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Dependence on God

Weekly Devotionals

Dependence on God

Scripture: Matthew 4:1-4

1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a]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.’[b]

 

There was a season when I found this passage very challenging. How did Jesus fast forty days and forty nights and still resist the temptation of not eating? Knowing that He is fully God and fully Human and knowing that He then must have felt the extreme hunger and fatigue I could only imagine, I always felt stress when I read this passage, maybe even felt sorry for Him. Having done many water fasts in the past but only of three days, the thought of being without food for that long just felt like torture. I wasn’t sure if I could ever be like Jesus. Could I ever follow in His example of fasting the way He did?

Yet I am pretty sure Jesus wasn’t fasting to feel pain or torture. He did it out of obedience and confidence in God, His Father. Yes, it must have been challenging for Him to be hungry for that long. So where was His heart and mind as He endured? Verse 4 of our passage reveals the perspective Jesus had during His fast when He was tempted by the enemy. It was the perspective  I wasn’t able to have in the past.

“Man shall NOT live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” As I read these words this year during this season of lent, new meaning filled my heart as I felt empowerment rather than restriction in the act of fasting. These very words of God breathed into me a reality that can too easily be forgotten as we go about our day making choices on what to eat and what to wear. Yes we need food but we don’t live on food alone. That is a Truth we need to cling to. When we remember that more than food and the material things of the world, God is the author of life itself and His ways are not bound by our physical reality. We are not slaves to food and can endure an intentional fast! As His children we need to understand that our reality isn’t just what we see and feel but there is more beyond the confines of this world. Rather than a restriction on food, a fast is an empowerment, reminding us of the wholeness of our identity which includes our supernatural Father.

Whether you are fasting something or not this lent season, I hope you are enjoying the reminders of who Jesus is and His authority over the world through His resurrection.

Have a wonderful week!