Do you ever hit those times where you just struggle to focus and cannot seem to gather your thoughts? You just seem to stumble through stuff. That has been me for the past few weeks. That does not mean I am not inspired by the Word of God, but there has been something missing and I could not seem to find it. So I continued to pray and wait on the Lord.
I went to Church and was moved by each sermon. I studied and prayed, but something seemed to elude me, and even today I do not know what it was. I just kept doing what God had asked me to do and waited expectantly, and God was faithful in a discussion with friends Tuesday evening.
I had discussed God’s Word with some friends Tuesday night and yesterday I woke and I prayed over what we had discussed and I asked for understanding and guidance. I had really been impacted by our discussion and I prayed just for understanding and an hour or so after my prayer and study time I received a notification on my cell phone.
Yeah, I know you are probably going WHAT?!?! A notification on his PHONE?!?!?!? Please bear with me a bit. The notification was a YouTube video. I get notifications from a channel on YouTube called “I’ll be Honest” and they are sermons or short clips from some leaders I like. Yesterday it was Paul Washer and the Sermon was “How to Abide in Christ”.
This sermon was an hour and forty-four minutes long and when I first saw that I balked a bit. I was not sure I was up to watching a sermon twice as long as Terry’s but the Spirit kept nudging not so gently to watch it, so I did.
I do not know if you have ever listened to Paul Washer or not but he is about as subtle as a hay fork and about as likely to draw blood if you are not careful. He is about as direct as an oncoming train, but I do like him because of his passion for the Lord and this sermon was no exception. Even if a bit hard on the toes at times it was exactly what I needed. The Lord helped me see some things differently than I had before and tied them back to my studies and Terry and Will’s teachings as well. It really pierced my heart.
The Sermon and What Hit Me Hardest
Paul spoke of many things in ways I had not considered before. He touched on prayer and how to pray. The act of praying without ceasing, and on Matthew 4:4. Matthew 4:4 was what had the largest impact. It was Jesus’ response to satan in the wilderness.
Matthew 4:4 (ESV) 4 But he answered, “It is written,” ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
There was much more in this video, and all of it touched me but the Lord used this passage to pull me out of the spot I was in, and I am thankful for His patience, grace, and forgiveness. Just think about that exchange Jesus and satan.
Matthew 4:4 is Jesus’ response to the devil when he makes his first effort to tempt Christ Jesus.
Matthew 4:3 (ESV) 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”
But Christ did not respond relying on his own strength, He drew on the strength of the Holy Word.
Matthew 4:4 (ESV) 4 But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
He quoted from part of the Old Testament: Deuteronomy 8:3.
Deuteronomy 8:3 (ESV) 3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
I love this passage. The Son of God did not speak on His own when confronted by the adversary, but with the full power of the Word of God. I get goose bumps when I think of that. I often talk about the power of God’s Word and the need to put on the Full Armor, but yesterday the Holy Spirit revealed something more through this passage.
Thoughts and Reflection
Paul Washer said something that shook me. He said most people hear that passage but do not really believe it, and yes, that caused me to pause. He went on to explain that we think we do, but we do so many things every day without first conferring with God or reflecting on the direction in His Word. I had to think about it for a minute and ask myself, do I really live “by every word that comes from the mouth of God?” I believe the power of God’s Word, but do I truly rely on every word that comes from His mouth to live my life.
Paul gave several examples, and I thought of several others, but the one that struck me regarded marriage. If you are married, do you study everything in the Word that God teaches about marriage to assure that your marriage is lived in accordance with His Word? He is the author of marriage. Shouldn’t we be living our marriage as He has defined it?
As I considered this and meditated on the passages that I was led to, I developed a new appreciation for the Word, and I have to admit I was humbled and repentant. I have for a long time believed that It was my sword and shield, but today I realized it is my life’s blood. Living water that I cannot live without in a way I had not realized before.
The Word is Jesus. God explains it through John in chapter one of his Gospel.
John 1:1-5 (ESV) 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
It is God Breathed for teaching us and more. Just look at 2 Timothy 3:16-17
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV) 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
And He is the Living Water. Only by believing in Jesus can we be saved. And what joy we can gain by knowing Him through His Word guided by His Holy Spirit.
John 4:13-14 (ESV) 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
I cannot fully grasp all this yet. It really impacted me. There is so much yet that I need to get my arms around, but I feel the Lord has turned on the light in another section of this path I am walking on and I will continue to pray and study His Word and now apply really apply Matthew 4:4. I give thanks for the gift of grace and repentance. I give thanks for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to open my eyes when I am to blind to see. I praise God for His patience with me.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your Holy Word. Thank you for your Spirit to guide me in my life. I am overwhelmed by every new turn or revelation. Help me, Lord, that I might live a life totally dependent on You and Your Holy Word.
In Jesus Name I pray, Amen!