This week Paul Tripp reflects on subjects one often naturally wants to avoid: sacrifice and fasting. Our own Chris wrote:
I don’t imagine too many honest people could reply that they do not find comfort attractive and sacrifice hard. Comfort was the first idol the Lord convicted me about — I heard someone read part of Counterfeit Gods and my heart was smote
What we find is that sacrifice can actually set us free. We have an enemy who lies to us, telling us if we cling to our idols, our own way of doing things, we will be happier – when the exact opposite is true.
- Share a God Hunt from last week.
Monday: Day 23.
2. What stands out to you from Day 23 and why?
3. Choose a question or two to answer.
4. Do the prayer exercise.
Tuesday: Day 24.
I have loved having our own Tammy Jo back. She’s so honest! A few weeks back she wrote, concerning sacrifice and fasting:
The biggest thing I miss, that I gave up for lent is reading for pleasure. I miss it due to the fact that I did it most nights, and it was an easy escape from reality, a comfortable place to hang out so to speak. It’s a struggle a lot of nights to either read for growth or fill those couple of hours.
Like Tammy, I have been switching more of my reading into harder, deeper, and richer books — and what I find is that they are impacting my mind, and drawing me nearer to Him. But is it easy? No, and yet, it is impacting me, transforming me from that caterpillar into a butterfly. I often think of this: “With every death comes a resurrection.” For example:
- Changing my eating habits was hard but led to the joy of a healthier body and smaller clothes!
- Giving up my manipulative ways scared me — would they take advantage of me? Instead, my relationships are so much sweeter.
- Halting my judgmental thoughts is hard for it is a way of justifying myself, but turning them to prayer means there may be an actual change in my heart and in the heart of the one who troubles me.
Right now, again inspired by something Tammy wrote about discerning between lamenting and grumbling, I am realizing that it isn’t grumbling, if, like Job, I’m going directly to God.
This group is iron sharpening iron to me as well as each of us. Thank you!
5. What stands out to you from Day 24 and why?
6. Choose a question or to answer.
7. Do the prayer exercise.
Wednesday: Day 25
Lent is mourning the way our heart has wandered. So many of us confessed we started a gratitude journal and then forgot it. Yet, as in The Horse and His Boy, Bree asked Shasta if he knew how to fall from a horse.
“I suppose anyone can fall,” said Shasta.
“I mean can you fall and get up again without crying and mount again and fall again and yet not be afraid of falling?” the boy if he knew how to fall — because falling well means picking yourself up again and getting back on the horse.
I’m going to pick myself up and try something different: remembering gratitude at all my habitual times of praying: meals, morning, and in my quiet time!
8. What stands out to you from Day 25 and why?
9. Choose a question or two to answer.
10. Do the prayer exercise.
Thursday: Day 26.
When Tripp talked about having sex without intimacy, I thought “How sad!” But we can do that with our time in the Word. I’m inspired by how you meditate, how you find intimacy in the Word. How you bathe in the Word. Take our own dear Bing — her model:
In the verses in Ezekiel 14, I was struck by the phrase “embrace things that led them into sin”. Embrace means an act of accepting or supporting something willingly or enthusiastically. Lord, root out the loves in my heart that I have embraced and replace them with Yourself.
11. What stands out to you from Day 26 and why?
12. Choose a question to answer.
13. Do the prayer exercise.
Friday: Day 27.
This day reminded me of when we went through Gentle and Lowly — how we tend to beat ourselves up with regrets, forgetting what Jesus is really like. I loved how, a few weeks back, our own Missy compared us to the man beat up on the road and Jesus to the Good Samaritan: Our beautiful Jesus came where we were, beaten up by sin, bleeding, and half-dead on the road, and He came to us and said, LIVE!
14. What stands out to you from Day 27 and why?
15. Choose a question to answer.
16. Do the prayer exercise.
Saturday: Day 28.
17. What stands out to you from Day 28 and why?
18. Choose a question or two to answer.
19. Do the prayer exercise.