During Lent we traditionally give up things as a sacrifice like chocolate, alcohol, soda, meat on Friday, Girl Scout cookies, and the like. (Why is National Girl Scout Cookie Day in the middle of Lent anyway?) Those are fluffy types of sacrifices.
Lent is the time period where Jesus was driven into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights by the Holy Spirit after his baptism.
Matthew’s and Luke’s account said that he fasted. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all said that he was tempted by the devil.
This picture was taken in the desert in Dubai. Sand and a few sparce trees were all I could see for miles. Jesus was alone, alone with his thoughts in an equally sparce place with Satan tempting him.
The pandemic has been our desert for a year now, isolated many times with our thoughts. There’s a lot that we have given up, not by choice, seeing family and friends, hugs, attending church, the natural rhythms of our days of commutes and office hours and common activities outside of our homes.
Through this time, though, it’s made us think about what is most important to us.
At the end of his time in the desert, he told Satan to get lost (my paraphrase). And then, Jesus immediately began his ministry, out of this desert time.
I wasn’t able to find anywhere in Scripture where Jesus was tempted again by the devil. (Any scholars out there, please enlighten me.) : ) Once he told him to get lost, he was never bothered by him again.
Give Up These Behaviors for Lent and Always
Giving up what I called those fluffy sacrifices are good if you are not treating your body well by overindulging in such things. But what I want you to think about giving up are behaviors that rob you of joy and stop you from becoming all that God created you to be.
If you constantly doubt yourself and your abilities, you need to stop that thinking. Give up self-doubt so that you can do what God calls you to do. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
Know that the gifts and calling God has placed in you, can’t be taken away. For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable – Romans 11:29. So, there is no reason for you to doubt what God has equipped you to do.
Give up comparing yourself to others, where they are on their journey, how they look, what successes they have had and maybe you haven’t. Each has a particular gift from God, one having one kind and another a different kind – 1 Corinthians 7:7. However that may be, let each of you lead the life that the Lord has assigned, to which God called you.1 Corinthians 7:17
Give up worry. Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Matthew 6:34
Jesus is always our example. James tells us, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”
We all will struggle with fear, anxiety, worry, and self-doubts, but “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
It’s so important to surround ourselves with others in community for love and support. When we do, we find out that we are not alone! The following are two opportunities to connect to community.
If you are a woman author, speaker, entrepreneur, coach, business owner, Women of Audacious Faith is a group of Christ-centered women who fellowship together to grow their faith and their business. Find out more.
Throughout the year, I’m holding a series of online retreats. Just in time for Easter, the ultimate season of hope, I will be hosting a Hopecation. Find out all the details and book your Hopecation.