I have completely reconsidered my understanding of the testing of Jesus in the wilderness.
I used to think that fasting for 40 days would have left Jesus weak. Open to temptation. Vulnerable. Yet, it was the Holy Spirit who lead Him into the wilderness, and presumably led Him into a time of fasting.
When Jesus talks of fasting at other times, there seems to be strength that comes from it, rather than weakness. On one occasion He explains to His disciples who have had difficulty in casting out a demon that this required prayer and fasting.
Could it be that fasting in the wilderness, rather than leaving Jesus weak actually left Him strong?
When the enemy came, he came with temptation that was enticing but would lead Jesus away from His call. Shockingly he did this by misusing or twisting the word of God. Yet Jesus, with clarity and strength sees through the charade and applies Scripture correctly. In my experience that’s what prayer and fasting does. This discipline gives you the strength to resist that which is not of God and draws you closer to God so that you know His will and word with greater clarity.
When I fast I have a saying that I repeat to myself every time I feel hungry. I offer this prayer, “Lord, I need you more than I need food”. It’s true. There is nothing I need more than God. Fasting reminds me of this.
If you are finding that you are stuck? If you need strength to breakthrough something, then maybe it’s time to fast? Not because it is a religious ritual, but because in it, you have decided that there is nothing you need more in your life than God.