Through the leadership of Jesus and teachings of the Apostle Paul, we can learn how to prepare for battle. Before Jesus even began his ministry, he prepared, he was baptized, and He fasted. He was getting ready to do battle with the forces of evil and help the good, but he had to get ready. The same is true for us, and when we are going to go into battle, we need to have a battle strategy of how we are going to do it. Make no mistake; we are at war with the enemy and principalities of darkness every day (Ephesians 6:12). We already know that Jesus is our example to follow in this temporary world we are supposed to strive towards Christlike perfection so we can look to him as our example of how to get ready for battle. We should also listen to the teachings of the Apostle Paul on “Spiritual Warfare” as we together develop our battle strategy.
The first thing we must do is recognize we are at war with the enemy. Jesus knew this before he started His ministry. The Bible records Jesus being led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:1). After he fasted for forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. Then the temper, the devil came to him and began to tempt Him. We need to face the reality that the enemy is real when doing battle, I must understand this fact. I cannot win a fight against an enemy that I don’t even believe exists in the first place. Jesus teaches us this through scriptures that the enemy is real; we must internalize this fact of battle; the enemy is real.
Jesus was ready though he had fasted, and His spirit was in tune with God. Why did Jesus fast you may be asking right now? I know I was? First let’s look at what a fast is, fasting is when we deny our own fleshly wants and desires for a period so that we can focus more clearly on strengthening our spirits. We become fully dependent on God for our needs and desires when we fast, we become more in tune with the spirit when we deliberately fast. The Bible says that after Jesus fasted and was tempted, “He returned to Galilee in the Power of the spirit.”
Jesus fasted to prepare himself to do battle with the enemy, His enemy, and our enemy. The scripture tells us that He ate nothing during those days he was fasting. He was also in the wilderness, and it is not explicitly stated, but we can assume based on the text that he was alone. He was on a fast from everything, no interaction, no distractions, He was in total isolation. He was able to concentrate on the focus of the Holy Spirit, which was preparing him to face the devil, there make him like his brethren and to be tempted in all things.
When the devil came to him, which we will get into more of tomorrow, Jesus was ready. You see we cannot demonstrate obedience if we are not tempted. Jesus knew he needed to be tempted to fulfill his purpose as a compassionate high priest, but he went into the battle ready with a strategy.
As we unpack the life of Jesus and his ministry and Paul’s teachings over the next week, ask yourself are you ready to do battle? Have you been fighting the battle with the wrong tools? Do you even have a battle strategy? If the answer is no then stay tuned because we will study the scriptures together to help you develop a sold strategy to defeat the enemy when he attacks.