In the days leading up to Lent until now, I definitely feel like I am in the wilderness. I feel like I am being tested in every area of my life right now… will I go back to old behaviors or will I step back and look at the bigger picture, and make the choice to move from a more spiritually mature place? The test is Self-Control and the he questions are as follows: Will you let go of the need to be in control? Will you trust me? Will you control your emotions? Is there another option other than anger and fear? Can you uphold peace, even when you don’t understand what’s going on? Will you have faith? Will you come to Me?
So yeah in the physical, and in the spiritual (in my dreams) I am being hit with situations that are causing me to answer these questions… by the way, I know the answers to these questions are all YES…. I just need to release my first inclination to take control, but instead let go and allow the holy spirit to take over…. in essence it’s all about coming back to Him. To bring every frustration, uncertainty, fear to Him… I am learning that in this process. I have to admit, it’s been awhile since I’ve been in my prayer closet. Shoes, clothes started to take precedence in that room… I would glance at the pictures and prayers every now and then but never made the time to sit and pray. I also think for awhile everything seemed just fine so my need to sit in that prayer room didn’t seem worthwhile… I mean I still prayed. I took daily walks in the neighborhood before work and talked to God then, but to be honest I was not truly expressive. How would it look like if I just fell down to my knees and started crying in the middle of Rice Village? I need to make time to be completely vulnerable to God… and this season seems to be the most appropriate time.
Lent: To abandon a pleasurable habit as an act of devotion and self-discipline.
Since this has been my test to pass, I have found some outlets to maintain self-control… writing. This blog, along with journal writing has helped me flesh out what I am really feeling… Working out allows me to release all the toxins in my body, which in turn leaves an effect on my mind… working with children….It’s no coincidence that God put me in the position to work in Special Education, in which I have to work with children that are emotionally disturbed. In working with these children we have to find outlets to control their anger/ frustrations… take a walk, write, talk… maybe even dance. Yet, I think the main outlet needs to be prayer… I need to be constant in this…being vulnerable in His presence always.
On top of all this reflection and tests… I am on this strict meal plan with my sister. She is competing and I decided to go through the process with her… to add on to more self-control/ discipline. It’s hard because I like to eat! I get cravings… ice cream on these really beautiful sunny days would be so nice …but NO! No dairy! I guess this would be the whole “fasting for 40 days and 40 nights” ….which may be even effect how I handle these tests…
I know these tests are leading me to something good. Its gets hard sometimes, especially when I have to just wait and be still… yet I know there is something beautiful in the works… a foundation to do His works in more dynamic ways.
The Spirit then led Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the devil. Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. After this fast, He was, as you can imagine,hungry. But He was also curiously stronger, when the tempter came to Jesus.
Devil: If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.
Jesus (quoting Deuteronomy): It is written, “Man does not live by bread alone. Rather, he lives on every word that comes from the mouth of the Eternal One.”
Then the devil took Jesus to the holy city, Jerusalem, and he had Jesus stand at the very highest point in the holy temple.
Devil: If You are the Son of God, jump! And then we will see if You fulfill the Scripture that says,
He will command His heavenly messengers concerning You,
and the messengers will buoy You in their hands
So that You will not crash, or fall, or even graze Your foot on a stone.
Jesus: That is not the only thing Scripture says. It also says, “Do not put the Eternal One, your God, to the test.”
And still the devil subjected Jesus to a third test. He took Jesus to the top of a very high mountain, and he showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world in all their splendor and glory, their power and pomp.
Devil: If You bow down and worship me, I will give You all these kingdoms.
Jesus: Get away from Me, Satan. I will not serve you. I will instead follow Scripture, which tells us to “worship the Eternal One, your God, and serve only Him.”
Then the devil left Jesus. And heavenly messengers came and ministered to Him.
Matthew 4:1-11 (VOICE)