Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Why 40 Days?

Matthew 4:1-11
Jesus fasted and prayed for 40 days in the desert right after being baptized by John the Baptist and right before beginning His public ministry. Several other important events happened in the Bible for 40 days, such as the number of days it rained while Noah and his family were in the ark, Moses' time on Mt. Sinai when God gave him the 10 Commandments, Elijah's fasting journey to Mt. Horeb, and the days between Jesus' Resurrection and His Ascension into Heaven. While we seek the Lord throughout the year, focusing on Christ in a special way for the 40 days before Easter is like an extended retreat available even for those of us who can't leave our homes, families, and other obligations for more than a couple days at a time. It might not be as rewarding as 40 days spent at a retreat center, on Mt. Sinai, but there's no reason that "not as good as _____" should stop us from doing an activity with tremendous spiritual rewards. This time that we choose to fast and pray and set aside extra distractions will yield a great harvest in our relationship with the Lord. We may not be able to physically travel into the desert with Jesus, but we can enter the desert spiritually and grow much closer to Him through the experience. Spending 40 days seeking the Lord and growing closer to Him works for me.

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