This world offers numerous avenues of joy, satisfaction, praise, and exhilaration; all subjects we seek and desire, but tempt us on the lines of our faith. These facets of life are an obvious beauty of living, so naturally we are motivated by them and therefore crave them. Is there really anything wrong with that?
Just like any food we eat, it depends on its nutrients and where it was produced. Our livelihood falls in the same thought process. What grows our happiness? What nourishes it? How do we keep it fresh? Our body works off the things we feed it; similarly, our mind works off the information we teach it.
So, as long as the joy and comfort we are motivated by are produced through the pages of God’s word, then no, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But if not, then we are simply allowing ourselves to feed off the deception of the world, the toxins of our sin, and the lies of the enemy. If we consume those interests than we slowly warp into them ourselves. We start to live by them, mimic them, and consequently suspire them. And before we know it, we are addicted to the lust we immediately gained.
“It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” - Matthew 4:4
We are not designed to work solely off the craftiness of this world. It is filled with weak and temporary assurance that coats itself with blandishment to lure us in. The harsh truth is once we’ve accepted that, the addiction begins to flourish. Once we’ve tasted the sly, emotional high, it’s harder for us to say no. And once we’ve participated in one act of deception, we fall into the lie that we cannot be forgiven. It’s a downhill spiral that doesn’t have an end. It’s an addiction of false happiness that feeds off our own lack of faith.
But we learn in Matthew that Jesus has a cure for this enslavement. It is a Truth that we are not in fact bound by the world’s intention to chain us, to watch us fall, to hold us down- as much as it tries. Instead, what we see is Jesus saying that the words and promises of God are stronger and greater than food itself.
He willingly and without hesitation tells the enemy that his trickery won’t work against His faith in His Lord, and that His nourishment is enough.
This aligns our command to know and study God’s Word. It is a clear act of guidance to seek after His character and His power in our daily lives, in every single situation. It means in times of legitimate starvation, bankruptcy, grief, abuse, and depression, our God is enough to sustain us. He is enough to withstand those worldly circumstances, and hope in Him is enough to get you through. He offers us an end goal; a way out. He promises us a new life with Him in heaven, and freedom from our sinnow.
His Word is the sword with which we fight through this life with, and the bread we nourish our heart, mind, and soul. His guidance is the foundation to our acts and decisions; and His love for our motivation.
These are the avenues we should walk, and these are the interests we should crave. Through God, our joy, satisfaction, praise, and exhilaration are defined by the good and perfect works of our Savior, rather than the lust our enemy offers. Let us take on this life with His Word as our fortress and let it cultivate a Christ-like following of pursuing His people and His kingdom. That is what we are called to do, and it is only His Word that supplies the power.
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