Day 21: Transformation

Day 20: Defeating The Enemy
Have you ever wondered why Jesus fasted? Jesus is called the Son of Man and the Son of God. He was all man and all God in one form. Even though He was God’s Son and He and the Father were “one,” we also know that before Jesus began His earthly ministry, He was led by the Holy Spirit into the desert on a forty-day fast.
When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. Suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying,
“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.“
Matthew 3:17–4:2
With the water of the Jordan River still running down His face and clothes, God’s voice was heard declaring Jesus to be His Son, in whom He was well pleased. What better time to launch a public ministry than when Jesus went into total isolation for forty days and nights, eating nothing and being tempted by the devil the entire time. I wonder if Jesus would have succeeded over the enemy in that wilderness if He had not fasted. The Bible does not detail the temptations Jesus endured during the fast, only those that came at the end of it. I would imagine most of the temptations during the fast were intended to get Him to quit the fast.
Jesus was led by the Spirit to fast and pray in that desert before He ever preached one sermon, healed one cripple, freed one captive, or called one disciple. All the while He was sharpening His edge for what was yet to come. At the end of those forty long days and nights in the desert, Satan tested Jesus in three specific areas intended to get Jesus to compromise the path to our redemption. Satan did not want Jesus to succeed at taking back what Adam and Eve had turned over to him when they gave in to their appetites and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
If you are born again, Satan knows who you are in Christ. He knows the covenant that was made with the blood of Jesus. He knows that you have authority over all of his power. He does not have to recognize who you are in Christ as long you do not recognize who you are in Christ. All he has to do is tempt you and lead you by your fleshly appetites. We are driven by our flesh far more often than we should be. We want what we want when we want it, and we want it now! Fasting “dethrones” the rule of our demanding fleshly appetites so that we can more easily follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

The wisdom of coming away with the Lord and sharpening our edge indeed brings success. We see it modeled in the life of Jesus more than once. If Jesus needed the power of the Holy Spirit in His life and ministry on Earth, then you and I need that same power all the more. The days are not getting any easier. The church desperately needs to regain the edge for the battles ahead.

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