Thursday, February 27, 2020

Do You Thirst for More? Spiritual Practices, Lent...and My Pursuit of the Almighty

Lent snuck up on me yesterday; but, fortunately I figured it must be close and went online to check the calendar.

Grateful that I'd checked, I readied my heart for the next 40-days of "preparedness."

I truly appreciate celebrating this season.

Not for the "giving up," though sacrifice becomes a "piece" of the preparation for the joyful hope of Resurrection...

Not to prove anything...

Not because I fear anything...

...and, certainly not because someone is forcing it upon me...

It's not a legalistic thing for me.

I make no issue with those who don't participate...

Celebration of Lent is a "me" thing...and, I rather do it according to a mix of traditions (aka: my own way)....

This year it fits perfectly with my pursuit of the Almighty.

Seeking Him.

Watching for Him to explode into my everyday, ordinary world.

I'm adding one specific prayer to my Lenten practices...and one admonition of encouragement from Jesus, as well...

This is a familiar prayer to all of us who are Jesus-followers.

As I read it yesterday morning in my regular reading, I happened to think it's a perfect Lenten-prayer.

My prayer has four parts:
1. Search my heart and show me what you see/know to be true of me.  Why?  Because this:

2.  Show me those things that make me anxious and fearful.  Why?  Because this: 

Basically, according to author, Ed Welch (Running Scared: Fear, Worry and the God of Rest): 

What I fear the most reveals to me where I trust God the least....

3 Help me locate where I have offended You most... Why? Because this:

That word translated "offended," or sometimes, "grieved," literally means in Hebrew: to fashion an idol.

What am I putting ahead of the Lord God?
Where has my self-love run amok?

4.  Lead me in an way with everlasting value...  Why? Because this:

I want to follow His path for me, and His path alone...for His path is straight and pleasant!

I may have mentioned that there is also one admonishment from Jesus that I've turned into a prayer, as well...

I guess that's for next week...

This is enough to ponder for today.

Pastor Craig Groeschel in his most recent book, Dangerous Prayers, says Psalm 139:23-24 is one of those types of prayers.

"Pray it," he says, "and you will see God revealing things about yourself at some very surprising, and possibly unexpected, times."  

Pray it...and the Lord is sure to show up!

Isn't that what I want?

Yes! No matter how uncomfortable!

I just want to see Him, because I thirst for more of Him!

That is also the purpose behind Lent...

And, you?

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