But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’” Luke 4:4
All the greats of the Bible fasted. Moses, David, Nehemiah, Daniel, Elijah, Paul, Peter, even Jesus Himself. They all committed themselves to a high standard of discipline to fulfill God’s purposes in the earth.
In the first days of His earthly ministry, Jesus went through a dry desert. For forty days He was in the wilderness, without food, being tempted by the devil. However, when He fasted His way out of that dry desert place, the Bible says in Luke 4:14, “Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee”.
Fasting will ignite the power of the Holy Spirit within you. It is a time to focus all of your attention on Him alone. Fasting is feeding your spirit by neglecting your flesh. Most of the time we do the opposite; we neglect our spirit by feeding our flesh.
Fasting has been a lifestyle for me since I was about 17-years old. I watched my father, a faithful man of God, model fasting and prayer when I was growing up. I have been on short fasts and long fasts, but I have to be honest and say that I do not know how Jesus fasted for that long in the wilderness. It is difficult enough to complete a 21-day fast with all of today’s comforts like heat, air conditioning and a comfortable bed to sleep in at night. Imagine our Savior, our King, fasting for that long in the wilderness of Israel, with no water, no food and no bed, and being constantly nagged by the devil. It makes me think of the words of David when he was in the desert of Judah
O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
Notice that David did not say he thirsted for water in the desert, but for God. We are driven by our flesh far more often than we should be. We want what we want, when we want it, and we want it now! Fasting “dethrones” the rule of our demanding fleshly appetites so that we can develop a hunger for Him and more easily follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.