I know I drive my kids crazy because though they are both adults, when I am talking to them and they share that they are not feeling well, I rattle off about three things they need to do or take to feel better. I have said it so often over their lifetimes that they are like, “I know, Mother, take…..”. All I can say is once a mother, always a mother, and we know the certain things we believe are remedies for whatever ails them!
If you remember, in Day 3, we talked about how the enemy tempted Jesus and how he tempts us the same way. He tempts us over inheritance (possessions), independence (passions), and identity (position/pride). Well, today, Jesus begins to show us the ways to combat the enemy’s attempts to drag our heart away. These are the three antidotes for your “ailing” heart.
Jesus gives us 3 “when’s”. These are not “maybe’s”, “when it’s convenient’s”, nor “when it’s easy’s”. He says “when”, which means that they are something we are to practice often. They are understood as things we do. These 3 things were important disciplines of the Pharisees, yet Jesus was about to show them that while the deeds were good, if they are not coming from a pure heart, the deed is wasted.
WHEN You GIVE, and your heart is right, you will GIVE without wanting any accolades, affirmation, attention, or praise. You simply saw a need and met it with the resources the Father has graciously given you. The best way to overcome the temptation to be greedy and to want more and more possessions to hoard for yourself, GIVE. And the Word promises us “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38)
WHEN You PRAY, and your heart is right, you will PRAY in privacy much more often than in public. You will not pray to get attention. You will not be selfish but rather sincere. The best way to overcome the temptation to live independently from God and exert your independence, is to humble yourself and pray, taking the posture of one who is solely and totally dependent on the Father. “If My people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Jesus gives us an example to follow when we pray that includes “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven“. This is a prayer that the Kingdom of Heaven would be brought to earth through me and you. WOW, what a privilege and a responsibility!
WHEN You FAST, and your heart is right, you will FAST and not parade it around to everyone so they think you are elite and “holier than thou”. Fasting is a means to set aside more time for worship, and prayer. It is to deprive your physical body to make it bow down to the Holy Spirit. The Pharisees fasts were for the praise of men. The best way to overcome Satan’s attempts to make us want power, prestige, and position, is to humble ourselves through fasting for other things to make room for more of Jesus. That’s what fasting does. And I heard it once said that “a man on his face can’t fall any further“.
It is interesting that Jesus said that all 3 of these are to be done in secret. These are deeds done just between you and God; because it is there, in the secret place where Jesus cultivates your heart. And Jesus makes us a promise, that if we will do these things with the right kind of heart, He WILL reward us with BLESSINGS and BREAKTHROUGH!!! Jesus thens wraps up in verses 19-25 by saying this in another way, don’t get caught up in possessions (store up treasures in heaven), don’t let your passions drag you away (watch what you watch), and don’t get deceived to wanting a position over God (serve God only).
Kingdom Living Makes A Consistent Practice Of Giving, Praying, and Fasting
Jesus knows the remedies of what ails you! He knows the consistent practice of giving, praying, and fasting will keep your heart in the right place and will overcome the enticements of the enemy as he appeals to your fleshly passions, position, pride, and possessions. So begin making it a common occurrence to GIVE, PRAY and FAST.
What can you give to another today?
Who can you pray specifically for today?
What can you fast from today to make more room for God?