James 1:13-18 (NKJV)
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire is conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth that we might be a kind of first fruits of His creatures.
Fasting is like watching football game tapes. Players who study game tapes learn a lot about their opponent, but they also learn a lot about themselves, particularly their areas of strengths and weaknesses. It’s in those areas of weaknesses that the opponent is usually able to gain control of the game, or even score. When you fast, you are able to learn more about the enemy’s attacks against you, but you are able to learn more about yourself and study your areas of strengths and weaknesses.
Because you are fasting, you will be tempted and attacked, but understanding the Biblical truths that fasting is a test and tests are from God, and temptation is not from God, but knowing how to respond, will reveal areas that God wants to work on you and through you to do a great work in your life for His glory.
God does not cause you to trip, stumble or fail. When you do, He will not blame or shame you, but He will provide comfort and ultimately breakthroughs in the areas of temptation or sin that you personally struggle with. The power of prayer coupled with fasting allows this transformation to reveal God’s strength through you, not give heed to the enemy’s attacks on your life.
Sometimes the temptations you may face are not attacks from anyone else, but yourself. We are oftentimes our own worst enemy, which leads to depressing thoughts, worry, gossip and so on. Through prayer and fasting God is able to give you the answers to get over your struggles, or sins, to get through your situations, experience breakthroughs and receive His promises and blessings!
REFLECT and RESPOND
Identify your temptations that you’ve been faced with during the fast or repeatedly in your life. What are your personal struggles or sins? How can you work these next few weeks to resist or avoid the situations that lead to your areas of weakness? What answered prayers, clear direction or breakthroughs have you received from God during the fast? Remember, the fast is a revealer of your opponent, you, but most importantly, who He is in His greatness.
We recommend you keep a journal of your personal responses to questions posed in each of the daily devotionals so you can meditate not only during the first 21 days during your prayer time, but you can reflect throughout the entire year to be able to see how God has really moved on your behalf in 2016 and you have record of your testimony.