Determined Woman Seeking to Remain Spiritually Strong

A daily devotion for June 2nd

Our Greatest Need

After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread. Jesus answered, It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Matthew 4:2-4

We will not understand the power of this first temptation upon Jesus unless we realize that he had been going without food for forty days and forty nights. It says, in what is perhaps the greatest understatement of the scriptures, he was hungry. I doubt any of us have been in a position to understand what that word bread must have meant to him. The very sound must have made him drool. It is indicative and important to note that this temptation arose out of a normal, natural need. It isn't something wrong with him that caused his temptation, but simply that he was a human being.

What the devil really was saying to Jesus was, God doesn't really care for you, does he? If you were the Son of God would he leave you in a wilderness without food for forty days? Surely he has made some way of providing for your need to be met, if he loves you. So why don't you act upon your innate powers of deity and turn these stones into bread? His suggestion is that God is either too busy, or too unconcerned, to take care of him. There is a subtle pressure here to act on his own, independent of the Father, on the basis that after all human life is important, and he has got to live. The devil's attempt is to reverse the priorities of life and to make the physical life the most important thing of all.

The tempter would brainwash us into believing the lie that the physical life is the most important thing, and that if God doesn't take care of us, it is proof that he doesn't love us. You hear this from those who point out the injustices of life, who say, if God is a loving God, how comes he allows death, war, disappointment, tragedies? If God is a God of love, does he not take care of his own? This is the force of the temptation of our Lord, and the power of temptation millions face today.

See how the Lord answers. He immediately returns to the proper perspective of life, puts things back in focus, by quoting this word: Man shall not live on bread alone… That is, the deepest need in human life is not the physical. Man is more than animal, more than simply a hunk of meat with a nervous system whose principal need is physical supply. Our Lord is saying, it is better to die of hunger in a wilderness in right relationship to the God who made us, than to satisfy it at the cost of that relationship. With that thrust, he ended the first temptation, putting life back into focus, reminding us that we have deeper needs than the physical, and that the temporary lack of physical supply does not in any way indicate that the God who made us, and who is deeply concerned in all areas of our lives, has forgotten us.

Thank you, Lord, for meeting temptation with the truth that my deepest needs are not fulfilled when all my physical needs are met. My greatest desire is to be in right relationship with you, knowing that you love me.

Life Application

In what area of your life are you tempted to meet your needs your way, rather than trusting in God to provide?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

The Temptation of Christ

Listen to Ray