But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. ~Matthew 4:4
I enjoy eating! It is a blessing to have an appetite and eat. If we lack an appetite, this could be a symptom of a possible health problem. Most people either live to eat, or they eat to live. This morning, we see where having a right spiritual appetite requires us to eat to live.
We see the temptation.
“And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” The devil attacked Jesus in an area of human life where He was weakest: His normal desires. The devil is always looking for an avenue of attack. He attacks us when we are strong and when we are most vulnerable. We must guard our desires. Jesus had been fasting for forty consecutive days and felt hunger. The devil tempted Jesus to use His power to do something that would satisfy his cravings. The devil does the same thing with us. He tries to seduce us to satisfy a strong craving or desire by using what is within our reach or power to do this. He will work hard to try to convince us that what we are doing is good and not a sin. Remember, every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed (James 1:14).
We see the teaching.
“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Jesus makes a strong counter back that serves as an emphatic lesson for every Christian. The emphasis for living must be on the spiritual and not the physical. Paul prayed that every believer would be sanctified spirit, soul, and body. We do not live solely for the lust of the flesh. We live in the Spirit. Jesus said in Luke 12:15, “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” In Matt. 4:4, Jesus said, “man shall not live by bread alone.” In other words, we must make the feeding of our souls our primary emphasis. Living for our fleshly appetites is living to eat. Living and walking in the Spirit is eating to live. Living in the Spirit helps us to establish the essential discipline of being in our Bibles and praying daily for the Lord’s enablement for our souls.
We see the tactics.
In order to resist and counter temptations that attack our desires, we must study what Jesus did in Matt. 4 and apply this to our life. The tactics that will strengthen us are a strong diet of God’s Word through reading, meditating, and study. We must give heed to every word of God. We cannot read the Bible like we do with secular books. We must read God’s Word carefully and slowly. Second, we must give ourselves to prayer. Jesus was in the wilderness praying. A life saturated in prayer is a life that is Spirit-fed and Spirit-led. We do not pray enough. If Jesus at the beginning of His public ministry took time to pray for 40 days, He is telling us that there is a lot for us to pray about. Third, He fasted for this same period of time. Fasting is when we deny our fleshly cravings from controlling us, and instead give ourselves to building our soul life.
The secret to victorious Christian living is when we eat to live. We live when God’s Word, prayer, and fasting are spiritual priorities for our souls. We do not live by bread alone, but by every word that procedeth out of the mouth of God. Don’t rush studying God’s Word, praying, or times of fasting. Eat to live!
Have a satisfying God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Jeremiah 1-3