What will I do when God confronts me? What will I
answer when called to account? Job 31:14, NIV
Lent is something of an annual review. We come to God to give honest answers to “How am I doing?” This isn’t a self-review. This is a God-review. The good news is that often, God is kinder and more affirming than we tend to be with ourselves.
The cross gives this review a different context. We don’t evaluate ourselves based on our performance. We evaluate ourselves against Christ’s performance. Our world doesn’t teach us to do that. It must be a deliberate choice. Lent brings that choice.
Jesus told us there is a cross for all of us, a death that we must submit to. This is not about our final death when our heart stops. This is death to self-will and the illusion of control.
We can try to make this death a one-time choice, but usually it becomes a lifetime of choices. The call to control our own lives is as strong as any hunger we’ve ever experienced. It hears the serpent hiss in our ears, “Does God really expect you to give up something He planted in you—your will?” It is a twisted question to seduce us.
Instead, we are called to answer life-giving questions:
Do we love with the transformed will of God?
Do we serve with humbled joy?
Do we worry about what God says He will take care of?
Are we cooperating with God’s timing?
Do we look for God’s approval first?
Are we letting acceptance from God heal our fears, self-doubt, and insecurities?
We look at the life of Jesus with longing. We ask God to help us find the same seamless, intimate, and transforming relationship that Jesus modeled.
We pray the Gethsemane prayer-Your will not mine. We keep praying it until it is true in the small choices as well as the big ones. We pray it until God’s will becomes the only way to satisfy our restless heart.
We are called to give an account, but we are not called to cower and fear reprimand. We are called to enjoy God’s welcome and delight to be part of our transformation. When His joy becomes ours, we no longer fear what we give up because what He provides is more than enough to satisfy.
What is God wanting to say to you when you ask, “How am I doing?” Listen for His answer. More love and healing will be yours in His answer.