As we begin with this year’s Lenten Season, it’s important for us to know not to go through it without the purpose of knowing Him intimately. Fasting and praying is supposed to be drawing us closer to the Lord, and not away from Him.
Religious formalities has a way of affecting how you relate with the Lord. Some often go through the Lenten Season with a religious routine attitude. So they often end up without any spiritual renewal or transformation in knowing Him more intimately. Is He the God who is nearer to you? Or is He the God who you can only acknowledge from afar?
The incidents of the past two years are enough to be drawing any serious minded Christian closer to the Lord, than ever before. And if you are only acquainted with Him without any close encounter with Him, the incidents these past two years around the world, should be giving you a longing within your heart to get to know Him.
Those incidents and the challenges that came with them should be propelling you towards the knowledge of God, and not pulling you away from Him. And if you had seen the hand of the Lord moving for your protection, by healing and delivering you; then you do have a Christian duty to be protecting your healing and deliverance from the enemy.
The things that had happened in the past two years should be moving you closer to the One true God, who has the answers to all questions, that the so called experts are confused about.
The period of the Christian fasting and prayer is not only for the renewal of the soul. It’s a period for the spiritual restoration of all that the enemy has stolen from us, within the past two years. When we are able to see Jesus dying on the cross with so much sufferings and pain, without having even committing any sin at all; then we can put our faith in Him for the restoration.
Jesus submitted Himself willingly by going through the sufferings and agonies of death, so that we won’t have to go through what He went through. His resurrection from the death is for us to have the hope for the future, about what you might have lost these past two years. There is hope for your future in getting back and fully restored, all that the enemy had stolen away from you. You must purpose within yourself to get everything back.
And the only One Who can help you in recovering everything is the Lord Himself. If you will purpose in yourself to draw closer to knowing Him and His way of doing things, then you can receive the wisdom and strength to reset your future and destiny in Christ Jesus.
Don’t let the devil lie to you, that you can’t get what you want from the Lord. It’s possible to get intimate with the Lord in your relationship with Him.
Paul in His letter to the Philippians said that his goal in life as a Christian is:
“that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,”
Philippians 3:10 NKJV
If intimacy with Christ was possible for Paul, it’s absolutely possible for you also. In fact intimacy is something that the Lord is seeking to develop and have with you. Religious people will tell you that it’s not possible, whereas Jesus is saying to you right now:
“ .. If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
Mark 9:23 NKJV
If Jesus can be intimate with the Father, you can also
The Apostle John depicted the intimacy in the relationship between God, the Father and His Son (Jesus) in this way:
“No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”
John 1:18 NKJV
The Son of God had been in the bosom of the Father from all eternity. He came to the earth from the bosom (heart) of the Father into the womb of His earthly mother (Mary), in the form of the spoken Word through the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:35-38).
Mary received the spoken Word with her heart, and He became flesh. The Word (God’s Son) became a man like us in the womb of Mary:
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
John 1:14 NKJV
Jesus took upon Himself the very nature of sinful man, so as to identify with us in our weaknesses and infirmities, by coming to the earth in this way. He came in the nature of sinful Man in the flesh, because of the sin in the first man (Adam).
Otherwise He would not have had the legitimacy to had died for our sins. The devil had thought that by making Adam to sin, there was no other way for God to save the world. Jesus “became flesh and dwelt among us”; to redeem us from the curse of the law of sin and death (Galatians 3:13).
And by identifying with us in this way, Jesus had also experienced the same things in His flesh, that we often go through especially when we are praying.
The Bible says as He was praying before the crucifixion in the garden of Gethsemane:
“Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”
Luke 22:43-44 NKJV
We can see the human nature in Jesus here as He prayed. He was faced with a desperate situation in which He needed the Father, with whom He had shared many things from the beginning of creation. He prayed with everything on the inside of Him, even to the extent that His “sweat became like great drops of blood”.
Are you weak and suffering from any infirmity right now? Jesus became weak that you may be physically strong. The Bible says about Him concerning our infirmities:
“that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses.””
Matthew 8:17 NKJV
Yes, Jesus suffered every pain that is known to man in His physical body. He had to suffer, so that we won’t have to go through those sufferings for our sin anymore. That’s why it’s important to repent of those sins. It’s the surest pathway from a life that is free of sin on the earth.
The moment you will accept and believe this spiritual truth with your heart, and you begin to say it with your mouth; is the moment when things will begin to shift for you in the realm of the spirit. Repentance sets us free from the power of sin and death. An unrepentant sinner is suffering and walking around with guilt at heart.
The healing of your body is also tied up with your believing with the heart, and confessing what you do believe with your mouth.
The Father was with Jesus during the time when He was praying in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus needed physical strength from the Father at the time. But He however had to learn like us, how to willing obey the Father, through His suffering on the cross. The same thing that we often have to face, in order for us to be able to walk in obedience to the Lord, was what He went through in the flesh.
