“Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” MATTHEW 4:4
For 40 days, our Lord fasted and prayed in the wilderness. Jesus did not simply endure a 40-day season of misery, but He emerged victorious over the powers of Satan. He was not at His weakest after He had fasted, though He “became hungry.” He was at His strongest, triumphing over the devil, and launching from these 40 days into 3 years of ministry that would change the world. In studying the accounts of Jesus’ 40-day fast that are detailed in the Gospels, we see both the secret and the source to the success of His fast: the Word of God.
The Word is our sustenance. As Deuteronomy 32:47 majestically states: “[The Word] is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life.” (NASB) When we fast, we feast on a different bread: The bread of life, the very Word of God. In one sense, we not only “eat the scroll” but nothing else entirely. In fasting, we voluntarily remove the rocks and thorns of the pleasures of this world, so that the seed of the Word of God may find a fertile soul. In feasting on the Word, we discover the promise of Scripture is true: we live on every word that proceeds from His mouth. When we put aside the scraps of this world, we find full pleasure in the buffet of His Word, so much so that we might exclaim with the psalmist: “My soul is consumed with longing for your law at all times” (Psalm 119:20).
The Word is our sword. Ephesians 6:17 declares that the word of God is the “sword of the Spirit.” In the wilderness, as the enemy tries to tempt Jesus, He responds with “it is written.” In doing so, He sets a model for all of His disciples: to wage war against darkness with His eternal decrees set forth in the written Word. The Scriptures are the absolute authority, and it is the foundation for all of our prayers. When we pray the Scriptures, we pray in His name and by His authority.
Let us heed the wise words of Charles Spurgeon: “The Sword would have no edge at all if it were not for the Spirit’s presence within it and His perpetual working by it… The Holy Ghost rides in the chariot of Scripture and not in the wagon of modern thought… The Spirit of God works in by, through, and with the Word, and if we keep that Word, we may set assured that the Holy Ghost will keep us and make our testimony to be a thing of power.”
Pray for spiritual hunger to increase on college campuses for the word of God. Pray that the Word of God would become the source and sustenance for the Body of Christ on campus. Pray that believers on campus would pray the Word of God with confidence and faith.