Thursday, February 23, 2012

He Was in the Wilderness

Angela and I read the beginning of Luke 4 when Jesus was in the Wilderness.  I don't know how many times I've read that and then dissected it. 

"What were the temptations he faced?"
"How did he fend off the devil?"
"The devil uses scripture; what should our response be?"
And more.

Very rarely do we stop to remember that Jesus was in the wilderness.

I feel like I've been in the wilderness for awhile.  I was trying to claw back to God as soon as possible, but I wasn't doing it in a way that was effective.  It was still about me.

It's so easy for us to give up something and make the struggle about us.  It's just another New Year's resolution.  I've been eating sweets like crazy lately, so I'm fasting from sweets for the next 40 days.  I didn't initially decide that because this is the problem that is getting between God and me.  I've stopped eating my wife's delicious brownies because I'm getting fat. 

But my inability to control eating sweets is symbolic of something greater:  my selfishness and lack of discipline in all areas of my life.

That is what has kept me in the wilderness for so long.  It's also much harder to fast from.  It's become who I am in so many ways.

So I'm going to try something in addition to giving up desserts while I'm in the desert.  I'm going to add things.  I want a Lent that explores my own selfishness and seeks to rid myself by serving others

It's hard to see others when you're too busy looking in the mirror.  It's even harder to love others.  But that's what I'm going to try to do.

I'm going to keep track of the selfish things I do.  This will be how I face temptation head on like Jesus did.  Instead of stopping there, I will give my list up to God each day.  In addition, I will seek opportunities to love others.

Jesus was in the wilderness, preparing and growing closer to God.  This is my time to be in the wilderness, too.

We'll see how this goes.  I wish you well in your wilderness these next 40 days.  Feel free to share what you've been thinking about as well.

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