FEBRUARY 12 – 18, 2017
“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)
Jesus had been fasting for forty days and forty nights. He was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Imagine that! The Spirit of God led Him to be tempted! Anyway that’s another day’s talk. He got into the wilderness and the first thing the tempter used to tempt Him was the area He knew Jesus was at His weakest – His stomach. He basically said “you are very hungry and need food now. You claim to be the Son of God, command these stones to become bread so that you can eat and not die. They will obey you since you are the Son of God.”
Jesus’ answer to him put in simple terms was, its not the food that I or any other human being eats that sustains us or keeps us alive, it is our obedience to God and whatever He says to us that keeps us alive.
It is very important we understand what Jesus was saying in the text. It is crucial to our surviving successfully. Jesus had been studying the word for Himself, so He knew it. That devil knows the word too. So you must know the word for yourself because the devil will tempt you based on who you are, just like He did Jesus. So, if you don’t know the word… Hosea 4:6. Jesus got His response from Moses’ speech to the children of Israel in Deuteronomy 8:3 – “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” NIV
Moses here was stressing the importance of the children of Israel obeying the commands of God to them because their lives depended on it. God provided manna for the children of Israel when they were hungry but in actual fact, He did not do that to quench their hunger, He did that to test their heart and teach them that it’s not what you eat or what you have that sustains you, it is the word that He speaks to you that sustains you.
When God provided the manna, He spoke words to them on how they were to consume the manna. Remember this! Every word spoken from the mouth of God becomes law. (Isaiah 55:10-11). It wasn’t what was contained in the manna that satisfied them when they gathered the same portion for each person in each household, or the ingredients in the manna that caused it to rotten when it was kept till the next day, it was the word that God had spoken (Exodus 16:4-5)! Otherwise, how come this same manna did not spoil when they gathered enough to last for the Sabbath day.
God set a law in motion by His words. A law is a binding rule that activates contrary consequences if not observed. The manna was bound by God’s word and the people’s sustenance depended on God’s word. Therefore, the manna kept till the next day, except for the Sabbath, was full of maggots and smelled, and those who kept it till the next day except for the Sabbath didn’t have it to eat.
Created things, situations and circumstances are used to test our obedience to God’s word, test the condition of our heart and to teach us to put God first, that’s why we must know what God’s word to us is! Never chase after things, they are not what you need to live. What you need is to pursue hard after the knowledge of God’s word because that is what you will live on. That is why Jesus told us to seek first the kingdom of God in Matthew 6:33. What has God said? What has God said to you? That is what will sustain you. That is what you will live on.
It wasn’t the fruit Adam ate that activated death, it was His disobedience to the word/command/instruction God gave him that activated death. God used the fruit to test his obedience, to know what was in his heart. When Moses struck the rock twice instead of speaking to it as instructed by God in Numbers 20:6-12, water did gush out of the rock but Moses’ life was cut short. God saw his disobedience as a negative condition of his heart towards Him. Isn’t that very interesting! Read it! This same Moses! God is not sentimental at all! It was Moses’ anger towards the people that caused him to hit the rock twice instead of speaking to it as God instructed, but God didn’t see that, because we live by His word and not by our humanly reactions to the circumstances we face. What has God said to you? That’s what you live by. Your life depends on it.
David lived, survived on God’s word, that’s why He could kill Goliath (1 Samuel 17:45-50). It wasn’t his skill with the stone and sling that killed Goliath, it was the word of God he lived on. That’s why the word guided the stone accurately to hit Goliath where he would die instantly. The word of God, the commands of God, His instructions, will protect us, will feed us, will connect us, will cloth us…
In the wilderness, the clothes of those Israelites for 40 years did not wear out neither did their feet swell (Deuteronomy 8:4). This means their clothes and shoes grew as they grew! Hallelujah!! Has God changed? No way!! The bread and fish increased in number as the number of people that needed the food increased (Matthew 14:13-21). Jesus did not thank the Father for hearing Him always (John 11:41-42) because He was Jesus Christ, He did that because God already spoke in Jeremiah 29:11-12 that when we call upon Him He will always hear.
Dear Reader, it’s not money you need. It’s not food you need. It’s not a husband or a wife you need. It’s not connection on a certain level you need. It’s not that car, or that house, or that school that you need to sustain your life, to live a successful life. It’s not even the government bringing the economy out of recession. That’s what the devil would have us believe. What you need is the word that God has spoken to you! The principle of sustenance in life is to live on God’s word. What word, command, instruction has God given to man to live by today? What specific word has God spoken to you to live on today? If you don’t know it. Then, get to work and begin to find out because the life of man is designed to be sustained by every word that comes out of the mouth of God.
I pray that you will hunger and thirst greatly for God’s word, and that you will enjoy successful living everyday of this week. In the mighty name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Amen!! Enjoy an amazing week!