Thursday, August 25, 2016

Why Fast? Reason #8: To Overcome Temptation

           When Jesus fasted, Satan came to him and said, “Turn those stones into bread.” The devil was a little less confident in my level of faith, he figured I would have laughed at him if he had suggested that I eat rocks. So, he tried a different approach. As I was driving down the road, I saw a sign for a fast-food restaurants and the devil tempted me, “Daniel, turn those dollar bills into hamburgers.” When I fast, I find that not only do I become more sensitive to God’s voice, I am also able to recognize the devil’s voice more clearly.      
            Temptation is something everyone faces. “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come” (Luke 17:1). Being tempted is not a sin, the sin occurs when we give into temptation Fortunately, God has given us the tool of fasting to help us resist temptation.
            Temptation is nothing but a gaudy ordainment painted with fool’s gold. It promises much and delivers little. Paul said, “If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:12-13). The way out will often be revealed to you when you are fasting.  
            When Jesus was in the desert on his forty day fast, the devil tempted him with the same three temptations he had used on Adam; the lust of the flesh (turn these stones into bread), the lust of the eyes (jump from the temple), and the pride of life (bow to me and I will give you the world). Jesus may have been weak physically, but the fast made him strong spiritually. Satan never had a chance because Jesus was powered up after spending so much time with His Father.
            Here are some verses that will help you resist temptation.  
* “...live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature” (Galatians 5:16).
* “...do not give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:27).
* “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:11).
* “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:13-15).

* “Through these he has given us his great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 1:4)     
            My worst bout with Satan came at the end of my first forty-day fast. Throughout the forty days, I had worked diligently on writing my book “Healing Power.” For hours every day I searched the scriptures for promises about God’s ability to heal. I studied the books and videos of great healing evangelists. I memorized scriptures about healing. Finally the book was completed just as my fast was coming to an end.
            Unfortunately, I made an unwise decision when breaking my fast. Instead of recovering slowly by sipping soups, I visited a waffle restaurant. My stomach had shrunk. I took only two bites of a waffle, a sip of milk, a sliver of egg, but it was too much for my body to handle. Three hours later, the most severe pain I have ever experienced in my life hit my stomach. I could barely breath. I curled up in a ball, racked with pain.
            For seven days, I laid on my bed and suffered. The entire time, Satan was shouting in my ear, “Healer, heal yourself. You wrote a book on healing, but you can’t even get yourself healed. God’s word does not work. Your healing ministry is over before it even began. Give up. God cannot heal you.”
            I know the devil is a liar, but it was so hard to ignore him. I rocked back and forth in pain, and confessed healing scriptures. I squeezed each word out of my mouth in between groans, “I...aaaa...am....ohhh...the God....owwww...that heals.....you.” Satan just laughed at me.
            I faced intense temptation during this time. You think thoughts when you are in pain that you would never think when healthy. I was wondering if God is real, if He does miracles, if I should even be in ministry, if I should kill myself to stop the pain? But, I kept quoting scripture, just like Jesus did when he was faced with temptation and I came through victorious!
            I was hesitant to share this story with you because I do not want to scare you away from fasting. If you use wisdom when breaking your fast, there is no reason you should get sick like I did. The point is that fasting will give you strength to overcome temptation. 


This is an excerpt from Daniel's book: "The Power of Fasting." To order your copy, click HERE.