Jesus is the perfect example to us all. Everything He taught, He also observed Himself, that we may follow Him and do the same. Look at fasting and prayer, for instance, as Jesus did this to begin His ministry. During this time, Jesus went into the desert and fasted and prayed for forty days. Now, just think of this for a minute. We, as Christians generally fast for a day and sometimes a week, at most. This we do, in order to increase our relationship with God in prayer, overcome addiction, and more fully do His will. What Jesus did, while fasting for forty days was enormous, but He is God of course. There is nothing wrong with our time in fasting, as long as it is heartfelt and for the Lord. This time in the desert was before He started casting out demons. This is important to note, since He also taught that some demons will only come out through prayer and fasting. So our greatest example of all, Jesus, taught us how to fast, while also combating Satan’s attacks, in the meantime. The Devil tried to give Him things and try Him, but all this was for not, as the Lord God rules supreme and put him in his place. So what do we learn here? 1. Fasting is important to every Christian. 2. We fast as Jesus did, in order to have the Holy Spirit in our lives and to cast out demons, if necessary.
Below are the list of temptations that Jesus went through by Satan, in the desert. His responses are in the verses below the numbers:
#1, Satan commanded that Jesus transform the stone to become bread.
Luke 4:1-4 (KJV)
1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
3 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.
4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
#2, Satan said that all kingdoms would be Jesus’s, if he worshipped him.
Luke 4:5-8 (KJV)
5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
#3, Satan tempted Jesus to jump down from the top of the temple.
Luke 4:9-13 (KJV)
9 And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:
10 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:
11 And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.
While we pray, we may go through the same or even different temptations as Jesus. But as the Lord overcame them, we can also put a wall up to the evil forces around us, that we may not fall victim to it. Like Jesus did, we can say, “get thee behind me, Satan”. These are not just words, but come with power and authority from God. After prayer is finished, while fasting, and our relationship with the Lord has been elevated, this is a great time to serve the Lord, in whatever way God is leading us. If we are pulled into evangelism, let it take shape the way God wants, for this will bring on many great opportunities to witness for Jesus and also cast out demons. We will not be afraid for the Holy Spirit is with us. Unlike the disciples that once had a problem with a man that had a demon and could not cast it out, Your faith will be different. Because you prayed and fasted, and the Holy Spirit is with you, the demonic spirits have to obey. And at the name of Jesus, these demons are cast out.
Here is the story of a Man with a Demon, in which only Jesus could cast out, not the disciples:
Matthew 17:14-21 (KJV)
14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
Now, the disciples of God did end up casting demons out, once Jesus was resurrected and the Holy Spirit came upon them. However, let this be an example of not going into something that we know we ought not to. Instead, come into every evil situation with the confidence of God the Holy Spirit on our side. And please know that this boldness will only come inside a person through prayer and fasting. If you have learned one thing from this message, may it be this, that Jesus is our example of fasting and prayer. Let it be known, that not everybody is capable of doing amazing things in God’s kingdom, unless prayer and fasting is involved. Truly miracles are still happening, but only when God is in us and doing the work. We are only God’s servants, and for that reason, we give everything to God and do things for His glory alone. Nothing we could ever do, that is Spiritual, comes from us but God Himself. So come and worship the Lord, Your God. Give Him the glory and praise. Learn the things He taught, while reading the Bible, praying often, and fasting, as needed.
Let us pray:
Lord God, please help us all have a greater desire to commune with You in prayer. May this become a heartfelt thing and not just something we do as a religious ritual. Only by having a real relationship with you, may we truly understand Your will and be drawn to do things that are extraordinary in Your sight. And God, help every Christian understand the need to fast. You were the greatest example of this act and did so for forty days. This, You did, that we may understand the need to fast. You also taught that some demons can only be cast out through prayer and fasting. And as everyone in the faith ought to be ready to fight off the demonic forces, we ought to also fast when needed. And God, You will help us know when this is necessary. Whenever the Holy Spirit is not present, I know that it is important to give you everything, including anything that is holding us back. And often times this takes a lot out of us to change in this way. That is why I am so grateful for fasting and to know that You are working through us in those moments to change us from the inside out. That way, when we come out of our fast, our Spiritual life is renewed and we are made alive again. I know that You have the power to save us all, if we just give ourselves over to You. This I know, as my life has been changed in these moments of fasting. Even many miracles have come of it. I love You Jesus. And I say these things in thy Holy Name. Amen.