He answered: It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, — Matt 4:4
Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. — Matt 6:33
The question which Satan put to our Lord, has to be settled in every life. Where does bread and bread-getting come in? Is it to be our first consideration or the last? According to Satan’s way of looking at life, the bread question is paramount; according to Christ, secondary. Have you ever seriously considered which policy is yours, and what you would do if you had to choose in any supreme crisis? This temptation which came to our Lord occurs to us all; sooner or later, whether on the lone mountain-side, or in the crowded thoroughfares of life, the Devil comes to us with the suggestion that we must live, and in the last resort we must make or get our bread, leaving considerations of purity, truth, honour of God and Eternity to come in second best!
At every important turning-point in the history of the inner life these two methods are suggested: Satan says: “Make these stones into bread”; Christ says: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by the word of God.” We must choose between God and mammon. We are liable to attacks of hunger in various parts of our nature—for food, Satan bids us snatch it; for love, we are tempted to gratify it apart from God; for knowledge, we are apt to seek it in ways that are not illumined by the light of eternal truth.
God, who gave us these strong appetites and desires, knows that we need food. The body is more than meat, and if He gave the one, He is responsible for meeting the other. The blessed angels of His help are even now on their way to you, and have been commissioned to bring with them supplies for every need in your life. Do not take your life out of God’s hands and act at the dictate of passion! Throw all the responsibility on Him; they cannot be ashamed that wait for Him. Remember the angel that prepared the meal for Elijah in the desert, and the breakfast that our Lord Himself prepared for His tired and hungry friends. If you will dare to trust and wait for Him even though there be but a step between you and death, He will supply all your need, according to His riches in glory. “Trust in the Lord and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.”
Give us grace to seek first Thy kingdom and its righteousness, in the sure and certain faith that all else shall be added unto us. Amen.