At the very beginning of His ministry, the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to fast and pray. “After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry” (Matthew 4:2).
The fast that Jesus undertook was what Arthur Wallis, author of “God’s Chosen Fast”, calls a ‘normal fast’ involving abstention only from solid food.
While not as dangerous as an absolute fast that includes abstaining from all liquids, it is still a difficult endurance test for the human body, especially when it lasts as long as 40 days or longer. People start losing faith and opening windows for the devil, please brethren watch out, the devil has seducing tactics to destroy your reputation and your current position.
In such a weakened state, we can well imagine that both the body and the spirit would be vulnerable to attack. Physically and spiritually, there would be lower resistance, even a loss of immunity.
Since the Bible is very clear that Jesus abstained totally from food for 40 days and became very hungry, he would have been in this depleted and vulnerable condition. And that’s when the devil came on the scene, twice tempting Jesus to rely on his own power (turn stones into bread; jump from the temple) and then tempting Jesus to rely on the devil’s power (the whole world in exchange for worshiping the devil).
Satan, not only is he not self-existent and not sovereign, but he is powerful and subtle. He is really subtle. He is not blatant, as I said earlier, he is extremely subtle. He sneaks around. He doesn’t come walking up saying: “I’m the devil, I’d like to ruin your life, do this…” Never..never. He always paints the picture so lovely that we get sucked in on it and then we find out it spells ruin.
The devil runs the world’s system. He’s powerful…he is powerful. He has captured the world’s media…some of them belong to him; from movies to newspapers. And to a certain extent the schools, the education system, the books. Every systematised thing in the world is almost in the hands of Satan, except those things that are dedicated to Jesus Christ. There’s no neutral ground, folks.
You can’t go and indulge in a neutral activity basically speaking. Now, of course, there are some things that are for the health and the body and the enjoyment of the soul that has no moral significance; and God’s given us those for our enjoyment. But anything that draws a moral conclusion is either for God or against God.
Paul says, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, the spiritual host of wickedness in heavenly places.” He’s powerful and he is subtle.
John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”