We are rolling into the second week of Lent. I’m not Catholic so I didn’t grow up practicing the tradition of giving something up for the forty days leading up to Easter. But my best friend is Catholic and I’ve started participating in the forty day fast. I don’t always give something up, sometimes I decide to start doing something instead. The point of the lenten fast is not what we give up, but that we install a reminder to look to God throughout our day.
This year, I decided to practice Daniel’s habit of praying three times a day. Morning, noon (or close to) and night. So far, I’ve done a decent job, though at times my noon prayer slides to mid-afternoon. Morning and evening are easier because I read a devotional at both these times and use that as a cue to pray. I have also identified certain areas for prayer at each interval. In the morning, I have specific prayers for loved ones. In the afternoon, I thank God for what I’ve done to that point and ask for guidance in the rest of my day. In the evening, I thank God for His provision and presence.
I’m also reading through the Bible chronologically this year and one thing I noticed that I haven’t before is all the reminders God sets in place for His people. The feasts He ordains are to remind His people that He is their God (Leviticus 23), the commands for Sabbath (Exodus 20:8 among others) and Jubilee (Leviticus 25) remind them that God is their trustworthy provider and desires their rest, not just their work. The tassels on their clothes remind them that God is walking with them and that His commands are to lead them along His path (Numbers 15:39). Even the numerous sacrifices serve as reminders to the people that God is holy and to be honored. His laws provide guidance and His mercy allows us to draw near.
This realization makes Lent more than just tradition or religious ritual but an act of remembrance and honor. If you practice Lent, I pray that your fast, whatever that looks like, serves to remind you of who God is, what He’s done, and how much He loves you. I pray that whether you participate in Lent or not, that you follow God’s call to remembrance in whatever way best fits into your life. That could look like a new habit, a new schedule of fasting or praying, or perhaps wearing a certain ring, watch, or even simply changing your phone’s wallpaper to remind you to look up and seek God’s presence throughout your day.
Sometimes we all need help remembering to pause in the midst of our busy day. The act of inviting God into each moment will make a huge impact on your daily life. I find that when I do this, my day goes better, things generally run smoother, and when they don’t I handle the problems and challenges with more wisdom and grace than I normally could. The good experiences are amplified and the troubles become speed bumps rather than roadblocks.
As we continue towards Easter, let us remember and be grateful for the sacrifice and gift of Jesus. Let us walk in faithfulness and honor God in all we do. This is a tall order, one that I’m sure I’ll fail at from time to time. But I know that with God’s help I can, we all can, continue to grow and mature in our relationship with our Savior.
May small remembrances spark the fire of devotion in followers of Christ.
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I want to follow Jesus! How do I get started?
“This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us: He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.
1 John 4:13-15
If you are ready to join the family of God, simply believe and ask. You can choose your own words or pray the prayer below. God hears your heart, simply confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and let the Spirit lead you.
“Father, I want to be yours. Forgive me of my sins. I believe that you sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to die in my place. I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior and thank you for the gift of salvation through Him. I invite the Holy Spirit into my heart and surrender my life to You. In Jesus name, Amen.”
Feel free to spend time just talking to God and sharing your heart with Him. Let Him speak to you and listen as He leads you forward into new life. Welcome to the family.
Need to talk or have questions? Feel free to reach out and contact me.