Sunday, March 27, 2011

From Practice, to Habit, to Assimilation

And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.   -Matthew 4:3, 4 (KJV) 

As Jesus fasted and prayed in the wilderness for 40 days He found spiritual power and strength for standing firm and resisting the lies of the devil.  During every temptation Jesus quoted Scripture and took a firm stand on God’s Word.  In doing so He was empowered to resist and to remain firmly established in God’s will.  Jesus spent 40 days and nights alone in the wilderness praying, fasting, and seeking spiritual power.  Following this period the Lord began His earthly ministry and eventually went to the cross upon which He gave His life for the sins of the world.  Again we see the power of 40 days.  In yesterday’s blog I shared about my own 40 day experience of rising early each day before dawn to seek the Lord in prayer.  The 40 day challenge has past, yet I continue to arise earlier than ever before to spend an extended time in prayer each morning – to God be the glory.   

The significance of the 40 days in Scripture is evident: the rain fell 40 days and nights bringing the great flood, the Israelites mourned 40 days after the passing of Jacob, Moses was on Mount Sinai 40 days receiving the Ten Commandments, and Jesus fasted and prayed 40 days in the wilderness.  When we do anything over a 40 day period it becomes a part of us.  We pass from practice, to habit, to assimilation into our being.  I have heard many years if we do something for three weeks it becomes a habit, and this is true.  Take on a challenge 40 days and what you have undertaken will become a part of you.   

As I stated yesterday, I have never been a “morning person,” yet by the power of God I am becoming one.  This is the direct result of taking on the 40 days challenge which the Lord gave me.  My prayer throughout the experience was for spiritual breakthrough.  My desire was to experience God in a fresh and powerful way.  My prayer was answered ten-fold.  Let us never believe we have gone as deep into our relationship with Christ as we can go, for the Lord is willing to take us deeper.  However, be careful, for as we begin to grow in the Lord the devil will increase his attacks just as he did with Jesus in the wilderness. 

Take heart, for the Lord is with us. Stand strong, trust the Lord, and delve deeper into your relationship with Him.  Great blessings await us in Christ.   

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