A Quick Guide To Understanding What Is Lent & How It Can Help You
To answer the basic question what is lent? Let’s first understand where lent came from.
Jesus was tempted in the desert, while fasting, for 40 days by the devil before he was crucified. (New Testament)
And again when Moses (Old Testament) went on the mountain to get the 10 commandments, where again a fasting occurred for 40 days and nights before as he spoke with Lord.
Read Exodus 34:28
Notice a common theme in both cases so that we can learn how to applies these themes to lent:
- We all get tested.
- We may all wander around in the desert before moving forward.
- Although we get tested, being tested is not a reason to fail.
So what is Lent?
Lent is about drawing closer to God though fasting (check out my blog on the benefits of fasting). The whole point of fasting is not just about the food, but it is about giving up something that you love, during the entire season. This is not to punish you, but to help prove to yourself and to show God that He is all you need and all the superficial stuff you have around you is just that. Superficial. It is also a way to learn how to master your flesh and to show your body (that is where the hunger part comes in) it is not in control but that you can show mind over matter. You can read my blog here to learn more on spiritual fasting.
Giving up something can come in many forms, food, electronics, negative thinking, or sweets. I personally do not think that God cares what you give up BUT it does need to be meaningful to you so that when you give it up it is struggle and it causes you to be tempted.
You may ask why you would want to temp yourself?
I am glad you ask, you want to do it so that you can show that you are the master of your emotions (read my blog here) and that your brain can control your flesh (read my blog here on that). Once you have mastered having will power in the face on temptation, I believe it will strengthen your mind and your spiritual understanding.
So during Lent, I want you to give up something. And every day of lent I challenge you go above and beyond to draw close to God. It is not enough to just give up something, but to draw closer to God in the process and to improve yourself as a person. Your goal is to hear from God (click my blog here and here to read more on how to talk to God). And to learn to master you flesh (check out my blog on works of the flesh). Temptation is all around us. But through lying, jealously, promiscuity, stealing, or cheating on our significant others. You name it, there is something about your flesh that is tempting you to do something that you are not suppose to do.
If you look at both Jesus and Moses wondering around in a middle of no where is not fun, especially without food. What they were required to do during those 40 days was not easy. Their physical body was hungry and weak. But what they were trying to do was not pay attention to what their physical body was telling them to do and use their mind and belief in God to overcome what their physical body was telling them they needed. And that is the sole purpose of lent.
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