What is Lent? Lent is observed by both the Catholic and some Protestant churches. It begins on Ash Wednesday and continues for six weeks until three days before Easter. Those who participate in Lent, sometimes do so by fasting and usually by giving up things they feel represent a form of self- denial. It is penance to God. Many also take up a short daily devotion during this time.
It is good to keep our hearts pure and to have a closer relationship and walk with Jesus, but what if instead of doing those things on our own for six weeks, we allowed the Holy Spirit to rule our hearts Every Day and allowed him to guide us into living a life free from sin, that is pleasing to God, instead of ourselves? He has given us a new heart if we have accepted Christ as our Savior and repented of our sins. The Bible tells us how we are able to be free from the life we lived before salvation.
Galatians 5:16,22-25 “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”
The plan has been laid out clearly for us and it’s as simple as asking the Holy Spirit to take over for us and to guide us daily, hourly, minute by minute. The Bible also says if any of us lacks wisdom to ask of God. Who do you think is the wisest King in history? I immediately think of Solomon. Why? Because he asked God for wisdom. He knew how to answer every man and to settle disputes as long as he kept his covenant with God. He was sought after for his diplomacy and his way of working things out to benefit both parties in a feud. He spoke with authority, he was wise beyond any other man or ruler. But that wisdom came from above, because he had requested wisdom. It was nothing he had of his own accord. What was his downfall? He quit listening and thought he could handle life on his own. He ran after women. He followed other gods and broke his covenant with God. Solomon Left the Holy Spirit behind. He opened his mind up to sin and destruction by his own doings. God didn’t leave Solomon, Solomon left God! Isn’t that what happens when people get into sin? What ‘gods’ are you following that are in your way? Is it gossip, drinking alcohol, drugs, sexual immorality, listening to those who don’t follow God, little white lies, big lies, complaining, quarreling, jealousy, or do you want to create division in other people’s lives? God made a way of escape for all these things, through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Calling on the name of Jesus can help us resist the temptation; just as he did when Satan tempted him and Jesus told him to leave! The Holy Spirit is our advocate to see us through, he’s our strength.
Galatians 1:4-5 “Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.”
John 20:27-29 “Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop your doubting, and believe!” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!””
John 14:26 “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative-that is, the Holy Spirit-he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.”
I’m not telling you not to observe Lent, I’m saying take the attitude of the season and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you. Let him be the one who leads you away from the things that shouldn’t be in your life, instead of choosing for yourself, as Solomon did and failed. Let the Holy Spirit be the one who chooses and it won’t be self- denial, it will be spiritual atonenent. Let the Spirit guide you and you will not need self-denial, because you will have self-control, as well as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness.