The theme of late is for me to let go of my attachments whether to people, sports, personal time or things I enjoy. I’ve asked God to purify me, and He’s answering my prayer. I’ve definitely had my “Pre-Lent” already. The important lesson I’ve learned is to following the promptings of the Holy Spirit, not my ego.
Someone challenged me a few months ago to the following. He said one day eat and drink as much as you want. The next day fast. Then on the third day, discern which day you felt closer to Christ. There is something to be said about fasting, whether it is from food, drink, a pleasure, a bad habit, etc. I’ve found it to be very powerful to combine the fasting with a prayer intention. Betty always challenges me to give up a bad behavior for Lent rather than solely focusing on giving up particular foods. I find it powerful to do both. As Jesus said, “However, this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17:21) Below in red are Betty’s words to me on this subject:
How quick are we to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit? It’s helpful to look at where God could receive more glory had we let go or gone with His plan. Ask Jesus to take us back to all the times the Holy Spirit has inspired us to forgo a pleasure and we didn’t do it—where the Lord has asked us to stop complaining and we did it anyway. If we are conscious of it, it can help to remind us to follow Him the next time.
There is spiritual danger if our ego is so inflated when we’re out there ministering. The Lord will be quicker to call us forth when that dies. If we consistently followed the Holy Spirit’s promptings, Satan wouldn’t want those acts in the Divine Will and he would stop harassing. If we go into the Divine Will, God receives so much glory that Satan dreads being around us. The more fearful and anxious we are, the more Satan has to gain.