An array of food filled the long buffet table. Intricately crafted pastries and savory treats delighted my eyes and enticed my taste buds. I longed to taste each one. Like that buffet table, our world is filled with temptations that entice us from living connected and obedient to God. 1 John 2:16 describes the scope of these enticements:
“For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of the eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world.”
Jesus understands our struggle with temptation. God’s Word says He was tempted in every way we are, yet He never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). Satan challenged Jesus while He was on a forty day fast in the desert: “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread” (Matthew 4:3). Jesus was tempted. He was hungry. He had the power to turn the stones into bread, but He did not succumb to the temptation because He knew doing so was not God’s will. Jesus lived by the Word of God:
“It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4).
God’s Word is our way out of temptation. For it to affect, protect and direct our lives we have to “eat” it. We must chew on it, savor it and swallow it – ingesting it into the deepest core of our being. Ultimately, we must believe it. Believing God releases His Spirit to work in our lives. To a group of followers offended by His words, Jesus said:
“The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe” (John 6:63-64).
When we believe and act on God’s Word, His Spirit, His life, rises in our spirit, empowering us to resist temptation.
Is there a temptation in your life for which you need to “eat” the word of God? We encourage you to ingest it deep into your mind and heart.