Lent is in remembrance of when Jesus spent 40 days and 40 nights alone in the desert figuring out who he was, what he wanted to do with his life, and how he was going to do it.
He was tempted by the devil to make a choice that would have been a good choice for anyone else. The devil was encouraging Jesus to eat bread since he was hungry. The devil is wise enough to know many small minor temptations will eventually make a person weak but Christ understood his purpose in the desert was to eliminate the need for anything other than his higher power of love.
Jesus also understood his purpose beyond the desert was to use the power of love to change the way the world saw themselves and others from just a life on earth to an eternal spirit.
Jesus was able to resist the temptation of the devil because like you know in the depths of your heart that shame, doubt and fear takes away so much from people’s ability to live a full life, Jesus knew in the depth of his heart that deviating from a path that leads straight to God will ultimately be a path with fewer blessings, riches and gifts.
What is the path to God? Love. God is love. Every choice you make will either bring you or others closer to love or further away from it.
As we are at the beginning of Lent, now is the time to ask yourself, “Which direction am I moving? Toward Love or further away from it?”
Think about your decisions and know that whenever you choose from a place of love, you are following a path that is full of riches, gifts and blessings.
I hold some pretty strong views about substance abuse and have been committed my whole life to avoid using substances that alter my sense of self and my ability to make decisions in everyone’s best interest. I am never tempted by wine or beer or even fruity alcoholic drinks. In my bad moments I could be self righteous that how I was behaving was the “right” way.
But everyone has a coping mechanism for getting through tough moments. While working from home if I had something stressful happening or even if I was bored, I often found myself in the kitchen, grabbing for a cookie or anything else sweet to satisfy my hunger for a sense of peace and fulfillment. It took me several years to realize that my relationship with food was actually the same as an alcoholic’s is to alcohol. I was addicted and it didn’t happen over night, nor was it evident over days. My addiction grew stronger because of many small minor temptations that at the time I decided were inconsequential, but all together over time, they created a new habit that was harmful and made my will weak.
I think it is easy to do the same with our relationship with Jesus Christ. We may be tempted to do other things than make him our #1 priority. I created a 40 Day Challenge to practice putting Jesus first in my life and so far I have completed the first 7 days and already am feeling so good about doing so.
If you are interested, I would encourage you to sign up at the link on the top of this page. As you receive daily devotions, you will be becoming stronger…stronger in your faith, stronger in your sense of self and stronger in your ability to know how to express them both.
Lord, please lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil. Help us to follow your straight and narrow path. Help us to always chose love.