Tonight, I was reminded that lent – a season of giving things up – is approach in about 2.5 months. Many can stand on a particular side of the fence on the topic of lent (in terms of supporting lent). It can be used for worshiping our Father and Savior. Or perhaps, it can be used as an act of religion where we are doing – only our faith is nowhere to be seen. We know from the Pharisees in the New Testament that we can easily do things without our hearts and faith in the equation, and it profits nothing (if our faith isn’t involved). If our motives are wrong, we miss “the One main thing” which is Jesus the Christ.
Here’s the thing: As followers of Christ, we should place ourselves in seasons of stepping away from things to see how they affect our walk with Christ. I have done that for particular things. Does it have to be those 40 days before Easter? No, certainly not. If you regularly participate in it, you have to be careful that it isn’t being done out of habit. We have to check our hearts.
On the topic of lent: Why, wait? We need to repent of our sins and turn to God now. We should remain steadfast and determined to remove things that hinder our walk with Christ. Giving something up for lent, is typically done to get closer to God (unless we have our motives wrong and do it out of habit or because others are doing it). Why limit ourselves to give something up for God – to only once a year? We are called to “die to ourselves”, so we may “live for Christ”. Exchanging our desires for His.
In Mark 2:19-20, Jesus teaches that we will fast while He is away. The question is, are we? One last thing concerning this topic: If we are fasting (giving up things for the sake of God) things that God instructs us to stay away from, we are doing it all wrong. We need to repent, turn from those things, and turn to Christ. He is good, and deserves all of us! What has God been laying on your heart to surrender and give over to Him? What is He calling you to step away from? What are your experiences with lent and fasting?
For more on lent, visit Got Questions.