Power of the Spirit
Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. Luke 4:14
Jesus came out of the wilderness after fasting for 40 days in the power of the Holy Spirit. This was when He began to minister in the synagogues. At first it looked like He was widely accepted and glorified by all as the Messiah. Of course, reading this passage today, we believe that His power was there because He was the Son of God and all powerful like His heavenly Father. However, that is not what the scriptures says. It says that after He fasted for 40 days, He returned in the power of the Spirit. Why would Jesus need to fast for power. He was God in person.
There is another account in the gospels where Jesus told His disciples that power comes by prayer and fasting. (See Matthew 17:21) The fact was that all Jewish people of that day practiced fasting on a regular basis. They fasted once a week on the Sabbath. They fasted on holy days before or after they celebrated. They fasted when they were in trouble, and they fasted when they were mourning. Some did it for show, some did it because of the requirement of the law, but some did it for power. Fasting was given to them as a gift when Moses was given all the statutes of the law. A time to turn all their attention and affection to God. Fasting was an act of their worship.
In our culture today, we don’t see much of this at all. Rarely do you find someone setting aside something to focus on their relationship with their heavenly Father or to pray for someone in need. Fasting has really lost its purpose in the world today, but not it’s power.
Fasting is a time set aside for a person to tune into the direction and heart of God. It is a quieting of the external to bring forward the internal person. Fasting is not limited to food. It can be any distractions or pass times that occupy space in your life that could be filled up with God’s presence instead. Lastly, fasting is a sign that show that you are serious about the eternal things and want to spend time reinforcing the spiritual in your life instead of the tangible things of this world. Fasting is an act of worship.
Today I want to encourage you to consider fasting and setting up a time frame to press into God. Whether it is one day, three days or 40 days, it just doesn’t matter. The point is to make a decision to set aside something that can be replace with spending time praying and listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit to your heart. Select scriptures ahead of time that you will focus on when the distraction of hunger comes or let that pain be the reminder that you are going to pray for a friend in need or your specific need. Fasting does not make God move quicker or respond sooner, it is for you to shut down and listen. To receive your next steps in the plan and to receive the power you need to take it. If you have never faster, make a plan today. Commit to God that you want to step closer by magnifying Him instead of the world around you.
Today’s scripture reading: Luke 4:14-15
14 Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region.
15 And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.