"After fasting forty days and forty nights, he (Jesus) was hungry."
How do you prepare for a game? For a season? For a test? Do you spend time making a game plan that will work, or do you just hope for the best? Watching teams play over the years in many different sports, you begin to wonder. You see some teams work their plans to perfection, and you wonder if others just roll the balls out in practice while the coach takes a nap. Now, we know that never happens, but in preparing for a contest or upcoming season, much time is devoted to the details it takes to make sure you are ready to compete. Then it comes — the final day before the games begin. Will the team be able to put into practice what they worked so hard at perfecting? Physically they may be ready, but what about mentally, or better yet, spiritually? Spiritually prepared? Yes — God does care how you prepare to compete and perform in action and in attitude.
Jesus Himself had to prepare for battle and competition, even though His foe was no match. Before Jesus began His earthly ministry, He was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by Satan. In order to prepare, Jesus ate nothing for 40 days and nights. What a game plan! Jesus knew His task. He studied and knew his opponent well. He took away any distractions that could possibly hinder His singular focus for His life. By fasting in preparation for His work on earth, Jesus focused solely on following God's plan for His life. Even though temptation to follow other plans were given immediately after His time of fasting and preparation, He was steadfast and true, showing not only that He truly was the Son of God, but that true strength and spiritual readiness come only from the Father in Heaven!
As you prepare to play, I am not suggesting that you fast for 40 days and nights, but that you follow Christ's example by being prepared spiritually for competition so that you will be able to withstand the testing and trials of life and sport. Will you follow the game plan of the team to the end or give in when the first trial or temptation comes along?
1. What is one weak area of your preparation?
2. Do you consider being spiritually ready to compete?
3. What can you do to better prepare for competing in sport and life?
2 Timothy 4:2