HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
As we draw nearer to the end of our prayer and fast I am sure that you have learned some things that you will continue to build on until the next year when we gather for another “Daniel’s Fast”.
- If you want to learn a specific skill or ability, it is important who you talk to and learn from.
- If you want to become a better communicator, talk to great communicators and study their habits.
- If you want to lead more effectively, read the books of leaders you admire and listen to their wisdom.
- If you want to become a better father or mother, look to others who have parented well for years ahead of you.
Who we look to for our example is a critical component of what we can learn and who we become. This is true spiritually. When it comes to walking close to the Lord, Jesus’ life on earth sets the perfect model for us.
Following Jesus’ baptism, something very interesting happens –The Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness. This leading was not just a gentle suggestion of where He should go next. Mark’s gospel says the Spirit compelled Him to go. The Greek word for compels means to send out with force. What was so urgent that Jesus would need to spend the next forty days praying and fasting in the wilderness? We often flee places that look like the wilderness, but what we see in this story is not only that the wilderness is a part of God’s plan, but a part of His preparation for the season to come.
It was in the wilderness that Jesus was able to escape the distractions and set His attention fully on His Father.
It was in the wilderness where He found Himself completely dependent upon God.
And although God the Father was with Him, the enemy showed up too. Satan arrived and began testing Jesus, attempting to once again subvert worship from the Father to himself. Jesus responded quickly and strategically with the Scripture that he had hidden in his heart.
After forty days spent in the wilderness praying and fasting, Luke includes a critical piece of information, “Then Jesus returned to Galilee, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Prior to entering the wilderness, Luke says Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit, but now he says Jesus was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus left the wilderness different than when He walked in. And, the Spirit’s power would be essential for the ministry Jesus would engage in. Therefore, even when it did not feel like it, the wilderness was a time of blessing as it prepared Jesus for what He would soon come to accomplish.
The beauty found in a wilderness season and times of prayer and fasting is that we leave differently than when we came. We leave with more of the power of the Holy Spirit.
God’s desire for every person is that through this time of prayer and fasting, we leave with more of His presence and more of His power, not for ourselves, but for the people He wants us to reach in the days ahead.
The power Jesus gained from that wilderness experience led to teaching God’s Word with boldness, healing the sick, setting captives free, giving hope to the hopeless, making the lame walk, restoring the sight of the blind, and so much more. God’s will is that we too would walk in a boldness that comes from being in His presence and that out of this time of prayer and fasting, we would be filled with the Holy Spirit’s power!
And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. 3 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. 4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. 5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. 7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. 8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 9 And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: 10 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: 11 And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season. 14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.
And immediately the spirit driveth him into the wilderness.