Jesus fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” Matthew 4:2–3
The tempter appeared only after Jesus has fasted for forty days and forty nights, which means that the tempter might have chosen a time of particular weakness for Jesus. Can you imagine not eating for more than a month, only to be tempted by food? However, after forty days of fasting, Jesus wasn’t weak . . . he was strong. Think of the alcoholic who has been sober for forty days—day forty-one is much easier than day one. The tempter should have showed up when Jesus first entered the wilderness.
When we get serious about dealing with our addictions, our bad habits, and those private sins that are known only to us, we don’t get weaker as the days are added to our recovery—we get stronger. We are able to endure even more temptation that when we began. What is difficult for us on day one, is more manageable by day forty.
What temptation do you need to confront in your life in the next forty days?
Lord God, it almost sounds like an infomercial for a weight loss program—lose forty pounds in forty days. But it is true that the more committed we are, the longer we face our temptations the less tempting they become. Push me to face the temptations that rule my life so that I can turn leadership of my life over to You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.