How did day one of the Fast go for you? If you didn't manage it yesterday don't beat yourself up -- It's perfectly normal to have a few hiccups in this big exercise called fasting. Just dust yourself off, get back on the horse, and start afresh.
Over here, so far so good. I've not eaten since Monday morning. It does make me feel unwell, though, and that's even with coffee and juices. I can't believe that Jesus did this without those kinds of aids in blazing desert heat for forty days (Matthew 4:1-4).
On that note, I feel like looking at a well-known fasting passage today:
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”
Weakened, Jesus goes through more temptations from the devil in his fasting state until finally:
"The devil left him, and angels came and attended him" (v.11).
I'm reflecting today on the fact that a believer who has work to do for the Lord will be allowed to endure a wilderness season like the above. A season, that is, where they are weakened, fragile, tempted, and embattled. Sound familiar?
A wilderness season (which may last years) lifts us from being a baby Christian to a viable, ministering-to-others, working-for-the-Lord kind of Christian.
I wonder why Jesus fasted while also being in the wilderness and being tempted. It seemed the two came as a package: Fasting forty days, and also being tempted in a miserable wilderness. Further, he was on his own; well, without human companionship. But that whole package (fasting, temptation) lifted Jesus into a maturity that meant he could walk into the next thing God had for him: His ministry.
It's also noticeable that his wilderness time happened straight after he was baptized. And it was only after the wilderness that he went out, found his disciples, and performed his very first public miracle: The turning of water to wine at a wedding.
Do we all need to have a wilderness time after our initial conversion in order to truly be useful to the Lord? Perhaps so. For out of our pain comes our ministry to others.
For that reason, when I look back on my own SUM I can even dare to say that I wouldn't change it for the world. It's done things to my own character. Necessary things, I guess.
Our homes, our families, and our wilderness alone season... God will use it all. And we can pray "Lord, help us walk it through and see it through. Hold us up in it all."
How is your fast going so far? Any thoughts on the topic of wilderness seasons? Share anything you'd like to in the comments.