COMMAND #13 - GROW - PART 2
GROWING THROUGH FASTING
Let’s take a look at Matthew 4:1-11. Would someone in the group like to turn there and read it out loud? (let someone in the class read)
Matthew 4:1-11 NLT Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. 2 For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry.3 During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.”
4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say,
‘People do not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, 6 and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say,
‘He will order his angels to protect you.
And they will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’”
7 Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’”
8 Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.”
10 “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say,
‘You must worship the Lord your God
and serve only him.’”
11 Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.
Today we are going to learn from the life of Jesus, and how we can grow today by looking at his example. First, let’s define what the word “growth” means.
Growing: the act or process of developing, developing, increasing, advancing, expanding, improving, maturing, succeeding, multiplying.
Question: What part of this definition sticks out to you the most and why?
Jesus used fasting as a way to grow and prepare for a spiritual fight that he would have to face. Although it was a physical sacrifice, it was a spiritual weapon for victory. Let’s take a look at what that word “fast” means.
Fasting: a time of abstaining from some kind of food or drink for a spiritual purpose.
Question: If you have fasted before, how has fasting left a spiritual impact in your life?
Let’s take a look at our next verse.
3 John 2 (HCSB) Dear friend, I pray that you may prosper in every way and be in good health physically just as you are spiritually.
Our physical prosperity and health is dependent on our Spiritual prosperity and health. We can’t prosper and be healthy in every way if our Spiritual life is not prospering.
Many people have wondered and asked “why do some people in the world prosper when their spiritual lives are a mess?” Well if you look at the last scripture, 2 key words stick out: “EVERY WAY.” Only God can make us prosper in EVERY WAY, not just in one way. There are people in the world who might prosper in their money, or in their health, or some other areas. But only GOD can make you prosper in EVERY WAY!
Since this is the year of growth, let’s talk about how we can grow this year.
Question: What area do want to grow in this year?
Question: What are you doing to grow in that area?
HERE ARE 3 FACTS ABOUT GROWTH:
FACT #1 – GROWTH MUST BE INTENTIONAL.
(Growth doesn’t just happen. No one improves by accident.)
Question: Do you have a personal growth plan?
Proverbs 4:7 (NCV) Wisdom is the most important thing; so get wisdom. If it costs everything you have, get understanding.
We’ve all dealt with something called an “Assumption Gap.” What is that assumption gap? “I assume I will automatically grow.”
FACT #2 – GROWTH WONT HAPPEN WITHOUT ACTION.
(We will never grow if we wait to feel it or for perfect conditions to take action.)
Question: What specific action are you going to take to grow in this area?
Ecclesiastes 11:4 (TLB) If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.
FACT #3 – GROWTH ONLY HAPPENS WHERE WE ARE STRETCHING.
(If you’re not stretching in an area, you’re not growing in that area.)
Question: Share with the group if you feel like you are stretching in an area.
Isaiah 54: 2-3 (ICB) Make your tent bigger. Stretch it out and make it wider. Do not hold back. Make the ropes longer. Make its stakes stronger. 3 Do this because you will begin growing very much. Your children will take over other nations. And they will again live in cities that once were destroyed.