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Fourteen days into prayer and fasting and the craving for the foods that we have chosen to set aside temporarily are as strong as ever. It’s interesting that even simple things like food commercials that were once uninteresting can now suddenly become a temptation when you are abstaining from eating. Because when we are fasting from certain foods or desserts, whether or not we have eaten it prior to fasting, those items instantly become very appealing.
We live in a world where facing temptations of all kinds is a definite reality. But it’s encouraging to know that temptation isn’t just something we experience; even Jesus walked through times of temptation during his time on Earth.
In Luke 4, Jesus precedes the start of his ministry with a 40-day fast. Because the enemy knows the power of prayer and fasting, he doesn’t stay silent but does his best to tempt Jesus when He was seemingly at His weakest. In every instance of Satan’s attacks, Jesus combats by responding with Scripture. Scripture then tells us that after his failed attempts, Satan left him alone. Following Jesus’ 40-day fast, Scripture says in verse 14 that “the power of the Spirit was with him…”
The reality is that Satan hates when we are fasting because he knows the power that will follow. Through this time of prayer and fasting, it’s important to remember that though temptations may and probably will come, we have nothing to fear. We have the power of God’s Word to respond and defeat the enemy’s strategies. In the end, we too will be filled with the power of the Spirit in an even greater way!
Luke 4:1-14 ESV
Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit as he left the Jordan River. The Spirit led him while he was in the desert, where he was tempted by the devil for 40 days. During those days Jesus ate nothing, so when they were over, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.” Jesus answered him, “Scripture says, ‘A person cannot live on bread alone.’” The devil took him to a high place and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in an instant. The devil said to him, “I will give you all the power and glory of these kingdoms. All of it has been given to me, and I give it to anyone I please. So if you will worship me, all this will be yours.” Jesus answered him, “Scripture says, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’” Then the devil took him into Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest part of the temple. He said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, jump from here! Scripture says, ‘He will put his angels in charge of you to watch over you carefully. They will carry you in their hands so that you never hit your foot against a rock.’” Jesus answered him, “It has been said, ‘Never tempt the Lord your God.’” After the devil had finished tempting Jesus in every possible way, the devil left him until another time. Jesus returned to Galilee. The power of the Spirit was with him, and the news about him spread throughout the surrounding country.