Man Shall not Live by Bread Alone

The more and more I read, the more I become a quote guy. I can’t help but appreciate the way a certain sentence or group of them stirs my affections for the Lord. It’s clear that the Lord has wired us to live on words, His Word. 

Topics: The Bible | Sanctification

The more and more I read, the more I become a “quote guy.” I can’t help but appreciate the way a certain sentence or group of them stirs my affections for the Lord. It’s clear that the Lord has wired us to live on words, His Word. Words can encourage us or break us down. They can work their way into the inmost parts of our souls and impress themselves there; we need them to live, “Man shall not live by bread alone…” (Matthew 4:4). One of the quotes that has made its way deep into my spirit recently is one originally spoken by Henry Varley and expanded by D.L. Moody (quoted to follow):

“The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in and by the man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him. I will try my utmost to be that man”

After reading this the first few times and allowing it to soak in, I found myself encouraged – at current, I’m not sure why. I guess it warmed my heart to read the words of a man who wanted to be used by God. But why is that so striking? Why is a love of God a rarity? Short of Christ, no man has ever found himself fully consecrated to the God who created the universe (not that there are others). The truth is I would love to be that kind of man. I want to be a man who longs only for God’s purposes in my life; a man who longs to be used by Him in my every step. I want to want that but when it comes down to it, most people – myself included – are missing something. We are missing the point somewhere along the way that prevents us from living in such a way that we are radically devoted to our King.

What is it?

By no means do I think I have the answer to that, nor do I intend to provide the remedy for a problem that started in Genesis 3. However, I am confident in the Spirit to voice where I have been missing the mark. I am confident in His ability to encourage you and, “stir you up towards love” for God (Hebrews 10:24). I must love the Word of God more.

“But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” (Isaiah 66:2) We can’t miss that. If we want to be the one to whom God looks we have to tremble at His word. We don’t use the word “tremble” often, but it is more than necessary here. Do you open your Bible (to any page) and before you even look at the pages feel the weight of what is about to happen? I often pray this would happen to me. That I would be moved to tears at the nearness and heaviness of the Scriptures. God’s Holy word … it is holy, and we are not without it. The prophet Jeremiah trembled at God’s word. “Your words were found and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart” (Jeremiah 5:16). Jeremiah found God’s word, consumed it and to his joy those words became the delight of his heart. This moves me to tears. Are we consuming God’s word? Are we finding wisdom and correction in the declaration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and allowing it to shape us?

I pray that God would make His word dearer to me than bread. We want to call ourselves followers of Christ, but after our laziness steals our “quiet times” in the morning, we are more concerned with providing for basic needs (eating, using the bathroom, showering). Why? What need is more basic? I pray for a passionate desire for the Word of God within us all, that we would rise early in the morning with an ache in our spirits, a hunger from hours spent without it while we were sleeping. How many days have you gone in your entire life without consuming food or drink? How many have you gone without consuming God’s word? God help us.

In Matthew 17, Jesus took Peter, James and John with Him up a mountain. Then, right before their eyes, Christ transfigured revealing not even the full amount of His glory and holiness, Moses and Elijah appeared, and the Presence of God arrived in a cloud and spoke to them. God spoke and all three of them “fell on their faces and were terrified.” God spoke and they trembled. Those were the ones to whom He looked…the ones who trembled at His word. We have to tremble.

That would have to rank pretty high on the all-time spiritual experiences list. But Peter, in light of that experience, says that “we were eyewitnesses of his majesty…and we have something more sure, the prophetic word” (2 Peter 1). Peter is saying we are better off with the word of God than to have been present during the transfiguration. Does the word of God have even a taste of a Matthew 17 affect on you? We have to be consumers of the word like Jeremiah was, terrified of it like Peter and try our utmost to be fully consecrated to it.

Tremble at His Word

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