One of the things highlighted in the season of Lent is the struggle we experience between our desires and our desire to serve God. In the story of Peter’s confession, that “you are the Son of God” and his struggle to accept Jesus’ mission in this world, we see Peter’s desire for the physical liberation of the Jews from the Romans and the more important spiritual liberation that would come in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Even Jesus experienced this struggle when in the Garden of Gethsemane he prayed, “not my will, but yours be done.” The struggle we experience between our desires and God’s will for our lives is a battle that rages throughout our lives.
In our Romans text, we see that Paul sets the example for us when he writes that his “heart’s desire and prayer” is that his own people be saved. Clearly Paul was able, as Jesus was, to set his own desires aside and focus on the needs of others. As Lent comes to a close, we need to pray that we too are able to focus less on our desires and more on God’s will and the needs of others.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us today to set aside our desires and instead seek your will and see the needs of those around us, in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Steven King, Pastor of Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lincolnton, NC.