During Lent, people especially remember the time when Jesus spent 40 days and nights in the wilderness.
The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness, where he was tempted by Satan for forty days. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him. (Mark 1.12-13)
It is important to note that Jesus didn’t randomly wander into the wilderness. He was compelled/led by God.
For me, the point of Lent is primarily that we should be open to listening and being led by God.
We know from the other gospels that Jesus didn’t eat anything during his time in the wilderness. Biblically, people fasted to show God that they were serious about something. Sometimes this involved repentance and sorrow but it could also be a way of people showing God how serious that they were in calling on him.
For me, Lent should be a time when we feel especially inspired to make time to talk with God about what really matters.
Jesus had nothing to repent of or to be sorry for, so he must have spent his time talking with his heavenly father about what lay ahead. Through his life and ministry, Jesus would show people what God is like and how they could know God for themselves and this really mattered to him. He spent this 40 day period preparing himself for the mission that lay ahead of him, to tell people about these things but also to give his life on the cross to open the way for people to know God.
Sometimes we treat God like a vending machine. In other words, we only talk to him when there is something which we need or want.
I hope and pray that Lent can be a period where we begin to rediscover what it is to treat God like God, instead of like a vending machine. Wouldn’t it be great if Lent could be a time when we listen to what God wants rather than just droning on to him about our felt needs?
Jesus was led by God and he ended up in a wilderness. Are we willing to be open to what matters for God even if there is a cost involved? Are we willing to be led by God into living for something greater even if it means that there may be sacrifices along the way?
Lent is primarily about going With God, not going Without things.
I want to Go with God wherever he Guides.