Taken from the 40 day fasting challenge devotional
Power in Scripture – The Only Rule
Every soldier knows the code. Every soldier is taught, studies and abides by the code. What code is this? It is none other than the Code of Conduct of the US Army:
I. I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
II. I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.
III. If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and to aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.
IV. If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.
V. When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.
VI. I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America. ~ Army Study Guide
In Isaiah 59, we read about how bad the Nation of Israel had become. There was no justice, no righteousness. Iniquity and violence was plaguing the land and its populace. Even those in key positions to uphold the laws and keep justice were instead dealing in wickedness. Who would stand up for the righteous people, was there anyone who could intercede on their behalf? God looked and found no one. So, in His great mercy He decreed that His strong-arm would become salvation for the Lord’s redeemed.
God himself was going to come down and fight against all the injustice; and in preparation “He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak.” (vs. 17) All of this armor God put on in order to bring justice, salvation, victory and redemption to His chosen people. And He came down to wage this war as the Son of man, Jesus Christ.
After forty days of fasting in the wilderness, Satan, the Prince of wickedness, came to Jesus, who was clothed in armor, and began to pick a fight with Him, to cause Him to do evil. The first test was with bread to counter his hunger. But Jesus replied to the tempter that man should live by every word of God and not just on bread with which to eat. The great expositor John Gill explains that “Christ, in this…bears a testimony to, and establishes the authority of the sacred writings; and though he was full of the Holy Ghost, makes them the rule of his conduct.” (Gill)
The greatest and strongest spiritual warrior to ever live and breathe on this earth, in his first contest as a soldier and commander in the Army of the Lord, declared that He knew the Code and was going to live by it. His Code of Conduct was not a list of man-made articles but is the Word of God; that which is given by God and anointed by the Holy Ghost (see 2 Peter 1:21).
The Word of God needs to once again become the only rule for faith and practice in the Army of the Lord. It must be made our Code of Conduct by which the church lives and breathes.
Fasting opens up the mind and heart to receive the Word of God more clearly. It aids us in learning it, knowing it, and in living it. Fasting empties oneself of everything else that satisfies in order to be filled with that which is eternally rewarding. Studying scripture is a necessary part of any fasting initiative.
As we wage war against temptations and struggles and every form of spiritual wickedness in the world that we live in (see 1 Cor. 10:3-4), we will need the authority of the Word of God in our mouths to overcome. Having it in our mouths means being ready to speak it and act on it at any moment even in the face of the harshest of opposition. As God Himself gave this command to His holy army charged with interceding for the world:
“And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from this time forth and forevermore.” (Is. 59:21)