A master bought two cats and placed them in two different cages. He fed both cats on a weekly routine basis, but gave one proper care than the other. Due to this, one became stronger and healthier while the other became not physically fit.
One day, he placed the day’s food in a bowl outside their cages and opened their gates. The food was really small that both cannot share. The two animals fought for the food, but the stronger one overcame the feeble, and ate the food.
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Matthew 4:4
A deeper analysis of this scripture highlights the following:
In the scripture above, the word ‘man’ means ‘a living being’. Now note this: man is a spirit, with a soul and lives in a body. At the stage of the creation of man, God first made a body, breathed His spirit into the body and gave him a soul (Genesis 2:7). Without the spirit (the breath of God), the body cannot make a living.
The body is a container or being. The spirit is the breath from God, and the mind and heart is the soul.
Therefore man is made up of three things; body, spirit and soul. 1 Thessalonians 5:23
- Shall not
Note the word Jesus used, “shall not …” The word ‘shall’ here mean ‘intended to happen’; indicating that something must happen. It is also used for both expressing a strong intention, and expressing an instruction or command; a must; an obligation.
- Live on bread alone
Jesus is not saying we shouldn’t eat. After the forty days of fasting, Jesus ate. So He cannot tell us not to do something He did. The word ‘bread’ here, does not only imply to the substance we take into the body to gain energy, but anything that is s physical need or want.
- But on every word that comes from the mouth of God
Let me ask this question, ‘what is the word that comes out of the mouth of God?’ It is what God instructs us to do. God the Father through the Holy Spirit instructed Jesus to fast and not to spend time turning stones into bread in the wilderness.
Now let us look at what Jesus meant in the scripture above. All that Jesus is saying is that, we shouldn’t be like the man who bought two cats. But fed one and left the other to starve.
Pay close attention preaching that, yes man shall need bread, but we must not live a bias life, with all concentration on only the flesh and its physical needs. Man is also made up of soul and spirit. The spirit within us must grow just as the body grows. Jesus did not make it an option here, but a command. That is why He used the word “SHALL NOT”. He expert us to consider the daily needs of the spirit within as well. Just as we care about what to feed our bodies, so must we care about how and what to feed the inner man (soul and spirit) with.
The act of using God’s powers to create bread in the wilderness was not in itself wrong to Jesus. But Jesus did not do it, because bread was not needed at that particular time. The act of creating physical needs is not wrong, but it’s wrong when we trust our lives in them. We shouldn’t make it look like, without any of these things life does not go on. We have made the things of this world more valuable than the word and that is what Jesus is teaching us to repent from. NOTE: God is interested in saving the spirit within us and not the body. Dear reader let me ask you this question, ‘Have you heard that lack of physical things have killed someone?’ NO! Life still goes on with or without these things, for the reason that we have Jesus. When we have Him, we have life; in Him is life. (John 1:4)
We then ask, ‘what is the bread or daily need of the inner man?’ It is the word of God. The word of God is a spiritual food for the inner man. The word from God the Father to Jesus in the wilderness was to fast. And that is what Jesus depended and acted on. Every word from God to us is what the spirit within us feeds on. The word of God builds and makes the inner man (soul and spirit) strong, healthy and effective. The word of God brings about peace, comfort, joy, good health etc. to the inner man. The inner man is fed with the word through prayer, meditation, fellowship, worship, etc. The more you practice these, the power in the word will build and grow the inner man.
WHY MUST YOU FEED THE INNER MAN?
We live in a world filled with perishable things, and these are the desires/food/bread of the flesh. The desires of the spirit are different from that of the flesh. Seeing this, there shall always be a fight between the flesh and the spirit, because the flesh will be asking for something the spirit does not like. Jesus wants us to seek after the desires of the inner man than that of the flesh. To solve that problem, He’s commanding us to STRENGHTEN the inner man.
Insufficient of the word of God to the soul and spirit causes spiritual weakness.
When the body becomes stronger than the inner man, short-lived things will be the order of the day. That is not how Jesus want us to live our lives. We must not live on only bread, let us go back to the word, and act upon the word, in other to empower the inner man.
The more spiritual food you give the inner man, the more powerful it becomes. The more powerful it becomes, the more you can fight, resist and conquer the desires of the flesh.
It is never too late, no matter how strong your flesh has become over the inner man. The power of God can deal with it. You cannot fight it with your strength. Repent and ask for forgiveness, and call upon the Holy Spirit to help you. He is our Helper, and it is He’s work.
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God greatly bless u.