Lent is the season that leads up to Easter. At Easter, we celebrate the victory that Jesus accomplished for us through His death, burial, and resurrection. Lent allows us to prepare for the proper celebration and worship of Jesus at Easter. Therefore, Lent is a season of repentance and reflection. Use this season to get your heart right before God. Use this season to reconnect with the Lord and grow in your walk with Him.Use this season to draw near to God.
Here are 5 keys to having a powerful Lenten season:
1. Lent is more than just fasting from food.It is also fasting from sin. The season of Lent reminds us to focus on our heart before the Lord and to not be so concerned about the things of this world, especially those things that pull us away from God.That is what fasting does. We do without something and use that time and energy to connect with the Lord.But, if our outward fasting does not bring a change in frequency of sin, then what have we really accomplished?Let the fasting from food during Lent empower you to also fast from sin.
2. Lent calls us to be merciful to others like God is merciful to us. Jesus tells a story about the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) where a Samaritan man assists a traveler who has been beaten and robbed.Two religious Jews passed the man by without helping him. May we not be so “religious” during Lent that we miss the chance to be merciful to those around us who need help. If we go through the religious activity of Lent but have no compassion for those who have needs, then we are missing the point of Lent.
3. Lent allows us to focus on praying more and drawing near to God. Lent is that season that ushers us up to Good Friday and Easter. Remember, Good Friday is the day when Jesus willingly died on the cross for our sins. It is our choices, our selfishness, our evil desires that made the cross of Calvary necessary. Lent reminds us to connect more with God and draw near to Him.Through prayer and personal worship, experience Jesus in a fresh way this Lenten season.
4. Lent reminds us to notice those around us who we can minister to because that is how we minister to Jesus.In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus teaches about the sheep and the goats that are separated in the final judgment. The difference between the sheep that were ushered into heaven and the goats that were banished from God’s presence was how they treated others. When we minister to those around us who are suffering, we are ministering to Jesus Christ Himself.Let this time of Lent grow in you a willingness to serve Christ by serving others.
5. The prayer and fasting of Lent ignite God’s desire to pour out His blessings in our life. Some things in our spiritual lives can only be accomplished through prayer and fasting. (See Mark 9:29.)Let the prayer and fasting of this season of Lent draw you nearer to Christ. Then, watch as God pours out His blessing in your life. Walking close to the Lord is the greatest blessing of all. Experience that during Lent and worship the risen Christ this Easter.