Luke 4:3-4 The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." And Jesus answered him, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone."
There are all manner of things with which one could be filled. Some people have their heads filled with knowledge, some have their hearts filled with love, some have their stomachs filled with food. There are also other ways that people are filled, some people are filled with doubt, some are filled with despair, and some are filled with pride. How your are filled, it some part will tell you how far you will go. I wish all people were filled with common sense, for if they were, and if they knew that the only thing that lasts forever, was the soul, for then all would know that it was the one thing which needs to be filled, with the spirit and with the Word of God.
Its only common sense, that if there is one thing that needs to be filled, that it should be filled regularly. In the heating season, youíve got to fill the woods stove once a day, often more. And most people eat, at least once a day, usually more. And these things donít last forever, so how often ought we to feed the soul?
Well, how often do we face temptation, and face it successfully, overcoming the temptation and living as children of God. If we keep saying to ourselves, well, no one is perfect, then perhaps we have not found the food to sustain us, perhaps we have not found the real food, only that stuff which is called light. Now think about this! If you are feeding the stove, there is light wood, it is easy to carry, it is usually rotten, it gives little heat, and little light, it burns up quickly, and it consumes your time, for you are always carrying more and more, and always feeding the stove, more and more. Can we stand against temptation? Can we really live as the children of God?
1 Corinthians 10:13No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
But the key to overcoming temptation is the simple question, what is your strength? Or perhaps we ought ask, Where is your strength? And the key words for us to remember, is that Jesus, during his temptation, was not filled with himself, and he was not filled with bread, and he was not filled with pride and self esteem Ė Jesus was filled with the Spirit. So the question for us, as we daily face temptation, is how may we also be filled with the Spirit? And this is where as the saying goes, we need to know the rest of the story: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 that man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.
Why did God humble the people of Israel? Because they trusted in themselves, and they needed to know that they could not even feed themselves, and when they were hungry, God fed them with the bread of heaven. And some may ask, where is the manna in our wilderness? It is here at the table of the Lord, for while it appears in the forms of bread and wine, by the Word of God we know it is the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ given and shed for us for the forgiveness of sins. What makes it the bread of heaven? It is not the size, or the substance, but it is the promise of the Word of God in and with the bread and the wine that makes this truly food for the soul.
And so after examining ourselves, seeing our sins, and seeing our need for our savior, we come forward to receive that food for the souls which washes away our sins, and makes us a new creation. And we hold in our hearts the word of promise, that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. This word of promise is our strength in facing temptation, for with word is the word which shares with us Jesus victory over sin, death and the devil, and it is God who gives us the faith which enables us to trust in this word, which gives us the victory. This is the word, which our soul longs for, that it might be filled. And so, just as we regularly provide food for the fire, so also we regularly read, study and meditate upon the Word of God, that filled with food for the soul, we may truly live as the children of God, doing Godís will, overcoming temptation, and living by grace through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord, nothing is more important than this, for this is the life that lasts forever, in Jesus our Savior.