Finally the lent season is over and we are heading into the Easter season. For the first time in my life I gave up something for lent. I gave up watching movies and series (Entertainment) for 40 days, I kind of only lasted for about 32 days. But I enjoyed it, it was a great discipline and revealed a lot of my sins and my heart. I would like to share with you some of these lessons God has been teaching me for the past 40 days.
- Is Jesus My Everything? For the first time in a while God has all my attention, I don’t have any new movie to lean on whenever I have something on my mind. I was able to just focus on what is going on in my mind and heart, i was able to see what really makes me happy and gives me joy. I found that I dont always find my joy and happiness in Christ, which made me ask myself “Is God your everything”? Do you love him more than you love the things of this world? Does how I spend my time and the things i enjoy reflect the heart of a disciple? These are some of the questions I have had to ask myself, I’m currently learning to run to Jesus and make him the hearts true desire.
- God Has A Plan For Salvation. And my good works are not part of that plan, salvation is through His son Jesus and by grace through faith. There is nothing I can do to earn it, so whether I failed to finish my 40 days, or missed some of my days, I am not earning God’s favor. All lent did is help me build discipline and grow in my faith and knowledge of God. I cannot earn God’s love, he loved me before I even was a believer and nothing that I do can change that. Over the 40 days of lent, I found myself thanking God more for sending Jesus Christ and that salvation is not based on my own merits but on him alone.
- Discipline Is Important. Most of why I was practicing lent was for discipline, and I learnt more than I thought I would. Discipline is the act of dying to self habitually and daily to the point that it becomes a natural part of your life(my definition). Discipline is a conscious decision you have to make every single day. It is possible to be disciplined in the wrong things, as Christians let us be encouraged to be disciplined in the means of grace that he has provided for us(prayer, bible study, fellowship with the saints).
- Is God Glorified In How I Entertain Myself. I enjoy watching a good movie or following an interesting TV show, these are my usual sources of entertainment. Because I couldn’t watch these for the past 40 days, I had the time examine the things I watch and if they really glorify God. A friend of mine once taught me this as aguide for what I watch “Would Jesus watch this show with you?” This might seem extreme but as Christians we are trying to grow in our holiness. We are trying to be as close to God as possible not “as far away as we can and still be saved”, the kind of entertainment we partake in either draws us closer to God or further away.
- What Else Do I Need To Die To? I have now become more aware of my sinfulness and some sins that I easily overlook and pretend they do not offend God. I would like to be more active in killing sin and murdering my flesh daily not just for 40 days but for the rest of my life.
Overall lent was a great period of reflection and self-examination for me. I don’t know if I am ever going to do it again but I would encourage everyone to take some time out from something you really enjoy at some point. I encourage you all to get in the habit of killing bad habits (disciplines) and trading them in for new good ones. It will not earn you more favor, it will however grow you closer to God. I want to hear from you, have you practiced Lent before? How was your experience? What did you learn? Would you do it again? Feel free to leave a comment or tweet me @iamnotagoddess, I would love to hear from you 🙂