The Scripture for today is Matthew 4:1-4 4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness 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 shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
This past Saturday, my family and I went for a hike to Enchanted Rock. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed our hike tremendously. We had gotten a later start than we planned and had also taken a detour down a steep and treacherous side of Enchanted Rock. By the time we finished our hike, it was about 2:00 in the afternoon. Part of our plan for the day was to travel to Fredericksburg for lunch at the Peach Tree Inn. By the time we arrived, just before 3:00 pm – I was absolutely starving. Some of you may know that I follow a careful eating plan in order to maintain my health and waistline. On Saturday, I decided to eat whatever I wanted – giving into the temptation to eat the beautifully prepared and presented food, regardless of the consequences. Lunch was incredibly delicious! I indulged in homemade bread and strawberry crepes for dessert – things I typically avoid. Afterwards, I found myself feeling uncomfortably full and a bit queasy.
As I look back over my choices that day, I am struck by some conclusions. How often does hunger cause us to make poor choices, giving into the temptation to indulge in behaviors that are not best for us? Do our poor choices lead us to physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, financial, familial, etc. health? When I am hungry and tempted to eat unhealthily, do I pray for strength to make good choices? Do I pray for wisdom and plan ahead to ensure that I am successful in nourishing my body with healthy food? When I am feeling lonely and hungry for companionship do I seek my Savior in prayer and the Word? Do I let his love and care for me uplift my spirit and remind me that he died for ME? He is my Rock and my Redeemer – the solid rock upon which I stand. Do I let his love and care for me flow out to others, helping me to develop loving relationships? Or do I indulge in self-pity and believe the lies of the enemy – unloved, unlovable, unworthy. When I feel hungry for acceptance and a sense of worth – do I head to the shopping mall to buy the latest fashion, tech toy, _________, believing the lie that “stuff” will make me special? Or do I seek the Father, who knows the very number of hairs on my head; who has cast my sin as far as the east is to the west; who rejoices over me with singing? Am I buying into the treacherous lies of the enemy? An enemy, who seeks to crush, kill and destroy me. Or do I recognize the truth? My Father in Heaven loves me and cares for me all of the days of my life. He sent his own son to die for me so that I would never be separated from him.
What about you? What are you hungry for? Are you letting your Father lead you THROUGH the temptation to fill that hunger with worldly things? Are you praying and seeking HIS DELIVERANCE, then standing firm on HIS PROMISES? Are you preparing yourself with prayer and God’s word for the daily walk through the battlefield?
Dear Father, I thank you for your faithful leading throughout the many temptations that come into my life. I praise you for giving me strength to resist the evil one. Help me, Jesus, to always seek your truth in Word and prayer. Fill the hungry places in my soul with your Word, your Love and your presence. Lead me not into temptation but deliver me from evil! For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever! Amen