Ash Wednesday, a day to take a long look at self – filthy and dark by nature. It shines a beam of truth light on the death and decay of my spirit and soul – if I allow it. And I will allow it. I don’t want to skim over the real condition of my heart any longer. I want to go deep into this battle against Spirit and my flesh, sinful and ugly.
How I long for life giving Spirit to invade all these dark, hidden chambers of my heart. I don’t want the flesh pursuit of selfish desire. No, I want to pursue the One who loves me so much not even the oceans can contain it. I want the One who whispers sweet words to encourage me, who fights for me when the enemy is near – even when I’m my own enemy. I want to be completed by the One who gave his life – the perfect sacrificial Lamb.
Today, on Ash Wednesday, I will think on these things. For the next 40 days of Lent, I will fast from sugar, dairy, grains and simple carbs. Things I crave on a daily basis. Things that have become a spiritual battleground for me. Instead, I will crave Jesus. As I give up these temporal things, I will focus on bringing more spiritual discipline to each day.
This year, we’ve made it a family commitment to practice Lent. How precious to see our children choose sacrifice, choose to identify with Christ. How beautiful to take the next 40 days to exam our hearts, to see our need for a Savior. How joyous to prepare for a celebration – Jesus rose from the dead, and broke the power of sin and death over us.