Not by bread alone
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone , but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” NIV
Gregg Easterbrook, in his book, ‘The Progress Paradox,’ asks the question, “if Americans have so much, why aren’t they happier?” He points out that Americans today are generally wealthier and healthier than at any other time in their history, yet they do not seem to be happier. Depression has grown into a major national malady. They are disenchanted and disappointed with the way life is turning out to be. They have spent years pursuing some big job, looking for some big break, waiting for that big wave… only to discover that it wasn’t all that it was made out to be. People feel harassed, hard-pressed and trapped on the treadmill of life. They are more fearful for their security, more anxious about their future.
Joel 1:12 sums it all up: “Surely the joy of mankind is withered away.”
Jesus revealed a profound truth when He declared that “Man does not live by bread alone.” Man is first and foremost a spiritual being made in the image of God, made for communion with God. The spirit man – “the hidden man of the heart,” that “inner man” (1 Peter 3:4/Ephesians 3:16) – is what makes man man. It gives him his essential worth, dignity and purpose. And the spirit man has needs just as the physical man has needs. Both must be attended to if we are to achieve the balance and harmony that is intrinsic to God’s creational purpose.
And this is where we have missed the mark.
The spirit man has been neglected, deprived and starved. Satisfying man’s physical needs – for food and shelter, recreation and human development, creativity and personal success – has become the overriding focus of our time and energy. There is this belief that if we can satisfy these needs, we will be happy, content and at peace.
It is a lie. Jesus warned that “a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15).
The discontentment, the restlessness, the unfulfillment is but the hunger groans of the spirit man within. To find peace and contentment in this life, we must first satisfy the spirit man.
Jesus said: “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).
Jesus Christ is food for the spirit man. The more we feed on Him – His word, His presence, His Spirit – the more our spirit man will grow in peace, be at peace. The spirit man needs to be washed in the Blood of Jesus, fed on the Word, clothed with the Holy Spirit and sheltered by the love and presence of God to thrive.
Therefore, feed your spirit on the Word of God. Fellowship with the God of the Word who alone can satisfy your deepest need. Read the Word. Meditate upon it. Walk in it. Live it. Grow strong in the spirit. Discover the awesome purpose of God in Christ Jesus for you and fulfill it.
And He will cause you to know peace like a river (Isaiah 66:12) and joy and gladness (Psalm 45:15). He will “cause you to ride on the heights…” (Isaiah 58:14) and know the fruit of the Holy Spirit – “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
That which your hungry heart desires is within your reach. It’s there for you in Christ Jesus alone.