“man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4
There is no triumph without testing.
There can never be a revealing of what controls us without a time of testing. Testing is not pleasant, however testing with the right attitude and focus can bring about powerful weapons for battles. It is in the testing that these weapons are revealed, sharpened, bloodied, and victorious. Jesus came out of the baptismal waters fully immersed in the power of the Holy Spirit. While Jesus lived a sinless life growing up as Mary and Joseph’s son, He was going to enter a time of intense spiritual battle as His ministry begins and ends at the terrible wonderful cross. Jesus needed to be tested, strengthened, attacked, and come out victorious to equip Himself for His ministry.
40 days – 40 years
During the forty-day fast Jesus identifies with Israel in the wilderness. Israel was sent to the wilderness because of unbelief. God was going to teach them a long lesson. Jesus was sent by the Holy Spirit for forty days to be strengthened. During the wilderness trials of Israel and Jesus, a withdrawal from provisions are placed upon them or in Jesus’ case was self-induced. As a time of physical need becomes a reality, our bodies begin to ask for supply, for food, pleasure, peace, escape.
Faith grows out of emptiness.
Israel complained about the lack of provisions and God supplied manna and water to sustain. What was also being provided to Israel was faith in God. Although they complained to Moses, there was also a strengthening of faith in God. Jesus fasted forty days knowing God was preparing Him for the mission. His body cried out for food, Jesus’ soul cries out for God.
The Jericho Victory
After forty years of growing faith and knowledge of God Israel once again faces Jericho. The once believed unbeatable kingdom was now a possibility because of what was learned in the forty years. Our supply and hope are not from food and drinks only, but from God who supplies, defends, and delivers victories in impossible situations. The devil tempted Christ to turn the rocks into bread and eat. He was very hungry as his body was screaming for food. But a greater cry came out of Christ’s soul. He quoted from Deuteronomy 8 a truth that we must learn in the testing to succeed and mature in faith.
Deuteronomy 8:1-3 Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. 2 Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
You may be in a time of testing right now.
Don’t look only for the needs of your body and family. Allow this time of testing to strengthen your faith in God and His word. It may be good for you to fast a few days to place your body and soul in a place of need as you cry out to God. He will strengthen you as you call out to Him. Use your faith in the trial against Satan and triumph over his temptations and suggestions.
Israel entered the promised land. Jesus was victorious on the cross and prepared a promised land for us. Walk this world fighting the good fight with every word that comes out of God Word. You will find a sharpened, ready weapon beside your glowing lightnside.