Question: are you getting the most out of Lent? The whole point of observing the Lenten season is to direct our focus on the Lord Jesus. Anything that’s not serving to accomplish that, or anything that’s causing us to be distracted from Him by obsessing over our actions, defeats the purpose.
That’s why I’m sharing these 5 ways to get the most out of Lent. And I’m letting you in on a secret right up front: the practice of Lent shouldn’t be about giving up anything other than giving up yourself to God.
So if you’re not sure how to best devote your time to the Lord this Lenten season, this is for you. Keep reading!
But wait… what if you’re not even sure what Lent is, or if observing it is right for you? Click here to find out right now.
It’s human nature to want to connect with others. After all, that’s the way God created us. We’re meant for relationships with one another. But if you seriously want to get the most out of Lent this year, there’s no point in participating at all unless you keep it quiet.
Regardless of whether you’re choosing to fast from certain behaviors or to simply feast on the Lord, there’s no point to it at all if you’re going to broadcast it to everyone.
Because telling everybody all about it is the only reward you’re gonna get. Just sayin’. And it’s not just me saying it:
And whenever you are fasting, do not look gloomy and sour and dreary like the hypocrites, for they put on a dismal countenance, that their fasting may be apparent to and seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full already. But when you fast, perfume your head and wash your face, So that your fasting may not be noticed by men but by your Father, Who sees in secret; and your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you in the open. | Matthew 6:16-18, AMPC
It doesn’t matter that everybody else is telling all their own business about what deed they’re doing or not doing for 40 days on the Facebook/Instagram/insert-other-social-platform here, it’s plain as day for us right here in God’s word: don’t be blabbing, don’t be bragging.
If your heart’s desire during Lent is to draw nearer to the Lord Jesus, do it. And no one else needs to know about your private, precious devotion of time with Him.
So however you choose to go about fasting or feasting, it’s no one else’s business and should be kept between you and the Lord.
The second thing that’s gonna help you get the most out of Lent is speaking the word over your life. Proclaim God’s promises.
Believing and receiving all the goodness the Lord has given us in His word is something we can easily forget to do.
This one can be a challenge for me. I’ll be reading the Bible and a passage will just speak to my heart, particularly because of a situation I’m going through, and I’m like, “Wow, thank you, Father.”
But I don’t think to proclaim the words out loud. I’m much better at it than I used to be, but I’m still a work in progress.
It’s almost like the devil will try to whisper in my ear something like: “What’s the difference in reading it aloud or silently?” and I feel almost afraid to open my mouth.
But here’s the thing we have to remember: there is POWER in the word of God!
And on a related note, the Bible tells us that the power of life and death is in the tongue:
The tongue can bring death or life;
those who love to talk will reap the consequences. |Proverbs 18:21, NLT
So we need to speak life! The more we speak, the more we hear. The more we hear, the more our faith grows.
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. | Romans 10:17, NKJV
So proclaim the promises of God’s word!
This third way to get the most out of Lent goes right along with the previous one. It’s essentially another way to proclaim: by proclaiming the Lord’s death till He comes.
For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. | 1 Corinthians 11:26, NKJV
Partaking of communion, or the Lord’s supper, is an amazing way to draw near to God during Lent. It’s so interesting to me how many churches have a long period of introspection before taking of the bread and the cup.
This is because of the verses that follow that talk about examining yourself so you don’t eat or drink in an unworthy manner. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat in a service where we were made to feel low, filthy, worthless, and unworthy. Who would dare to partake after that?
These verses are referring to people who would take the Lord’s supper without knowing Him. Those who haven’t accepted Him as their Lord. Because, honestly, who among us is worthy? Not one! It is only by Jesus’ sacrifice that we have been made so.
So believe Jesus’ body was broken for you for healing, that His blood was poured out for you for the remission of your sins, and partake of communion, in remembrance of Him!
There’s no way to get anything out of Lent without going to God in prayer. Even if you’re doing “this,” or not doing “that,” it won’t make one tiny bit of difference if you’re not fellowshipping with the Lord.
It can all become so much about deeds and works and what we’re giving up that we can lose sight of what’s important. That’s why we’d do much better to use that 40-day period to simply spend time in God’s presence.
If that means you need to take time away from Netflix in order to do that, wonderful. But make sure that that extra time is spent with Him and not priding yourself in the fact that you’re doing it.
Be sure you’re sincere. And if that’s an issue, all the more reason to go to God in prayer. Just talk to Him like He’s your Daddy. That’s literally who He is and who He wants to be to you: Abba.
Did you know that the only time Jesus called God by the name “God” was when He hung on the cross? When God turned away from Him in judgment for our sins, Jesus cried out, “My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?”
Because of Christ’s sacrifice, we can now cry out, “Father!” to almighty God. And we have the blessed privilege of asking, “Why have you so blessed me?” Amazing grace. Love. Forgiveness. A right relationship.
Go to your Abba Daddy and talk to Him about everything. Praise Him, tell Him your struggles, your needs, your desires. Ask for His help.
The last way—and possibly the most overlooked—to get the most out of Lent this year is to be still. Again, if staying off Facebook helps you with that, by all means, do it.
But we need to be sure we’re not stopping there. Use that time to be still and just KNOW.
Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth! | Psalm 46:10, AMPC
When was the last that you went to the Lord in prayer, and after you were done talking to Him, you just sat and listened? Listen to what He would reveal to you through the Holy Spirit.
And listen to what He would reveal to you in His holy word—this is the main way God communicates with us is through His word, so we’ve got to be IN the word to be hearing from Him.
How will we know His voice from others if we’re not listening to what He’s said to us in His word?
I love the book of Job. It’s got sorrow, loss, grief, backstabbing, doubt, treachery, faithlessness, abandonment, redemption, blessing, majesty, sovereignty, assurance, hope, faith, conviction… pretty much all the things.
And the wonders of God that are revealed to us in the book of Job are staggering. I love to read about God’s majesty and just praise Him for who He is.
Use your 40 days to listen. Through the conviction of the Holy Spirit. In prayer. Through the word. And by just being still and recognizing God and His authority and excellence.
Don’t forget to sing to the Lord! Oh. It speaks to my soul. I love the old hymns, the words are priceless words of praise for the sacrifice of Jesus’ shed blood for our sins. There are some modern worship songs I like, don’t get me wrong, but the old hymns are my favs.
Take time to just praise the Lord. You don’t have to be Celine Dion, your words and voice surrendered in praise to Him is a sweet offering.
Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonders among all peoples.
For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised;
He is to be feared above all gods. | Psalm 96:1-4, NKJV
40 days of wisdom
If you’re participating in Lent this season, be sure to get the absolute most out of it that you can by using these 5 ideas. They’re only 5 words: hush, proclaim, partake, speak, and listen.
Taking 40 days to be extra mindful of Christ’s sacrifice is a serious decision. And what a privilege it is to be able to go to the Lord and thank Him for what He’s done.
To get the extra most best-est out of Lent, try to brainstorm ways that you could continue to incorporate these 5 things into your life even after Lent is over. Drop an idea in the comments!
- Should I Participate in Lent?
- 5 Green St. Patrick’s Day Items You Can Reuse for Spring
- Easy Easter Baskets that are “Cheap Cheep”
- Why You Will Never Be Enough–and Why That’s Okay
- How Can I Stop Feeling Overwhelmed?
If you enjoyed this post, click below to save it to your favorite Pinterest board!