Matthew 4:4 and Luke 4:4 tells us, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” What exactly did Yahshua or Jesus Christ mean by that statement? What does it mean to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God?
In this Bible study in the form of a blog, let us take a deeper look at what it really means to live a life by every word of God. Let me share with you 5 effective ways on how you can live by every Word of God.
A background to Matthew 4:4 and Luke 4:4
Jesus just finished fasting for forty days and forty nights. Matthew 4:2 tells us, that “He was hungry.” Obviously, this is like a simplified statement. Imagine not eating food and drinking water for forty days and forty nights!
Jesus was on the brink of death. Physical exhaustion and extreme hunger sucked the life out of Christ’s body.
This is where the greatest duel of all time happened. It is the battle between Jesus and Satan – the perfect epitome of the fight between good and evil, right and wrong. With Jesus’ great hunger, Satan seized the golden opportunity and tempted Christ with food.
Satan said, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” The Devil is testing Christ. He is challenging the authority of the very Son of God. No temptation could have been more plausible than asking Christ to turn a stone, which abundantly lies around them, into bread.
Here we read the powerful and perfect response of Jesus. He said, “Man shall NOT live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Jesus was quick to pull out the spiritual sword of God, which is His Word, to battle His enemy, Satan.
Now, let us examine what it means to live a life according to God’s word.
1. Living by God’s word means to humble yourself
Christ’s answer is a direct quotation of Deuteronomy 8:3. The whole eighth chapter of Deuteronomy is about Moses instructing the nation of Israel to remember the Eternal their God.
“SO HE HUMBLED YOU, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.”
From this verse, we can read that if you want to live by God’s word, you need to first humble yourself. If you are not humble, God will first need to humble you through trials and hardships. He will test and humble you before He can use you for His purpose.
Why is humility so important? Because humility is required for complete submission to God. You can’t live by every word of God if you are full of yourself. You can’t live by every word of God if you are filled with pride, arrogance, and conceit.
Humbling yourself does not necessarily mean thinking less of yourself. It is the recognition that you are nothing without God. It is the ability to see the awesomeness, majesty, and power of God and yet, He is loving and caring at the same time.
Sometimes, God allows us to be hungry so that He can “feed you with manna.” We need to first humble ourselves so God “will lift [us] up” (James 4:10).
2. Living by God’s word means believing His word
You can’t live by God’s word if you don’t believe it in the first place. Sadly, some people think that they can be Christians by accepting some parts of the Bible while rejecting other parts of it. Some people believe the New Testament while rejecting the Old Testament. Some people observe two or three commandments while dismissing the others. Some believe the theory of Evolution while still call themselves Christians.
Isn’t it foolish to believe in a God when at the back of your mind you consider parts of the Bible, His very word, as myths, fictional, and just desperate ways of men to explain their experiences?
The Bible is very clear when it says:
“ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (II Timothy 3:16).
Thus, the Apostle Paul mentioned that ALL scripture – no exception – is given by inspiration of God. The word ‘inspiration’ here literally means, God-breathed. If you want to live by God’s word, you can’t be just selective in which portion of the Bible you believe. It is either all or nothing. You can either call God a liar or accept His word as factual, accurate, or perfect. There’s no middle ground.
3. Living by God’s word means to follow His commandments
While the first step to following God is to believe in Him, it is not enough. You need to translate your belief into action. Living faith is a TRANSFORMATIONAL faith. It does not just change our thinking, but it also changes our words and actions. IT CHANGES WHO WE ARE.
If you aim to live by God’s word, it is not enough to just believe what God says. It is NOT sufficient to admire the nobleness and perfection of God’s word. No, that’s just playing Christianity. Living by God’s word is not a passive state of life, but it is ACTIVE, DYNAMIC, and ENERGETIC.
Living by God’s word demands following His commandments. After telling the Israelites to remember God and to understand the importance of His words, Moses instructed them to “keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him” (Deuteronomy 8:6).
God is saying here that we must follow His commandments if we want to live by His word. Learning God’s expectation from us, His will in our lives, and the purpose of our existence should behoove us to follow His instructions.
4. Living by God’s word means to recognize that God is our ultimate Provider
Jesus said that “man shall not live by bread alone.” It means that there is more to life than food. Jesus later instructs us “not [to] worry about [our] life, what [we] will eat or what [we] will drink; nor about [our] body, what [we] will put on.” He continued by asking the question, “Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing” (Matthew 6:25)? Instead of worrying about our physical needs, Christ made a compelling, yet unpopular statement. He said, “Seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (verse 33).
One of the primary concerns of people is food. When it comes to following God, they fear that they might lose their jobs, displease other people, and eventually lose the ability to provide for their own needs. BUT LIVING BY GOD’S WORD DEMANDS US TO HAVE FAITH – to entrust God our lives and believe that He will provide all our needs as long as we seek first His kingdom.
For forty days and forty nights, Jesus did not rely on physical food for His sustenance. He recognized that God can provide more than just what our physical body demands. He knew that if we are to survive, we also must partake of the spiritual food that only God can provide.
Make no mistake about it: God can and is more than willing to support us every step of our Christian journey.
5. Living by God’s word means seeking His will in our lives
“The carnal mind is enmity against God” (Romans 8:7). Naturally, we want to seek our own good. We want to be a “god” of ourselves. We don’t want God telling us what to do. We don’t want anyone to “limit” us or curtail our “freedom.” However, if we really want to live by God’s word, we must submit our lives to Him and follow His commandments.
We can’t simply read God’s word and just select those things that are convenient to us. We can’t also say, “God, you know, I believe in you, but I can’t do what you require me to do.” It never worked that way. Our faith should manifest in our thoughts, words, and actions.
If we are to live by God’s word, we need to surrender our will, make God our priority, and put Him first in everything we do. Whatever it is that God commands us to do, we can have the assurance that it is for our ultimate good.
Living by every word that proceeds out from the mouth of God is not easy. It is tough and challenging. However, it comes with GREAT rewards – rewards for both today and for the life to come. At the end of the day, living by God’s word is the best way to live this life. God’s word is perfect, and you can’t improve something that is already perfect.
So decide today to live by every word of God. Endure until the end because when you reach the top, you can look down and say, “It’s all worth it.”
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