Strength in Weakness
In the book I am currently reading, I just finished a section on the spiritual disciplines. You know the stuff: prayer, fasting, reading and memorizing Scripture, solitude, meditation, and all the rest. Also known as the stuff all of us are so good at doing like we should, right? (I thought that as long as I was telling a little lie I would involve the rest of you in it.) The author made some pretty basic statements about the spiritual disciplines. Doing these things enriches your spiritual life. They strengthen you spiritually. These habits make it easier to display the working of the Holy Spirit in your life. He illustrated the disciplines in a number of ways. One of those was the story of Jesus being baptized then immediately going into the wilderness for a forty day fast. That’s right, a fast. For forty days. Forty days. Then Satan comes along to tempt Jesus. Remember, forty days with no food. I had always looked as this as Satan tempting Jesus when he was physically weak. I still think this is true. But there is another perspective I had not considered. The author made this statement: “Jesus went into a time of solitude, fasting and prayer in the desert. These spiritual disciplines strengthened Jesus for the epic battle that He fought against Satan.” I always thought of it in terms of his fasting weakening Him before His battle against Satan. In the bigger picture, His fasting actually made Him more able to do battle with Satan. He relied not on his human strength but on the power of the Holy Spirit. If this is true for Jesus, how much more true is it for us?
How are you doing with the “disciplines”? Do you find yourself spiritually strengthened and ready to do battle? How do the spiritual disciplines affect your spiritual growth? Comment below.