Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4 NIV
As a nation, most of us spend a lot of time dwelling on food. We plan, shop, cook, and eat -- then start the cycle over. Many of us also enjoy ordering in and dining out. Unless it becomes gluttony, there's nothing wrong with that. However, it is an example of how we become driven by temporary things. We eat, we grow hungry, and we eat again.
Leading up to today's verse, Jesus had been fasting for 40-days. You can imagine how famished he must have been. True he was the Son of God, but he was also human and experienced hunger as we do. Satan appears and says (paraphrased), "Wow, you must be starving! You know if you're really who you claim to be, you can just turn those rocks into bread." Of course, Satan knew Christ was divine; he just wanted to see if he could exert any influence. Jesus responds, quoting Deuteronomy 8:30 (again paraphrased), "You can't survive on just food, you also need God's word."
While our bodies require food to survive, it temporarily satisfies our human craving. We also must feed our spiritual craving. In God's word, we find sustenance that not only fills our immediate need but remains with us to sustain us. Like we desire to eat physical food with regularity, we must yearn to feast with spiritual frequency. In God’s scripture, we find the courage, strength, comfort, and peace we need in every situation.
Precious and loving God, we give thanks for your word. In scripture, we can find everything we need to fill our spiritual hunger. Forgive us for all the time and energy we spend on this life’s temporary things, often ignoring our spiritual needs. Please help us this day to find the words we need to sustain us. We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Fasting and abstinence are excellent spiritual disciplines. In denial of self, it provides an opportunity to grow in our relationship with God. However, there are good health reasons that a full-fast may not be appropriate. If you would like to learn more, please feel free to contact me privately.