By BRUCE GREEN
I heard a news report about food insecurity making the point that it is not merely about having enough food; it is about having a sufficient amount of the right kind of food. Filling yourself up with high-calorie items might satisfy your hunger pangs, but it won’t do much for your body’s nutritional needs.
Christ knew something about hunger. After His baptism, the Spirit sent Him into the wilderness, where He fasted for 40 days. That’s a long time — almost six weeks — and no one today should think about doing something like that without the consent and oversight of medical personnel. So, Jesus was h-u-n-g-r-y in a way that’s difficult for us to imagine.
Unlike us, though, Christ had the ability to miraculously provide food for Himself. That’s the point of Satan’s taunt, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread” (Matthew 4:3). Jesus was fasting not because of the lack of available food, but to draw nearer to His Father and steel Himself for the mission before Him. This helps us to understand His reply to Satan that “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (4:4).
With these words, Jesus was saying that we need to do more than feed our bodies, we also need to nourish our spirits! And just as it’s possible to fill ourselves up on non-nutritional things in the physical realm, we can do the same thing spiritually. A diet of Netflix, TikTok, Spotify and ESPN will leave us with food insecurity of the soul. We need to feed our spirit the food that comes from God’s word!
Food insecurity exists on a physical level because nutritious food generally costs more. I don’t think it’s any different with spiritual food insecurity. Only the cost isn’t in dollars and cents — it’s in time and discipline. After all, there are very few people we know who don’t have access to God’s word. No, the challenge isn’t accessibility — it’s availability. It’s putting down the phone, setting aside the remote or pulling out the AirPods in order to take a seat at the feet of Jesus.
Christ responded to all three temptations in the wilderness by going to the word of God. His familiarity with it meant that even when Satan tried to distort the word of God, Jesus saw through it (see Matthew 4:5-7). Let’s follow in the steps of Jesus and live by every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Green has written a book on the model prayer called “Praying in the Reign.” It is available through 21st Century Christian.
Find more of his writings at his website: www.a-taste-of-grace-with-bruce-green.com.