Updated: Dec 10, 2020
Matthew 4:3-4 ESV
And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
After his baptism, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the enemy. He fasted for forty days. He took seriously the words of Deuteronomy 8:3, ‘“And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
Jesus knew that the word of the Lord needed to be his focus to sustain him during this time of testing. When the enemy came to him, he immediately questioned Jesus’ identity. Satan tried to distract the focus of the Master by tempting him with the possibility of loaves of bread. Yet, physical nourishment was not to be the focus of Jesus during this time. The response of the Master is in the bible reading today.
Jesus didn’t need to turn stones to bread to demonstrate that he was the Son of God. The voice of God had already declared it, as Jesus stood in the waters of baptism, just before this incident (Matthew 3:17, “and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.””).
Nothing has changed in the tactics of the enemy today. He wants to remove your God given identity from you. He wants to distract you from being focussed on the reality that the proceeding voice of God brings you.
The word of God defines your life. It declares your identity. If you find yourself in a place of confusion or uncertainty, perhaps you need to consider following the example of Jesus. A time of fasting and prayer will help put focus back in your life, and the word of the Lord to you will become clear. The word of the Lord will become the thing that establishes your identity, enabling you to walk in certainty through whatever lies before you. Eat up! Find your nourishment, for a time, in the place of prayer and fasting.
Have I been distracted from the main purpose of my life? Do I even know what that main purpose is? Do I need to get focused again?
Father, your word defines me and sustains me. I purpose today to put myself into the place of being established by you again. Thank you that your word to me is truth.