This coming Wednesday (Ash Wednesday) we begin the penitential Christian season of Lent. Lent is a time in which we focus and spiritual disciplines and focus on our lives before God in a systematically disciplined way. The title for the sermon that night will be “Fasting as Food for the Journey.”
Morton Kelsey once wrote, “In contemporary society our Adversary [a.k.a.—devilish things] majors in three things: noise, hurry, and crowds. If he can keep us engaged in “muchness” and “manyness,” he will rest satisfied. Psychiatrist C. G. Jung once remarked, “Hurry is not of the Devil; it is the Devil.”
One of the ways to forestall noise, hurry, and crowds is to practice inward spiritual disciplines. I want to list the inward disciplines and give each a brief focusing definition:
Meditation—is the process of pushing the world back to let God in. Focus on silence and centering on God.
Prayer—not so much talking to God as listening to what God tells us.
Fasting—abstaining from food for the biblical purpose of deeper spiritual connection with God.
Study—the renewal of people involves the renewal of the mind (Romans 12:2). Study is one method.
Individuals can practice each of these spiritual disciplines in seclusion. Each discipline helps us concentrate on encouraging and appreciating the spirit of peace that God promises those who believe and trust. Lent is the time of the year that we walk the path that Jesus walked. We walk with the one who taught us to meditate, pray, fast, and study. To practice spiritual disciplines is to put us more completely in touch with Jesus. May God’s spirit walk with us during our Lenten journey!