The Stalker, Part 1

Luke 4.1-4

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan (where he had been baptized) and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry. 

And the devil said to Him, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, man shall not live on bread alone.’

As I have mentioned previously, even though Jesus is fully God, He sets aside His right to use all His divine attributes and lives His life within a human body. As such, He grew in stature and wisdom. He went through a physical and mental maturity process similar to other Jewish boys and young men. 


Public to Private 

As He enters public ministry, He goes through the process of being baptized; declaring publicly His surrender to the Father as well as the filling of the Holy Spirit. After being baptized, the Spirit leads Him away from the public eye to the wilderness. Alone with the Spirit and the Father, Jesus enters a 40-day private confirmation process; an ordination as such. Part of the confirmation included extended fasting and prayer along with an unwelcome stalker, the devil. 

Jesus follows the guidance of the Holy Spirit to go into the wilderness to fast and pray. He is running a 40-day gauntlet, of such, into the service of God. He is prayerfully surrendering all to His Father and disciplining His flesh to prepare for the temptations He will face. 


Serenity Now 

It would’ve been nice to just have 40 days of devotional time with the Father. How wonderful it would be. Maybe enjoy a time of extended prayer and meditation to re-energize and rejuvenate the spirit in tranquility and reflection. But Nooooooooo. The stalker shows up and changes the mood from tranquility to temptation. I hate it when he does that…I’m just saying. 

Instead of 40 days of ‘quiet time’ with God, Jesus deals with two fierce forces that he will battle for the balance of his time on earth. These are the same two forces that we deal with as well. 


  1. He battles and subdues the temptations of his human flesh, which comes naturally to every one of us who are human.  
  2. He battles and subdues the temptations of an external force, the devil. The temptations of our own flesh are bad enough. Insert the added enticing whispers of tempting words from the devil and we have a force to deal with. 


For we do not have a high priest (Jesus) who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4.15 


In the midst of this fiery storm of temptation, let’s add a 40 day fast! 



Have you ever fasted? I recently fasted 48 hours. It was more for general health reasons but the spiritual boost is certainly part of it as well. When fasting, it’s hard to avoid thinking about hunger. So, let’s turn the hunger pangs into something good.  Let’s use the hunger pangs as reminders. We will increase our communication with God significantly if we allow our hunger pangs to remind us of God. You stomach may feel empty but your soul will be full. Abstaining from food can become a spiritual banquet. Your fast from food can be a feast of Spiritual joy. 

Fasting can also remind us how much our flesh drives our thoughts and behaviors. When I say ‘flesh’ I mean both our physical bodies as well as our sin nature. When we feel the hunger pangs, we can also be reminded of how strong our fleshly desires really are. Allow the power of the hunger pangs to be an analogy of the power of sinful fleshly desires. It’s good to be reminded that we are weak and in need of Jesus always. We are weak, He is strong. 


Allow the hunger to push us toward Jesus with prayers for His strength. Strength to protect us, sustain us and give us victory over the fleshly passions of our lives. 


If our mind is set correctly to prompt rich interactions with God during our time of fasting, the aches can be a reminder to prayer…and pray often. 


Father God, I hate being tempted. I prefer tranquility. But I’m reminded today that in this world, we will have tribulations, trials and temptations. Cause my longing for tranquility to increase my thoughts and longings for heaven. The Promised Land is coming but for now, we are in this world to serve You and to serve others. The fog of temptation hovers over us and tempts us to sin rather than serve. But Your grace is sufficient. By Your grace, we ask that You protect us, sustain us and give us victory over the fleshly passions of our lives. Amen!