Draw Close To God

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:1-2  


Today is known as Ash Wednesday within the Catholic Church and begins the churches focus on the Easter Season. You don’t have to be Catholic to participate in Lent. The purpose of Lent is not measured by what a person gives up but rather what they become at its end. Lent, the 40 days prior to Easter is known as a penitential season where those who enter in use these 40 days to examine their spiritual life and seek to identify those things that stand between us and our relationship with God and how we can with God’s help eliminate them. During Lent there is a greater emphasis on prayer and fasting, spiritual disciplines that heighten our appreciation what Jesus Christ accomplished for us on Easter.

Lent is not about doing more, its about becoming more. It’s not about adding things to our already lengthy todo list but removing things that come between us and our relationship with God. Lent isn’t about complexity but more about simplicity.  The best way any of us can experience a more meaningful Easter is to spend more time alone with God in prayer. Lent includes identifying those things that currently exist in our lives that keep us from praying and enjoying God and bringing them to Him and asking for His help in clearing a path that allows us to draw close to Him. The other aspect of Lent we do well to recognize is the spiritual discipline of fasting. It’s been well said, “fasting without prayer is dieting.” There is nothing wrong with dieting and God knows it would benefit my overall health but biblical fasting is much more than going without eating or eliminating our favorite food for 40 days as some do. Fasting is about dependency, dependency on God and nothing else. We all need food to live and often times we become dependent upon it for far more than just sustaining life. Food can become an idol, a little god in our lives that controls us instead of us controlling when and how much we eat. Food just like any drug creates a chemical response within our brain. Fasting seeks to break our dependency on food and placing our reliance upon God. Jesus said it best, “Man can’t live by bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”

Lent can can be either a religious activity with no true spiritual meaning or blessing or it can be a very special season in the Christian life seeking to draw close to God and celebrating again this year what Christ Jesus has accomplished for us by His death upon the Cross and by His empty grave. Don’t measure the success of Lent this year by what you give up, (it’s not about you) measure the success of Lent this year by dedicating your heart to grow in the knowledge of what Jesus Christ did for you and what He gave up for you and what Jesus sacrifice on Calvary’s Cross can do to transform you. Easter changes everything, loved one, most importantly, me and you!


“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.

Ephesians 2:13-16

I LOVE YOU!

Michael Osthimer

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