Day 17 of 21 • This day’s reading
Day 17: Jesus and His 40-Day Fast
Just after Jesus’ baptism, the Holy Spirit led Him into the wilderness to begin a 40-day fast. Throughout the journey, He was tempted by the devil. Jesus on earth was 100 percent God and 100 percent man. He identified with humanity through His full dependence upon the Holy Spirit. He felt hunger pains, distractions, and struggles. But even in His physical weakness, Jesus denied the devil by quoting Scripture. As a result, Jesus emerged with the power of the Holy Spirit, and began His ministry from the platform of His prayer and fasting season.
As we know too well, denying hunger is not a one-off test. This meant that Jesus had to say no to food every day for 40 days. The devil doesn’t tempt us with what we need, but with what we want. He tries to appeal to our flesh, emotion, and psychology. But when Jesus was used to denying essential physical needs, He was less challenged to deny temptation.
Similarly, our fasting is a daily learning process of saying no to things we normally say yes to. The more we read God’s word and meditate on it, the more we’ll have to respond against the devil. We’re then developing a spiritual discipline that empowers us to deny temptations in the whole of life, even when the fast is done.
Everyone has God’s calling upon our lives, yet there’s a price to carry God’s authority and anointing. That price is saying no to many things of this world. As the devil will often distract us from our calling, we need to also emerge from this season with the power of the Holy Spirit. Even the early church in Acts imitated Jesus’ practices, relying on the Holy Spirit for the expansion of God’s Kingdom. When we know the Word, we can deny temptations and build an internal mainframe that can carry the weight and power of the anointing.
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