“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV
As we make our way into the second half of 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting, perhaps the “worst” is behind you. The side-effects of the detox are wearing off, or you are growing accustomed to whatever healthy new habits you have introduced into your schedule. However, for some of us… things may have taken a turn. (Hypothetically speaking, of course. Yeah right. Who are we kidding?! Self included.)
Perhaps you are experiencing increased attacks from the enemy to de-rail you from your progress in growing closer to God. Things like anxiety attacks, sickness, klutziness, insomnia, temptation, or ungodly thoughts may seem to come out of nowhere. Maybe you have started “thinking” what other people “must” be thinking about you. Or, a random craving to do or eat something you are fasting from and haven’t craved in 12 days pops up. So you find yourself starting to try to rationalize why it ‘might’ be okay. Ha! Busted, devil.
Inevitably, the devil wants to mess up this fast, because he knows what a powerful tool it is. After all, satan did try to tempt Jesus in the wilderness when He was hungry, so we know we certainly aren’t off-limits! (See Matthew 4:1-11) But Jesus recognized the enemy’s attempts to twist reality, and Jesus stood firm in God’s truth and in His faith.
It’s important to note that these temptations are actually important for our spiritual growth. We once heard this likened to the necessity of stress on trees, in order to grow to their full potential. “The Biosphere 2 Project,” where trees were grown in a bubble without wind or outside forces, provided an interesting revelation:
“The trees inside Biosphere 2 grew rapidly, more rapidly than they did outside of the dome, but they also fell over before reaching maturation. After looking at the root systems and outer layers of bark, the scientists came to realize that a lack of wind in Biosphere 2 caused a deficiency of stress wood. Stress wood helps a tree position itself for optimal sun absorption and it also helps trees grow more solidly. Without stress wood, a tree can grow quickly, but it cannot support itself fully. It cannot withstand normal wear and tear, and survive. In other words, the trees needed some stress in order to thrive in the long run.” Source: https://travisma.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/the-necessity-of-stress/
So, when you don’t feel like praying, or you are resisting heading to church, worshiping, fellow-shipping, or you find yourself just plain ornery, recognize the source. Then push through. Because it’s going to make you stronger. The stress will make you thrive in the long run!
Crush the chains of what’s trying to hold you down, pull you back, and press you down. Break free! Pray to God for supernatural strength, discipline, and willpower… and then say like Jesus did, “away from me satan!” (Yes, we know grammatically speaking we are supposed to capitalize the “s” but we chose not to, to remind the devil where he belongs.)
We believe in you. We know you can do it. You’re almost there. Press through. We will be praying for you! Thank you for joining us for Day 12 ‘in the life’ of our fast here at RISENfitness. We are breaking free of the struggle right beside you:)
Here’s to your Health and 21 Day Fast!