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”And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” Luke 4:3-4
We eat our natural food and it is absorbed into our bodies and gives us strength. When we loose our appetite or can/will not eat, we are sick and our bodies grow weak. We no longer have the strength to do even the simplest things, our desire for life decreases, and eventually we die.
The Word of God is the bread of the spirit. Jesus said that a] He was the Living Bread, and b] that His words were spirit and life [John 6:48-63]. Jesus, of course, is the Living Word of God - the Word of God taking on a human body/nature [John 1:14]. We partake of His life when we make His Words a part of who we are.
Think about salvation for a minute. What happened? Somehow we heard the Word of God - verbally or written. Faith arose in our hearts. We believed the Word we heard and we then decided to absorb it into our life. We accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour - the physical action was the witness that the Word was birthing life in us for what we really believe we will act upon. And so the Word of God was birthed in us and His Words of life began to become a part of us.
Many Christians stop there. They are starving to death, their spirits crying out for more of the Life-giving Word, but their minds are clouded with the cares and concerns of this world. Going to church on Sunday is important, but if that is the only meal they are getting all week there is something wrong. Sunday morning sermons are great, but because they are aimed at the general congregation [and sometimes at unbelievers], they are not usually deep Bible Studies. Adult Sunday School classes may, depending on the church and material, offer deeper study. But again, the person who is only eating once or twice a week is not likely to grow strong and healthy. Some attend a midweek Bible Study and/or read daily devotionals...better and better.
Still, to grow strong and healthy a person needs to devote time and effort into studying the Word of God. These Words are not human words. They are the Living Words of God which, when imparted by the Holy Spirit, burst with Life into our lives. That is not to say that it is always an exciting, emotional experience. Sometimes it is just persistence and commitment. [Even in the natural we don’t always like the food which is the best for our body.] As we apply ourselves to search the Scriptures, God will give us revelation and understanding which leads to application and action.
Let’s look at it from a different angle for a moment. The written Word of God, the Bible, is God sending His Spirit to us. For example, in this article, I am sending you a part of my spirit. Part of who I am is in these words which you are reading now. It is my spirit coming to you in written form. You can accept it, [making it a part of who you are as well] or you can reject/ignore it. To the degree that my spirit is in line with God’s Spirit I will be communicating life, to the degree that it is out of alignment with God’s Spirit I will be communicating death [the same is true of all words - written or spoken - that come out of us]. You must judge and the only way you can judge precisely is by knowing the Bible. The Bible is the Spirit of God in written form and is ALWAYS life.
So, as we study the Bible, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, we can choose to accept it or reject it. To accept it is to apply it and bring Light, Life, and maturity into our life. To reject it [or misunderstand/apply it] is to leave a part of our life in darkness, death, and immaturity. [I trust you understand I am not talking about eternal salvation, but about growing our lives to be the mature sons and daughters of God He desires us to be. Christianity is not about escaping hell, it’s about knowing God.]
Make study of God’s Word a life-long project. Don’t give up in the dry or discouraging times, but keep at it and it will bear rich fruit in your life. You will not be “tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine” but will know the Word of God in Truth.