Do I realize that true Life comes not from food, but from God, to those who obey his words?
1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."4 Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
INSIGHT: With God’s permission, and by His will, Satan had just tempted Jesus to disobey God. Satan tempts Him to provide for Himself by turning a stone into bread, at His weakest moment. Jesus quotes from Deuteronomy 8:3, where we see the context is obedience to God’s word, not just hearing it or reading it. Jesus is saying that it’s more important for Him to trust and obey God than it is to satisfy His deep hunger. (See also John 4:31-34.)
Satan tempts us to solve our problems or to place our personal comfort or desires ahead of God’s will, because it robs Him of His glory. God knows our every hurt and need, and even though it is hard, we can trust Him while we do what He has told us to do. Don’t let Satan tempt you to make his will for your life more important than God’s will for your life. Satan attacks your thoughts, but his goal is to get you to act, to get you outside of God’s will.
Not too long after the divorce started, I was tempted to save myself in a big way. I had tremendous financial need and was eager to get back to a decent income, to pay my child support, and to start putting my life back together. Through a chance meeting at the 2011 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, I met a man who offered me a $150k a year job just a few weeks later. Before I could even make the first phone call to a friend, God confirmed He wanted me to stay put and say no to the job. Someone might say, “What’s wrong with taking a job—we are supposed to work or, what’s so wrong with eating some bread when you’re hungry?” It’s wrong because it’s rebellion against God, if He has said to do otherwise. We might imagine the devastatingly bad consequences if Jesus had failed that test of His faith (not that He could even do that). However, I could have failed, and I have failed tests of my faith before.
Unknown to me at the time, God would one day use my “staying put” to shape me and train me for a ministry that would encourage many suffering hearts. Even now, as I look at what God had already done, I already see a huge cost that would have resulted, had I not resisted the idea of saving myself with that job.
I have suffered a great deal by denying myself, and obeying God, when it didn’t make any sense, but that was only temporary discomfort. The blessings in my heart are still coming every day!