Before you sign up for that gym membership and go out and grab all your clean eats to start the year of right on Tuesday, I have something I want to say to you:
But [Jesus] answered [the devil], “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4
He was quoting Deuteronomy 8:3 in response to the devil's temptation, after forty days of fasting, to turn stones into something to eat.
[God] humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
And now, a question for you: Who are you?
Are you a number on a scale? A checked-off to-do list? A physical accomplishment? How your kids behave? Your salary? Your degree(s)? Your leadership position? How clean your house is? Your relationship to someone else? The neighborhood you live in? The car you drive?
Sisters and brothers, we need to give all this up! Who you ARE is none of these things! And I don't know about you, but the harder I try to find my identity in any of the above, the more miserable and dissatisfied I become. Our souls were not made to be satisfied by things, accomplishments, physical appearance, or relationships. Our souls will find their satisfaction and peace only in the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came into the world to save His people from their sins. And the place we learn about who we really are and how to become what He desire us to be is from our Creator in His Word.
So before you proceed with your resolution-making for 2019, I must ask:
Do your new years resolutions include a plan
to feast on the Word of God?
Because according to Him, we need His Word as much as we need bread to survive! If Jesus needed the Word to refute the evil one, how much more do we?
Filling up on a diet that daily reminds us that we are sons and daughters of the King of kings, who have an eternal inheritance that can never spoil, perish or fade, who are indwelt by the Spirit of God who will equip and enable us to resist the temptations of the world, flesh, and devil, who are loved with an everlasting love by which our souls were made to be satisfied, will protect us form trying to hang our hope on one or more of the idols I listed above. The Word that reminds us that we are in much greater trouble that we ever thought, but that God's rescue plan is beyond what our wildest dreams could fathom. Feasting on the Word of God keeps us in our place, not in a humiliating way, but in a humbling one that will cause us to wonder and worship the God who formed, saved, and sustains us and to desire to extend mercy and love to others, for we have known a love that must be shared. You will even find you love you more, when you look at yourself through God's lens, not the world's distorted mirror.
Let's neither trust in useless idols to define us, nor invent a god in our head who is not God at all; instead, let's dive into His Word where He reveals Himself so we can know Him. He has done this, and it should leave us astonished! Why God? Why? Well, 2019 is the year for you to dive into His Word and find out! The transformation He offers is of far greater value than any resolution can offer you this year.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,and do not lean on your own understanding.In all your ways acknowledge him,and he will make straight your paths.Be not wise in your own eyes;fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.It will be healing to your fleshand refreshment to your bones.
With all my love in Christ,
PS: I'll share some resource ideas later this week, if you need some ideas of where to begin!