Tag Archives: spirituality

Temptations during Fasting

Scripture Passage: Luke 2:1-14

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted  by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. 

The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”

 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’b ”

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’c ”

The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written:

“ ‘He will command his angels concerning you

to guard you carefully;

they will lift you up in their hands,

so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’d ”

Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’e ”

When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.

How I See It

Jesus fasted for a period of forty days. In this passage we see Jesus was tempted three times during this fast. In the past when I have read this passage I learned how Jesus responded to the devil and how we should respond in kind. Today, when I read this passage I see Jesus was tempted to break His fast in three ways. The tempter tried to make Jesus eat. Satan tempted Jesus with lust for power and pride- to take over the world. Satan tempted Jesus to take His own life in suicide and to test the Lord to save Him.

The Scriptures say that Jesus was both fully God and fully man. It was the human side of Jesus that was tempted in these ways. If Jesus was tempted by these things, it follows that we can also be tempted in these ways also. It is important that we realize this.

If you are fasting, it will be the enemy’s goal to make you break your fast. Why? because when we fast we are endeavoring not just to sustain from eating. That is merely dieting. When we fast we are sustaining from food in order to turn our hunger and urges to seeking God and hearing from Him. The last thing the enemy wants us to do is seek God and hear the personal directions He has for us. When we receive personal directions from God and obey them, amazing things happen. The enemy of our souls does NOT want this to happen.

  • Seek God personally.
  • Hear His voice.
  • Reject, fight, attack temptations and lies from evil….they will come.
  • Draw near to God. Seek Him out with ALL your heart, soul, mind and strength.
  • Obey the LORD and do HIS work of loving your neighbor, using the gifts and talents He has given YOU, and making disciples.

1 (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Trouble

“I have told you these things so that in me you might have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

Jesus was quite direct. He was getting His disciples ready for the tough times that were at the door- arrest, trial, unjust judgement, beatings, persecutions, and death.

Jesus is getting us ready, too.

We will have trouble. It is at the door.

But who wants or likes trouble. I don’t want it. I get annoyed or mad or anxious when I have it. Trouble stinks! Whether big trouble or small, it stinks.

Jesus gets us ready for it, too. As His kids in this fallen world, we are literally and figuratively in the midst of it.

I don’t feel well today, I have pains I don’t want to admit I have. I had a challenging time teaching my middle school students this week and I could have handled something better. I could go on and on, and so could you. You have troubles I don’t have, and I may have no idea what you are facing. You may be facing very great difficulty, more than just the more common trials of life. You may also feel like no one could even understand what you are facing.

The disciples and early believers’ trials were neither common nor easy, just as for many believers today. Your troubles today may be easier than they were in the past and not as hard as they will be one day. In contrast, this may be the toughest time in your life.

But trust Jesus. He is there for you. Go to Him. He understands. Because He is the author of life and was himself fully human, He understands the trails of mankind.  He understands without condemnation. He came into the world not to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.

If you trust Him, He will be your comfort. Jesus said He overcomes (the troubles) of this world. That’s a guarantee we can take to the bank and cash in.

So go to Jesus for comfort and believe He will work your situation for the good. Spend some time in His presence and trust Him.  In Him we will have peace. If the Father sent His son to redeem the world, and Jesus in obedience and love laid down His life for you and me and all mankind, and then was raised to life so we too can be raised at death, then surely we can trust the Lord and be comforted in this trouble.

This trouble will be worked out in some way, somehow, sometime. Jesus has overcome. We can trust Him and must do what He said to do. Heed the advice of Christ, “Take heart!”