We don’t know exactly what else He had said during this time, but the duration of the time that was spent while praying in the garden (three hours); points to the fact that He must had said much more before the Father, than what we do know about.
Be imitators of God by following Jesus
The Bible says:
“Be imitators of God in everything you do, for then you will represent your Father as his beloved sons and daughters.”
Ephesians 5:1 TPT
The scriptures commanded us to follow the examples of Jesus in knowing the Father. Every child is trained to know the heart of the parents, who gave birth to him. The parents sets and live their lives as examples for the child to follow. The aim is for the child to be following the godly examples that are seen in the parents.
That’s why the Bible commanded:
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”
Ephesians 6:1 NKJV
In following the godly examples of the parents, children may often make mistakes. And this is expected of them, because that’s why they do have the parents to correct them.
It’s exactly in the same way that the Father deals with us. We will grow in the wisdom of God, when we will take or accept His corrections in our lives.
In fact the Bible says that only an illegitimate child of God will refuse the correction of the Father:
“Now if you are exempt from correction and without discipline, in which all [of God’s children] share, then you are illegitimate children and not sons [at all].”
Hebrews 12:8 AMP
No Christian is ever exempted from the discipline of the Father. The Father does this because of His dear love for us. The same thing goes for the children who are being disciplined by their earthly parents today. The discipline of the Lord is for His correction in our lives, so that we can bear able to bear the fruit of righteousness and be productive in life. There is no Christian who is exempted from the correction of the Lord.
The purpose of the correction of the Lord is for us to eventually become imitators of Him. You can’t know the Lord intimately, if you are not ready to be corrected by Him. And obviously you can’t say that you know Him, if you are not imitating Him in the Christian life that you are living now.
There are many Christians who are suffering physically with sicknesses, because they have shunned the correction of the Lord about their healing and health. Others are suffering financially, because they have refused His correction as it pertains to their finances.
Most of the problems that Christians do have today is due to the fact, that the corrections of the Lord in their lives are being shunned. And if God can’t correct you, who will do it. In other words such Christians who are shunning the correction of the Lord are saying, that they would rather be illegitimate children, than to be the heirs of His blessing on the earth.
And the best way for us to imitate Jesus is by looking and searching the scriptures. To be good imitators of Christ we must be prepared to search for His way of doing things in the scriptures.
He said to the religious people who were following Him:
“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.”
John 5:39-40 NKJV
Jesus said that the holy scriptures do testify of Him to us. It’s from the pages of the Bible that we can see Jesus. And the moment we begin to imitate Him from the scriptures, we will begin to develop an intimacy with Him, that will lead us into the heart of the Father.
Intimacy with the Lord during this Lenten Season is possible, if only you will purpose in your heart to start searching the scriptures for Him.
Pray without ceasing as you search for Him
Jesus while praying in the garden of Gethsemane showed us His physical weakness. He sweated profusely while praying, to the extent that an angel had to come to His aid, so as to strengthen Him in the perfect will of the Father.
Yes, the Father corrected Him as He prayed, by giving Him the physical strength to endure the suffering on the cross. Jesus had prayed:
“saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.””
Luke 22:42 NKJV
Correction from the Lord God about His request in prayer came, as the angel appeared to strengthen Him in the perfect will of the Father. Does the correction of the Lord draw us closer to Him? This example in the personal life of Jesus suggests to us that it does.
And the Lord God may not even say anything to you in correcting you. He knows your heart. He can shift situations around you, until you are confronted with His correction. Then you will have to decide to either accept it or reject it. People normally go through unnecessary sufferings in life, when they reject the correction of the Lord.
Jesus through prayer and intercession was able to put the desire of the flesh to death, so that He could face the suffering and death on the cross. He was submissive to the correction in the perfect will of the Father.
Dying becomes easier when we are dead to the flesh. Christians who can’t go through the correction of the Lord are suffering in life. For them dying can be painful.
Jesus did exactly in obeying the Father at the garden of Gethsemane, what Paul said he had done also:
“But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
I Corinthians 9:27 NKJV
Paul had to discipline his physical body and brought it into subjection to obey the will of God. There is no way a person who has been able to subject the body, to obey God can be killed by the devil. There is no more dying for that person, because as Paul said again:
“So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.”
I Corinthians 15:54-56 NKJV
There is no more dying for you when your body has been subjected to the will of God. That’s why Christians who had subjected their physical body to the will of God, always depart this world painlessly. They get out of the body only to meet the Lord.
Death is the absence of the spirit in you from the physical body. It’s supposed to be peaceful and joyful as a Christian.
In the case of Jesus, He had to get Himself qualified in the flesh before going to the cross. He had to cry out on the cross in pain, so that we don’t have to go through it in death.
Prayer and intercession in the garden of Gethsemane prepared Him for the pain and suffering, that He went through on the cross, so that we don’t have to suffer as He had already taken all the sufferings on our behalf.
As you begin the Lent Season this year, purpose in your heart to walk closer with Him through prayer and intercession.