After the Temptation...
"Jesus said to him, "Away from me, satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.'"
Then the devil left Him, and angels came and attended him."
Matthew 4: 10-11 (NIV)
If anyone tells you they have never been tempted to give up in the middle of a Fast, they're probably not telling you the truth. I'll be the first to admit, I've wanted to quit during a Fast more times than I can count. Fasting isn't fun. But it is necessary and beneficial. It is necessary that we occasionally re-evaluate (align) our lives in light of God's perspective. It is necessary that we build our self control through fasting and prayer, because if we can control over our appetites, we can gain control over other areas of our lives that are out of control. Fasting is a short term sacrifice that produces lasting, long term benefits when the Fast is over. Fasting has numerous health benefits including detoxifying our bodies of things that would shorten our lives. But more important are the many spiritual blessings that result from Fasting.
Extended Fasting produces intimacy with God because it causes us to acknowledge God 24-hours a day. Every time we feel a pang of discomfort, we are reminded of our prayers and our desire to be closer to God. Fasting strengthens our character. Something happens in our spirit when we go on a protracted Fast. Our will and our inner-man is empowered to fulfill a life of purity and holiness before God. When we fast for an extended time, our prayers grow in intensity as the Fast progresses; we develop more faith and authority over the duration of the Fast! The benefits and blessings of Fasting are really too numerous to mention, but we must bear in mind that the vast majority of these blessings are only activated in our lives after the Fast has been completed.
That's why the enemy of our soul fights us so hard to keep us from finishing - or being fully engaged in - the Fast! He knows that when we obey God in this area something supernatural occurs! In Matthew 4: 10-11, we read that after Jesus resisted satan's temptations, the devil left Him and angels came and ministered to Him! Glory! We have longed to see the glory of God. We have earnestly desired to experience revelation and visitation from on high. Could it be that while we have been waiting for heaven, heaven has been waiting for us?
The angels didn't come until after the temptation. In fact, the devil didn't leave until after the temptation. I want to encourage you that there is life after your temptation, and it is more glorious than you can imagine...if you don't quit. The enemy wants to convince you that you're the only one who feels "this way," that you can't do this Fast, that you need to give up, or that since you lapsed a day or so you might as well just wait until the next Consecration. The devil is a liar. THIS is your appointed Fast for alignment and lasting breakthrough!
Fast till the end. You owe it to your integrity to finish what you've started. There is something about making a vow and fulfilling it, that is important. When we tell God that we'll do something and then don't do it, something inside us weakens. May I be painfully honest? Most of the limitations and failures in our lives - spiritually and naturally - are the result of not finishing what we start. It is important for us to keep our word to God when we begin a Fast! The Bible says, "...the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who draw back unto perdition (destruction); but of them who believe to the saving of the soul" (Hebrews 10: 38-39). By completing this Fast, you break strongholds in your life of unkept promises, unmet goals and unfinished projects!
Fatigue will come. Obstacles will come. Discouragement will come. Doubt will come. Anytime you commit to an extended period of seeking the Lord, you will face temptation and spiritual attacks, but keep your vow. Finish. You've heard it said that no one ever built a monument to a critic; well, no one ever built a monument to a quitter either. There are no great stories about people who quit. There are no great testimonies of people who give up. Nobody writes songs about slackers. Quitters never win and winners never quit! There is nothing like crossing the finish line with the joy of being able to say, "I made it; I didn't quit!" You're called to be a winner this year, but your victory will only come after the temptation.
I have a feeling that something special awaits you after the struggle and temptation of this Fast. You're going to see and experience things that up until now you've only longed for. The devil is going to have to leave you alone. Angels will come to minister to you...after the temptation.