Imagine eating at your favorite restaurant: You choose a savory meal off the “healthy choices” menu, which includes an appetizer, salad, soup, and a main course. You’re pleased with your self-control. After all, you’ve been working out for months to reach your fitness goal. Then you see her…coming towards you across the crowded room. It’s the waitress pushing a dessert cart stacked with deliciously over-sized cakes, pies, cupcakes, and ice cream sundaes!
“Would you like dessert?” she asks innocently.
“No, thank you,” you reply, knowing just one of those desserts probably has more calories than your entire meal.
She nods and keeps pushing the cart towards the other diners.
How were you able to resist the temptation? The desserts were appealing, but you weren’t hungry. You were already full.
Now, consider a second scenario: You woke up late, so you skipped breakfast and dashed to the office. Then, you skipped lunch in order to meet a deadline. Later, you go to the breakroom to get coffee and see a huge chocolate cake on the counter with this note: “Please help yourself.” You briefly think about how close you are to your fitness goal. Then, your stomach grumbles.
What are the chances of you resisting now? Pretty slim, if you’re like most of us. When you’re hungry, you’ll grab whatever is available because you are so empty.
So it is in our Christian walk. Our spirit is not fed by natural food, it lives off of spiritual food—the Word of God. When we skip reading the Bible, skip going to church to hear the Word and skip our prayer time, our spirit becomes too weak to overcome the desires of our carnal mind (soul), which against God (Romans 8:6-8). Our spirit is saved by faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). But our soul must be transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:1-2).
When Jesus was tempted by the devil for 40 consecutive days (Read Matthew 4:1-11), he was able to resist because he was full of the Word. He even quoted this scripture when he was being enticed to give in and turn stones into bread…
Matthew 4:4, New King James Version
“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
Jesus overcame every temptation with the Word of God and—Jesus is the Word of God made flesh!
John 1:1, GOD’s WORD Translation – “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was already with God in the beginning.”
John 1:14, New King James Version – “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
When Jesus comes into our lives, we receive the ability to overcome every temptation because Christ lives in us (Colossians 1:26-27). Jesus is the spiritual food (the Word of God) that sustains us.
John 6:35, New King James Version – “And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”
Isaiah 55:1-3, New King James Version – “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk, without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—The sure mercies of David.”
As we choose to feed on the Word of God (through reading, listening and meditating on the Scriptures), our cravings change. Sin loses its appeal. When temptation comes your way and says: “Would you like some sin today?” You can confidently say, “No, thank you. I’m full.”
James 1:21-25, New King James Version
“Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”