Proverbs 30:12 “There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.”
We often think of ourselves more highly than we ought.
Romans 12:3 “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”
We often feel the need to bolster our self-esteem by asking or surreptitiously drawing others to compliment or feed our ego. We need only look to the Word of God to find our worth and value.
The admission of guilt before God is elemental to salvation. But after salvation, the punishment and penalty for sin is removed through the propitiation, or transfer to our Savior. He became our substitute.
We read what is right. We try to do that, which is correct. We hear it preached and taught what is right so often, and we think we are right all the time.
Only an honest and unbiased look at our life will tell otherwise.
Pride often masks sin and selfishness. We see what we want to see. But, when we read God’s Word, we begin to see that our sinful nature is still intact, and we are not all that we think ourselves to be.
Our enemy works very hard to seduce us into such thoughts.
1 John 2:16 “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
There are three areas we are tempted.
The lust of the flesh – the desire of pleasure, comfort, and luxury
The lust of the eyes – the desire to have or possess.
The pride of life – the desire to be
Satan used all his trickery and power to dissuade Jesus to sin. He tempted Jesus in these three areas when He was at His weakest. Fasting for forty days and nights will bring a body near death. Your body will have used all its fat stores and begun feeding on flesh. The organs nearly shut down, and your mind begins to become foggy.
It was only when Christ’s physical and mental acuity was at an ebb that Satan began his attack. Should Jesus’ concern been for Himself, we would be doomed to an eternal Hell. But how He responded to the devil’s temptation, is a help to us all.
Matthew 4:3-4 “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.”
Reliance on the flesh will only get us as far as our will and character will take us. One may have more than another and be able to sustain resistance longer than most. Yet, all will fail at some point. Without the power of God found in His Word, we will all come to a place of failure.
Our enemy will trick us into believing that we are more than others or better than most (the pride of life). He will appeal to our desires and watch to see what worldly pleasures we indulge in (the lust of the flesh). He watches our eyes on what things they linger.
Possessions, things monetary, illicit, immoral, illegal, or even ungodly, are all paraded before us. Satan then watches to see where our eyes settle and make notes to create opportunities for us.
It will always be our choice to sin. The devil cannot make us choose. That said, we must realize our weaknesses and fortify ourselves against such attacks.
When I deceive myself into thinking I am something or somebody, I must step back and realize that any good you may see in me, or hear me say or do, comes from above. I must humbly bow and give the glory to the One who has given all to purchase my soul. Paul summed these thoughts this way.
Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
Romans 7:14-25 describes Paul’s fight with his flesh. He desires to do right, but he fights his flesh to accomplish it.
Self-denial through fasting is a practice rarely taught in our churches today. Jesus pointed out to His disciples that it is a crucial ingredient to fulfilling God’s work and achieving answers to prayer.
The unsuccessful attempt to cast out a demon was brought before Jesus. He was able to speak, and the devil left. Afterward, the disciples inquired as to the reason for their failure.
Mark 9:29 “And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.”
Fasting is putting God before our most basic need – food.
Done rightly and properly, one can gain control over urges and appetites and grow spiritually. Prayer will become more real and fruitful. Your walk with the Lord will produce intimacy, and the Holy Spirit’s voice will become more apparent.
It is in this area Satan has been pressing the church to disengage.
We need a call for prayer and fasting, not more legislature, protesting, and social media blitzes. We don’t need another conference to talk about that which we don’t do. We don’t need another program or plan to get alone with God and beg for our homes, cities, countries, and the world.
Dear child of God, let us humbly seek God in prayer and fast to intensify our commitment to what we know is right.