Your Lent experience is your moment at the well. It is your opportunity for God to pour his Living Water into your dry spirit. Your focus should not be, "How do I make it 40 days without this thing that I’m so used to consuming?" Instead it should be, "How can I open myself up to God over the next 40 days to have a life-altering, soul experience with the Father?" In order to have that experience you must be willing to delve deep into God’s word, and you must be willing to speak to, and take the time to hear from, God through prayer.
Many of us look at Lent through the eyes of our flesh, believing we won't able to do without that thing from which we’re fasting for 40 days. However, the long-term benefits of sacrifice outweigh the short-term pleasure of pleasing our flesh. You see, Lent can be a beautiful experience where you are no longer distracted, and can hear God’s voice clearly. The Lord will use those 40 days to plant a seed in your bosom that will blossom in the next season of your life.
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God loved us enough to bear the pain of persecution, be beaten and ridiculed by those he helped and healed, and endured the crucifixion in order to fulfill the prophecy so that his death and resurrection would yield freedom for you and me. Now that is true love and “neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creations, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).
We must be obedient to be used by God. Our obedience is our way of letting God know that our spirits are willing and that we are ready to be molded by him. It is our way of informing God that we want to participate in His plan, that we want to be used by him to bless others. More importantly, our obedience opens the door to the most important relationship of our lives, with God, our Father.
The Christian Standard Bible’s (CEB) translation of John 15:7 states: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you”. According to Webster’s Dictionary, to “remain” means to “stay in the same place”, to “continue unchanged”, and to “be part of, not destroyed, taken or used up”. These three definitions offer vital insight into understanding what and how God wants us to develop relationship with Him.
Our spirits wither when we are not connected to the True Vine, our Lord and Savior. You can find evidence of this in your life. It looks like toxic relationships filled with chaos and confusion; affiliations with people who have no business being in your life; bad choices you keep making; wounding yourself by speaking death over your life; not recognizing that you are a child of God. These withered experiences take you right in the fiery furnace of life…but there is hope!
We all have a habit of telling God what we're going to do. These conscious, or subconscious, actions show up when we decide we want to do what we want to do, when and how we want to do it, with minimal input from God. We don't call on Him to intervene until we're lost and our lives are in shambles. When will we decide that doing it our way isn't working? When we hit rock bottom.