Diet Devotional 19
Deuteronomy 8:2-3 "Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord."
This is the verse Jesus quoted to Satan during his temptation in the desert. Immediately after his baptism, the Bible says (in Matt. 4) that the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert to be tested and after 40 days, he was hungry. When the devil tempted him, Jesus quoted the end of this verse. I never realized the parallel between the 40-year journey of the Israelites through the desert, and Jesus's 40-day journey into the desert. Jesus was tempted like the patriarchs of old, tempted to doubt, tempted to be angry, tempted to give in to physical cravings. Only, Jesus already knew how to survive. It didn't take him 40 years of testing to learn what God wanted the Israelites to see: we live on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
Earlier, I mentioned the battle waging between me and my daughter. I have struggled for about 9 days now to figure out what's causing her behavior. I could point to a number of reasons, but none sufficient to explain the fact that it has lasted so long. Wednesday, our Ladies Bible Study dealt with God's sovereignty over people and how he can use them to accomplish his will. It occurred to me at that moment that perhaps she didn't have a problem at all. For 7 days, I had been pushed to the limits of my tolerance, pushed to the edge of rage, hoping and wishing for a quick solution to the conflict. What could I do? How could I "handle" her so that she'd stop? Every day, I fought to resist the temptation to binge. Self discipline. Self control. I had to manage my feelings rather than stuff them. And I can say honestly that for nine days, I have hung on every word that came from the mouth of God. These daily devotionals have carried me because I have had a verse to think about or have been in a spiritual frame of mind to pray first before I acted. Not every day has been a success, but the week has been good training. I have been tested. I have been humbled, and I see more clearly now what is in my heart. God has fed me with things I have not known, and I have learned to live on God's word. The Israelites have walked this road. Jesus has walked this road. Now as I walk it, how long will it take me to learn the lesson that I already know in my heart to be true?