Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Walking in the Power of Faith

1And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered…14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.  –Luke 4:1, 2, 14 (KJV)

It has been a number of years since I have done any fasting.  In years past, I would fast occasionally for no more than a day at a time.  However, these days if I miss even one meal I became almost physically sick, so I confess I do not fast at this time.  I have had conversations with people about the subject and I do not know of anyone who practices this discipline.  Of course, those who do fast would hopefully do as Jesus said in Matthew 6:16 and go about with a joyful look on their faces so as not to let anyone know they are fasting.  Therefore, perhaps some people I know do fast, but they keep it to themselves – as they should.

Consider how Jesus fasted 40 days in the wilderness.  This is one of those “do not try this at home” passages.  A day or two of fasting, even three, is possible, yet fasting of the kind Jesus did is dangerous.  The Scripture says Jesus was filled with the Holy Ghost and went into the wilderness for this time of fasting.  Following this, verse 14 says Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit.

Here we see the power of walking forward in faith.  Through faith we walk in spiritual strength; the Holy Spirit indwells and fills us.  Moreover, when our faith is tested, the Holy Spirit fills us with power.  This is spiritual power for walking in victory over the trials and temptations which otherwise would have brought us down.  Faith tested is growing faith.  In a recent sermon, I preached about how as a Christian I must always be doing what requires faith.  If the life I am living requires no faith, then I am out of God’s will.  Living the Christian life in sincerity and integrity requires faith.  The challenge is to keep doing what takes faith. 

I understand perfectly how exhausting this can be at times.  The Lord never promised carrying His cross would be easy.  However, the Lord did promise to be with us and to give us strength.  This thought reminds me of a hymn:

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

Do not despair, for the Lord is with you and will give you strength.  The trials you are facing will only make your stronger as you trust Christ.