Worthy is the Lamb: Halleluyah!
Lent, an important time of the year, begins today with Ash Wednesday until we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Lent, a gentle reminder of repentance, helps us look unto Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith. To the consumer world, the big feast is Christmas, while for Christians, the genuinely great feast is Easter because without Easter, without the Resurrection, we would not have the gift of salvation. Some misguided theology could make Lent a burden rather than a blessing, a tool to make us more Christ-like. Many of us have mixed feelings about Lent. However, Lent is more than a way of gaining God’s favour. It is a means of repenting our sins and consecrating ourselves to God.
The questions are, have you lost sight of what Lent is all about? How long have you practiced Lent as a spiritual renewal or dependent on giving up something obvious? There is nothing wrong with temporarily giving up something you love, but true Lent is a time to repent of sin and walk closer to God. According to John Henry Sammis in his hymn, to walk with God is to walk ‘in the light of His word.’ It is to ‘do His good will’ by giving up anger, worry, fear, gossip, and other works of the flesh. This makes spiritual sense in obedience and trust in the Lord. Lent is a time to conquer a lifetime of unadmitted addictions, sin, deep-seated anger towards others or oneself, unforgiveness, pride, and fear that had plagued us and hindered our Christ-likeness. So many want to please others that they can never say no to anything. Lent provides a perfect time to evaluate our weak areas and our relationship with God and others and discover what we truly need.
As a prophetic liturgy, Lent is a time to consider the biggest hindrance in our life to discover our Christ-like true identity. Lent is a time to take our issues before God and look up any Scriptures that address the subject. What does God say about this issue? Then pray over those passages and ask God to give you insight into what is going on in your heart and mind.
What would it look like to give up this issue for 40 days? Johannah Reardon says, ‘when we give up chocolate for Lent, it’s fairly simple to know how to give it up, but when we give up a character quality, it can be much more difficult.’ For example, if you have determined to give up anger because it has been a lifelong problem, you will need the Holy Spirit’s help. Write down the passages of Scripture you looked up on anger and keep them handy, so you can read them repeatedly over the course of the 40 days. What you do over 40 days with the help of the Holy Spirit could become your lifetime habit. You will discover that what you are gaining is more than what you are giving up because you are doing it to experience the power and joy of the Resurrection personally.