(Orange, Texas)

February 23, 2013

My Lenten Journey

John Warren
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — I spend a lot of time studying the Bible in order to preach sermons and just keep in the flow of the Holy Spirit.  If I am going to be an example of Jesus in the world, I must know him.  Before I get out of bed I begin going over the day before me. I think of all the things that I have to do that day and I pray that God will show me his wisdom as I go about the day.  But if the phone rings early or if I get a text message or if I am not careful; the activities of the day can begin before I have finished getting my spirit ready to receive God’s direction.  When that happens, I usually find myself rushed, unfocused or simply overwhelmed.  

During the church season of Lent, which many Christian faiths observe, we spend extra time getting our Spirits, our very souls realigned with God’s will for our lives.  I was watching the morning news as I got ready this week and one of the newscasters was talking about going on a vegetable and juice cleanse; saying that he felt stronger and more focused by cleansing his body of the processed foods that is usually a part of his diet.   I am using this time of Lent as a soul cleanse!  Part of my cleanse involves study.  

I am so blessed to have two ladies, Christy Day and Carol Allen, who are fantastic teachers of the Bible, leading a study on Tuesday mornings using Ray Van Laan’s book “The Path to the Cross, Discovery Guide.”  They are the most enthusiastic teachers I have experienced and it is so refreshing to be in the class.  The real treat for me is that I get to be a student.  The first thing that Jesus did after being baptized was go into the wilderness for forty days.  He went there to prepare his spirit to do the work God had in store for him, but I think he also went there for a “soul cleanse” to build his strength and connection with God before he set out on his ministry.  We are usually tempted when we are washed or tired or overwhelmed, when we jump into the world too quickly.  Jesus needed forty days and he is the Son of God, how can we think that we would need any less?