of “self”. To set ourselves apart from the main stream of today’s society driven by “self”. The challenge of Lent shouldn’t be what food will I give up or T.V. show but how can I deny “self” today to benefit someone else. What difference can I make for someone today. Can I give my time away? This is a hard thing to do when you aren’t thinking of what’s in it for me. When we reach heaven God isn’t going to be looking at what food I gave up in His name or what show I didn’t watch for Him, He is looking at what I did with my time that has eternal value. What it boils down to is what did I do that was through the Holy Spirit. This should be practiced everyday and not just during Lent. It’s actually the daily walk with Jesus that I’m talking about. Jesus said there will be people He will say, flee from Me, I never knew you. These people are the ones who didn’t walk out their daily lives with Him. Matthew 7:21-23, Not every one who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Lent to Repent
Scripture reading for today is John 3:16-21. It’s all about God’s love for us. How Jesus came to die for our sins and if we will choose to believe we can have eternal life. Jesus came to save, not to judge. If you just believe in Him there is no judgement for you.
Ann says: Today we will keep close to Jesus: we already are loved. We repent of not walking with You, Jesus, every moment which to often leaves us driven hard by pride and fear everyday.
When we really believe Jesus is the Son of God and believe Him when He said, ” I am with you always”, we have nothing to fear. Matthew 28:20, Isaiah 41:10 and John 16:33. When we let pride get in the way and forget we are “children” of God, fear sets in and our peace is gone. We have to continuously remind ourselves who we are in Christ. Satan can try to scare us, but when we know we belong to God, Satan can’t touch us. Mostly when I say this I mean in our minds. His negative thought darts can’t penetrate our thinking anymore. As we know everything that comes into being comes from thoughts first. When I start to feel fear about life or doubt I start saying out loud, “I trust You, Jesus”, as many times as it takes to get back into peace. I will also listen to my favorite worship songs and sing it to God. I feel His presence and fear has to flee. Romans 8:31, What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us,who can be against us? Just like in the song You Make Me Brave, it says: No fear can hinder now the love that made a way. That love is the person Jesus. He made the way for us to enter heaven.