Today is the first Sunday in Lent, when we reflect on Jesus’ 40-day fast in the desert, and the way the devil tempted him during this time (Luke 4:1-13). Here’s the point I believe God wants us to hear from this passage today:
- Fasting from something makes that something a point of focus for spiritual tension.
- As a result, we’ll experience an increase in temptation related to that something.
- That creates increased opportunities to choose to turn towards God or to sin.
- Thus, fasting creates opportunities for us to turn to God.
Jesus experienced this during his 40-day fast. We experience it when we fast. Fasting creates these intensified opportunities to turn to God. It is the gift of the fast.
How can we turn to God? Here are two ways:
- Select a Bible verse that is meaningful to you and and relevant to what you’re fasting from. Memorise it. Whenever you feel tempted, recite the verse.
- Select a brief prayer that you can easily memorise and recite, e.g. the Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Whenever you feel tempted, say the prayer.
Use the verse or prayer to remind you that you have made a commitment to God. Use it to help turn your focus towards God. Remind yourself that while breaking your fast may, actually, be trivial, remaining true to God is not.
Blessings as you journey through Lent.
Featured image from https://thewellarmedwoman.com/blog/fork-in-the-road/