40 Days, 40 Nights, then Satan
This post was originally part of an email series for a 21-day fast. See below for the series.
Fasting can attract a particular someone.
Jesus began His ministry with fasting. His fast was for forty days and forty nights. Matthew 4:1 tells us why he was fasting:
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
Jesus was preparing Himself to deal with a satanic attack and though fasting made His physical body vulnerable, it strengthened His Spirit.
Don’t be surprised if fasting has caught the attention of satanic spirits. It was when Jesus was hungry that the tempter came to Him. Satan can come to us in our weakened state because he understands the impact of sin on the fallen flesh.
What is Satan’s usual strategy?
“Boy, you must be hungry.”
Satan reminds us of our position and condition. “If you are the Son of God (position: God’s property), command these stones to become loaves of bread (condition: hungry).”
It is shameful for us when we easily fall into the temptation of quitting. If Jesus made stones into bread, he would have failed in His commitment to go without food. He would have misused His position to bring temporary satisfaction to His condition.
God is my food, the Words that come from God’s mouth are satisfying to my spirit and body!
Satan’s Next Strategy
God will take care of you, whether you do right or wrong.
Satan tempts us, just like He did Jesus, to put trust in our own righteousness. Here Satan uses God’s own Word to get Jesus to put God to the test. Standing on the ledge of a building and throwing yourself off of it is crazy, but expecting God to catch you is just plain prideful.
I don’t think so, God can’t be tested because He is Sovereign.
Satan’s Final Strategy
Compromise is okay, you can worship the World and God.
Satan should know better and he gets bonus points for giving it a good try, but could He get the Son of God to worship him? Unlikely.
Yet, Satan uses compromise as a powerful weapon against Christians.
Sometimes we think we are serving God, but at times, we are only serving our own pride. Other times, we compromise with what we know God hates and include it into our lives and apply grace to our compromise.
We are done here, you need to go! God alone is to be worshiped and served!
If you have been fasting and you have feeling attacked by the enemy, don’t be surprised. This time of fasting is part of preparing you to deal with the enemy.
Follow Jesus’ pattern of response when dealing with the attacks of the enemy: Use God’s Word against Satan!
Epilogue: I don’t like to paraphrase like I did above without giving the actual scriptures.
Here are the Scripture verses:
1Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’
“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
7Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.’”
11Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.