It's day four of our 10-day fast! Here is today's "Heroes of Fasting" video (2:57), from Matt Bennett, Founder and CEO of Christian Union Day and Night.
Hi, Matt Bennett here. We are talking about heroes of fasting. This group of people is interesting because this is an example of an involuntary fast. The Israelites, as they were led out of Egypt and into the promised land, went through an involuntary fast. There were periods of time where there wasn't the food immediately available to them. Same thing with water. So they were without for a while.
This caused them incredible concern. But the Lord was using it. They didn't choose this fast, but the Lord still used it. What's so amazing about this fast is that Jesus actually quotes it in the New Testament when He's going through His fast and He's being tempted as it says in Matthew chapter four. The devil tries to have Him eat bread. He quotes back to this fast that the Israelites did as a means of strengthening Him and showing the purpose of what's going on here. I'm going to read these few verses. This is Deuteronomy 8:1-3. You see the Lord's purposes in this, which is really amazing.
It says here, “The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the Lord swore to give to your fathers. And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord."
There's two interesting things about this fast they're experiencing. One is that it says here that God does it, and it's something that they didn't know before, but He did it to test them, to see what was in their heart. Fasting does that. When you're going without food, it helps to really see what's going on, to really prove what's in your heart and what matters to you before the Lord.
Secondly, it does something else. That is to teach them a lesson, that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from God. When you fast, when you humble yourself, there are things that you learn and understand about God and about your walk with Him that otherwise you would not know. Fasting is key for this if you want to be as strong in the Lord as you want to be for all the purposes God has for you, then fasting is an essential part. Otherwise, there are lessons you will never know. And in some ways, your faith will not be proved to the full extent that it needs to be to be used of God.
Incredible example from the Israelites. Thanks for fasting. God bless.