Get Rid of the "Lent" in Your Pocket
"So you must live as God's obedient children. Don't slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn't know any better then." 1 Peter 1:14 NLT
Good evening…rather good early morning! The season of Lent officially began for us Western Christians on Wednesday, with the celebration of Ash Wednesday. Lent is symbolic of the 40 days that Christ fasted in the wilderness and was tempted by the devil. Ashes represent mourning and a repentant spirit. Traditionally, the season of Lent is marked by fasting and has evolved that people often give up something, namely meat. I decided that I would give up anything that I feel is coming between me and spending more time with God…and so I would also let go of those things and make a serious effort to give that time to God.
So this Tuesday and earlier today, I got my new bedroom set. When I finally broke down my bed on Monday, I began to clean away things that had been collecting around the room, like lint and dust. Have you ever noticed how annoying dust and lint is? It seems to collect in the most arbitrary of places, like on your clothes, in pockets, corners, anywhere! That made me think…sin is much like that, weaseling its way into our lives and setting up shop there unless we take action. Some things are harder to eliminate than others, i.e. dust bunnies in the corner and that straggling lint that collects on the dryer after you have cleaned the lint filter. But these things must be cleaned away, and the only way to get rid of sin is to repent and ask God to deliver us from it. Likewise, the only way to get rid of lint is to see it and throw it away. But within our own power, we can never truly get rid of all of it, we always have to use a lint remover like tape or something. And I know you know that we cannot eliminate our own sin…but must pray continually to God for deliverance.
The difference is being delivered from something forever and just a temporary fix is in how we live. If we seek to live for God, and do His will, and allow Him to order our steps…then eliminating sin is no big deal–for God that is. It is when we try to keep living like we used to live and do the same things we used to do…then we very soon revert back to our old mind state and behaviors. Romans 12:2 tells us "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will." The only way we can eliminate sin is to give it up completely to God, and renew our minds continually. Why the mind part–because we are creatures of habit. Until you break a habit, you will keep doing it without a conscious thought.
So take that step, or at least recognize that you need God's help because the only way that you can get past where you are is to put one foot in front of the other in hopes of moving on. You will never change for the better while you are still clutching the past for dear life.
"Don't lie to each other. You've gotten rid of the person you used to be and the life you used to live, and you've become a new person. This new person is continually renewed in knowledge to be like its Creator." Colossians 3:9-10 GWT
"No weapon formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of God and their righteousness is of me," says the Lord. Isaiah 54:17