How excited does the idea of fasting make you? I imagine maybe only a few of you start jumping up and down with enthusiasm when you think about fasting. You jumpers are the more spiritual among us. Here is your Sunday school sticker .
For me, I think of my stomach growling. I think about deprivation. I think about having good fasting intentions and breaking that fast when I seem to forget that I should not have that piece of chocolate.
Truthfully, I have found my motives for fasting to be wrong at times. Maybe my skinny jeans are not fitting quite right, so I have been tempted at times to think, well, maybe this a good time to fast.
Maybe my skinny jeans are not fitting quite right, so I have been tempted at times to think, well, maybe this a good time to fast.
I imagine that Jesus fasting in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights after His earthly baptism in Matthew 3 and 4 was not because He needed to fit into His jeans better.
Have you ever had a mountain top spiritual moment? Think back to those last nights of summer camp when everyone was crying, raising their hands a little higher at the altar moments. Or the moment when you were reading the Bible and God speaks
Think back to those last nights of summer camp when everyone was crying, raising their hands a little higher at the altar moments. Or the moment when you were reading the Bible and God speaks
Or the moment when you were reading the Bible and God speaks truth so deep to your heart you just want to jump up and shout, “Glory!” Or that church service when you feel like the pastor is speaking just to your situation.
I have found it is often after those moments of spiritual encouragement that Satan comes to try and snatch the power of that moment away. You made a commitment to change and now feel discouraged the moment you go back to your old ways. You are trying to stay on the mountain, and Satan wants you to throw your heart into a pit in the valley.
After Jesus’ baptism in Matthew 3, Matthew 4:1 tells us the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
Maybe you find yourself in a wilderness moment today. The work situation that is overwhelming. The relationship that is not working. The bills that are past due. You are not feeling God’s presence the same way you were two weeks ago.
Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness. And He fought the enemy’s lies with truth.
It is written. He was filled with the truth of God’s word and was able to stand firm and strong.
Fasting is a way to empty us in order to be filled. To press in and pray. To satisfy our longings with the One who longs for relationship with us—Jesus Christ.
Would you consider fasting as a way to be emptied so that you may be filled during these next 40 days? Pray and ask God for something He might invite you to empty out of your life as you come alive at the cross.
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Digging Deeper: Read Romans 5:1-11 While we were still weak at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
Truth to Come Alive: You may feel you are in a wilderness experience today. I am with you even there. Remember, I will never leave you or forsake you, therefore you can be strong and courageous today (Deuteronomy 31:6). You may be on a spiritual mountaintop, having experienced a powerful encounter with Me. I will walk with you both on the mountaintops and in the valley. Today, would you refute the lies of the enemy with My truth. When the enemy comes with temptation and lies, use scripture as the sword of the spirit (Ephesians 6:16). For My word is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12).