The first time I read about Jesus’ attitude concerning going to Jerusalem to face the cross, I was astonished. Luke 9:51 says, As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. The strong term resolutely implies no turning back. It was a onward journey. Although this passage was not referring to His last journey to Jerusalem, the idea that the time was nearing for Him to be taken to heaven makes it clear that the cross was on his mind. The way I remembered this passage in my mind was that Jesus set his mind like flint to go to Jerusalem. But after my research for this article I discovered that the phrasing is used in Isaiah 50:7 as Isaiah prepared his mind for his difficult journey to do God’s will.
Both of these Biblical Prophets have much to teach us about preparing our heartsfor Easter. It starts with your mindset. You must decide that you are going thereand that you will comply with the sacrifices that are asked of you. You willnot evaluate God’s will, but rather choose to fulfill God’s willin your life. Giving up something for Lent is a wonderful challenge to your mindsetand your will.
Through the years, I have seen God do incredible things through me. Each yearI have asked the Holy Spirit to show me something I can give up for Lent. Inmy practice of Lent, I have not chosen things that would help me break a badhabit, but rather things that I really like that I can enjoy again on EasterSunday. If it is chocolate, I have learned to stock up on the candies I enjoythat only come out at Easter. I eat my first one in celebration of what Jesusdid for me, and in recognition that I don’t even have to give up chocolateto be saved by His blood. I have to tell you, I am rarely resolute when I ampraying about my Lenten fast. Often, there is a little dialogue between God andme about the ideas I receive from Him. I just know that He wouldn’t wantme to live out a Daniel fast—eating only fruits and vegetables and no finefood (desserts, fried food—all the stuff I like). Yet, I have found amazingspiritual victory as I commit to follow where He leads me.
This year in my first article I was teasing about a Lenten fast of speaking onlysweet words to my husband Brian for 40 plus days. It was only to make a pointof how you could make a Lenten fast either to give up something or take on something.I didn’t really mean for God to tell me that this would be a perfect wayto prepare my heart for Easter this year. I tried to tell God that is would bea perfect way for me to fail, but He already knows that, too, and still He encouragedme that this should be my fast.
I have a choice to make: will I be resolute and rebellious? I guess when youthink of it there is no other way to make a Lenten fast. I’m sure I willkeep you informed of how this goes. I hope that you will find some way to revealthat you are resolute about knowing and doing God’s will in your life.It is good for the soul.