Mathew 4:4 (NIV)
Jesus speaks these words immediately following a time of fasting for forty days. In an attempt to capitalize on his hunger, Satan approaches him and says, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become manna.” To which Jesus replies, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Satan then proceeds to tempt Jesus and test Him, and each time, Jesus replies with a scripture to combat the attack.
This passage in Matthew summarizes what we’ve been looking at these past three days in regards to the word of God for two reasons:
1. On Monday and Tuesday we focused on feeding on the word of the Lord and delighting in the power, love, and insight contained throughout the Bible. In today’s verse, Jesus had just finished fasting for forty days and forty nights—I’m sure he was hungry, yet He still resisted the devil and rather than only living on earthly food, Jesus lived on the word of God. You see, when we’re living off of God’s words, they will nourish, restore, and rejuvenate our souls. His words can strengthen our hearts and satisfy us, and we must be sure that we’re not only living on bread, but on His holy, mighty, and powerful words.
2. Yesterday we looked at the importance of clinging to the words of the Lord—hiding them in our hearts so we might not sin against the Lord. The Lord commanded the Israelites to dwell on His words so that they may faithfully, “love Him, walk in all His ways and to hold fast to Him.”
Jesus knew the word of God inside and out and each time Satan tempted Him, Jesus quickly replied with a scripture to combat Satan’s tempting. The last thing Jesus says in verse 10 is, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.” Immediately following this, verse 11 says, “Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.”
God’s words are powerful and when we have them fixed on our hearts, the can provide protection against our earthly struggles. In the same way Jesus used scriptures to resist Satan causing Him to flee, we have the same power today. Hebrews 4:2 tell us that, “the word of God is living and active.” What an incredible blessing! We shouldn’t be afraid to pray or speak out with scripture when we’re being tempted. That’s why it’s so important to meditate on the word of God and hide His word in our hearts, so that when we really need it, it’s easier it is to call upon quickly.
One thing that I have found that is extremely effective is writing our scriptures on index cards and taking them with you in your purse. That way, when your waiting in line at the bank, stuck in traffic, riding on the metro, waiting for your mom to pick you up from school, etc. you can pull them out and begin to meditate on them.
Lord God, I can’t thank you enough for your words. Thank you that your words sustain me and equip me to resist temptation. Thank you that your words feed and nourish my heart. Lord, I want to love and delight in your words. I pray that as I continue to love you, you will give me eyes to see your scriptures in a whole new way. Lord, I pray that the words will leap off the pages and I will develop a fresh love and appreciation for your word. Lord, I pray that you will reveal scriptures for me to dwell on daily as I seek to hide your word in my heart. Lord, I want to know and love every part of you. Equip me with your words so that I can faithfully and diligently run hard after you. Lord Jesus, you are my heart’s delight. How I love you!