It's day six of our 10-day fast! Here is today's "Heroes of Fasting" video (4:22), from Dimas Salaberrios, author of Street God.
One of the best spiritual disciplines that you can find in the Bible is the spiritual discipline of fasting and prayer. To emphasize how important this is, Jesus modeled this Himself. For God to come into the world and to dwell among us sin-free with power and authority, and then to do a 40-day fast before launching into His ministry, shows us how significant fasting and prayer is. Jesus is the ultimate hero of fasting and prayer.
It says in the Bible in Matthew chapter four that, "Jesus was lead up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. When he had fasted 40 days and 40 nights, afterwards, he was hungry." Now, what this shows is Jesus' ministry was going to be birthed, and Jesus went into a moment of focus when He went into the wilderness. He realized that Satan was going to come and do battle with Him, and what did Jesus do in the power of the Spirit? He turned His plate over and he went there to be with God and to fast and to pray for the challenge that was coming before Him.
This lets us know as Christians, we're going to face opposition. We're going to face battles. One of the wisest things that we can do is go into a mode of fasting and prayer. There's something significant about when we imitate the lifestyle of Jesus and we actually take on some of the behavior that Jesus did, like taking on a mode of fasting and prayer. Even further in the scriptures, Jesus had notes that he put that are very significant when you read it in the Greek, where Jesus said, "When you fast and pray," in other words, it was to be adapted into the Christian life that in this journey of your spiritual growth and development, God expects you to fast and pray.
I don't know about you, but I'm thinking about 2018 and what does God have before us. This is an incredible time for Christian Union to call the body of Christ to join in with this spiritual discipline of fasting and this spiritual discipline of prayer. I want to say this, the two have to go together. Sometimes you could just say, "You know what? I'm going to abstain from food. I'm going to abstain from something, and I'm just going to go through this and I'm going to watch what God's going to do." But notice, all throughout Scripture, when there was an abstaining from food, there was also an increase in prayer.
I want to challenge you, pray. Talk to God. Seek Him for direction. I know we can sometimes sit down and say, "God, here's what I want to do for this year. Here's my plan. Here's my thoughts." But I think it's great that in this month of January, that we can step back and say, "Okay God, I've set my plans before You, but now I want to slow down and I want to pray and ask for You to lead me, for You to guide me, so that You can steer me away from the storms and steer me into the best relationship with You and that I fulfill my purpose with You." If the Son of God came into this earth, and before starting his three-year ministry said, "I'm going to pause and I'm going to fast and pray," how much more do we need to do that?
I'm Pastor Dimas, and I want to encourage, I'm journeying with you. Hang in there and let's go before God and let's fast and pray together. God bless you. Keep looking up, and keep Christ number one. Peace.