Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. Daniel 9:3
We are now in the season of Lent, a period to be observed as the ‘time of repentance’. Fasting, putting on sack clothes and rolling on ashes were the expressions of mourning which the Israelites observed in the Old Testament. By these means they went before God pleading for His mercies. Over the centuries Lenten observances have developed a much more "sacramental" value. Some Christian denominations believe that giving something up for Lent is a way to attain God’s blessing. But the Bible teaches that grace cannot be earned; grace is “the gift of righteousness”. We, the new covenant Christians received this grace and this grace is reigning in our hearts.
Having said, we are not immune to sin. Human nature and choice yield us to commit sin and we need forgiveness. When we get into His presence to seek for His repentance, we anticipate deeper intimacy with the Lord. Let this be a time of union with God’s Spirit; a time of renewal in our inner chamber; a time of spiritual healing from the Lord Almighty; a time of strengthening our relationship with God; a time of confession and consecration. Let our everyday be a day of repentance and thanksgiving and not just in the Lenten season alone.
Lent should not be a time of boasting of one’s sacrifice or trying to earn God’s favor or increasing His love. God’s love for us could not be any greater than it already is. Instead of pondering over what to give up for the Lord, let us submit ourselves asking Him to help us to get rid of things that are unpleasant to Him.