Posts Tagged ‘lenten’

“The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.” (Isaiah 35:1)

Looking for breakthrough?
Take time to withdraw from activity, media and noise,
and seek Him in a quiet, isolated place…


Here’s a very short little video I made
that expresses my thoughts about the season of Lent.  Enjoy!
“Well, ya got trouble, my friends!
Right here, I say, trouble right here in River City!”
(From The Music Man — an old “boomer” reference — you may not get it — heh heh)

Ahab went to meet Elijah. When he saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?”  (1 Kings 18:16-17)

Well, OK — it’s clear that there are different ways of being troubled. The devil is a con artist, and he and his bad boys can definitely trouble us. But according to the Scriptures, God is sometimes in the “troubling business” as well.

So…here we are in the groovy season of Lent — a perfect time to be troubled by God.  Yahweh’s brand of Trouble is meant to move us to repentance. And Jesus definitely didn’t avoid saying troubling things like:

  • Forgive others or you won’t be forgiven! (Matthew 6:15)
  • Calling Him Lord (talking the talk) is not enough — we actually have to do what He says (walking the walk), or we will miss out on Heaven! (Matthew 7:21)
  • You must deny your own self-interests and seek to build God’s Kingdom first if you want to be His disciple. (Luke 9:23, Matthew 6:33)

Being troubled is never pleasant — but better to be troubled now and respond rightly (via repentance and obedience) than to be tragically troubled later…

Lent… OK, this is how I see it: it’s not a time of obligation or mere self-denial, but an outrageous opportunity. Jesus didn’t go into the wilderness to earn His Father’s love — He already had it. And so do we.

The Wilderness is an opportunity and a time of preparation — preparation for breakthrough! According to the Word, Jesus went into the Wilderness with the Holy Spirit and He came out, after His season of fasting and testing, with the Holy Spirit and Power. (Luke 4:14)

I want to encourage people not to “give up something” but rather to set apart a special season to focus your eyes and hearts on God, which of course may also involve changing our habits and setting certain things aside.

But there is a very big difference between the two, although to an outside observer, they can look the same. Merely giving up something makes a hole in our lives — a painful hole that we are constantly reminded of, until Lent is over and we get to fill it up again (yuk!) — but pursuing God allows the Big Guy into your life in a way that dramatically displaces everything else.

So…don’t give up something in hopes of feeling better about yourself — but rather look at the clutter and busy-ness of your life, and be a Holy Ghost opportunist. Stir up your hope and anticipation! DARE to carve out a special place during this special season that He will graciously fill up.

“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” (James 4:8)

“The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
(Isaiah 35:1)