Wednesday, September 07, 2011
The Spirit must Dominate!
1Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.
There isn’t a man alive that doesn’t know what it’s like to be tempted. But the kind of temptation Jesus opened himself to, required a resolve of steel. He had nothing to eat, for forty days, and his intent was to put Satan in His place by demonstrating that He had no need of him.
If I just stop eating for a few days, my flesh begins to cry out for food. Jesus was no different than you or I except that He had knowledge that we don’t have. Consider this though, there’s no point in fasting if we can’t be tempted. The whole idea is to gain control over the flesh, and give that control over to the Spirit. This is how we gain the clarity that we need to find answers to the issues that confront us in our carnal state. Remember what He tells his disciples when they were in the garden of Gethsemane, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41) You won’t know your weakness until you have put it to the test. And if a fast is anything but a test of the strength of our Spirit, I don’t know how else to describe it.
Jesus while He was fasting was on a war time footing, he was in constant prayer giving the Father a blow by blow explanation of His battle with Satan, and with His most vulnerable part of His existence here on earth. His mission is to move beyond being tempted, and to recognize the devils dirty tricks. And not only that but to take control of this domain including Satan’s by calling him out and defeating Him on the spot.
Satan begins his attack by saying, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” (Vs 3) He implies doubt as to who Jesus is, when he knows who He is. But Jesus doesn’t respond with, what do you mean, “If.” He doesn’t go to the ego at all, but His response comes straight from the Spirit, and from the word of God.
He says, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’” (Vs 4) here is the whole point of His fast, he cleanly separates himself from the flesh, and lives in the Spirit. during this time of deprivation.
We also must put the flesh in it’s place, making it subject to the authority of the Spirit here is our challenge according to Paul. “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” (Romans 8:5) We need to separate the two so that we can clearly recognize when we are being deceived.
If you have never put these things to the test, try it! Plan a fast. Fast for just one day. Then go for two, and then three. The longest I’ve gone was 21 days. But it took me a long time to work up to that. While I can make that claim, I have to say that was a long time ago, 40 years is a long time. I still fast from time to time to pray, or to simple take control of my flesh. I seems that the desire to eat after a few days of fasting is more pressing than any other temptation we might face.
Just don’t live according to the flesh, if you find that happening, simply push away from the table, and fast for a few days and you will be amazed at the clarity of thought you will gain.
Today, I will consider a fast, but for a reason. I must have a clearly defined purpose so as to keep focused on the end result. I need a Spiritual goal.
Father God, I know that I need to cleanse myself of carnal influences in my life, perhaps a fast is what is required, Lord. Show me the way I should precede. In the holy name of Jesus Christ, I pray. AMEN!