Is following Christ a heavy load or does it lift your load? How you answer the question determines whether your religion and your religious habits are a burden or a blessing.
The person who wrote the book of Psalms said, “I delight to do your will, O my God” and continually said “Great is the LORD!” His faith brought him blessing which is what God desires for us all.
Sadly, many of the habits and disciplines connected with the six weeks prior to Easter known as Lent are just another mill stone around many necks. Why? Because the activities and disciplines connected to Lent are seen as tasks to be completed in order to be counted worthy and allowed to enter heaven someday. The real question in Lent is not “What are you giving up?”, but “Where in my life have I gotten away from God, and what are the disciplines that will enable me to find my way back?” We may not have strayed far, but every relationship needs a tune up from time to time. Lent is that time in the life of the Christ follower each year.
Reading the Bible more or in the context of special devotional guides is a common tool many use to enhance their relationship with a loving God who loves everyone and sent Jesus to save them if they would accept the gift. The kind of Bible reading that helps one experience the Father is known as Divine Reading or in its Latin phraseology “Lectio Divina”. The process’s purpose is “Not to explain God but to experience God,” says Chris Webb in “The Fire of the Word”. “The experience of meeting God at the burning bush changed Moses. Despite his uncertainties and doubts, his weaknesses of character and his fears, his life was turned around from this point forward.”
New life, more life instead of just getting by in life is what we want. The four steps of Lectio Divina helps the desiring heart be still and hear the voice of God. First, read a passage of the Bible and be sensitive to what stands out to you. Read the passage again reflecting on what God is calling you to do. Read the passage once more reflecting about what God is calling you to do. Finally read the passage yet again then rest in His presence and what He has spoken to you.
God still speaks to His children. Do not settle for reading the Bible academically to know about the Lord of the Universe. Read it experientially and “know” the One who loves you with an “everlasting love” and has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you.” In Exodus 3:7 The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people…. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them… and to bring them up…” into a beautiful prosperous place.
Who or what is your slave driver? God wants to deliver you! Read the Bible and listen for His voice. God still speaks!