The season of Lent, which we’re in, constrains us to take the slower tempo, to pay attention, to ponder, to be intentional, to look inwards, to look at our methods and to make crucial amends. It doesn’t include the thrill of going for a vacation or picnic. No, it’s reasonably just like the preparation for a retreat, the place one would open the guts to the sunshine of God for that divine illumination that exposes the issues that rob us of Heaven’s commendation and, certainly, convey a frown as a substitute. What a privilege to have such alternative for redress. And the way all of us — frail youngsters of mud — who’re as feeble as frail, want it!
Lent comes as a time to refocus on life’s priorities and objective by way of self-evaluation and self-discipline. The Lord Jesus fasted at first of His public ministry to give attention to His cause for coming to earth and to satisfy it with out distraction. We observe His steps.
This week, we focus consideration on a typical, but harmful perspective that may be pricey if not checked: presumption. Presumption within the Christian life is that perspective that makes us put aside the follow of paying diligent consideration to God’s requirements, and as a substitute, set our personal requirements because the rule to dwell by. It’s organising our personal scoreboard or score-sheet, and proclaiming liberty for ourselves on the premise of our personal parameters. With that completed, each different factor is seen as fanaticism, no matter how God feels. That manner the usual adopted by the Lord Jesus and His apostles after they cited: “It’s written” or “What does the Scripture say?” is changed with the age-old ruse, “Did God actually (truly or certainly) say?” (Gen. 3:1).
This question of divine injunction is all the time the gateway to a non secular crash. Those that don’t recognise that this can be a holy floor are on harmful floor.
Presumption makes us really feel comfy when all shouldn’t be nicely; presumption makes us pamper what we ought to be ruthless with; presumption makes us imagine poison shouldn’t be so unhealthy in any case; presumption commends lethargy in our devotion to God, which calls for reverence. It’s the bane of true Christian discipleship that it seeks to set requirements for God to endorse. When individuals who have been raised on sound biblical rules instantly start to question their positive foundations within the title of sophistication, earlier than lengthy they’ll change into a ghost of what God needs them to be. Lives that might make nice affect for God change into wasted within the playgrounds of Devil.
A place to begin for coping with this refined snare is to ask ourselves throughout this holy season some vital questions: who is that this God who I imagine in? Am I worshipping a god of my creativeness or the God within the Bible Who made the universe? Prophet Hosea speaks to our hearts: Tell us; allow us to press on to know the Lord; his going out is certain because the daybreak; he’ll come to us because the showers, because the spring rains that water the earth” (Hosea 6:3)
Lent is a time to convey our convictions underneath the scrutiny of God’s Phrase and Spirit, understanding that, “There’s a manner that appears proper to a person, however its finish is the way in which to loss of life” (Proverbs 16:25). We should study ourselves to see if we have to transfer away from our presumptions about who/what we love or hate.
• The Most Rev. Emmanuel Egbunu is the Bishop of the Diocese of Lokoja.