LIVING ON EVERY WORD THAT COMES FROM THE LORD
Copyright © 2012 Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
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. (Deuteronomy 8:3)
There are two ways in which a person may live:
- He may live by his own wisdom, talents, strength, ambitions, pleasures, plans for security and survival.
- Or he may live from the words coming from the mouth of the Lord.
The Bible states that God finished His work from the beginning of the world. This means that during the six days of creation, every person, thing, and circumstance from the garden in Eden to the creation of the new earth and the coming down from Heaven of the new Jerusalem, the home of the Royal Priesthood was determined in advance.
Then God rested.
Everything was planned to the smallest detail. The animal and plant kingdoms. The destiny of each individual. The role of each individual, whether in the Kingdom of God or in the realms of darkness.
This does not seem possible until we regard seriously outer space and the bodies therein. If God through His Word can speak into existence such incomprehensible distances and masses, then it is conceivable that God can plan the future in detail.
Does this mean that no matter what we do, we are fated to arrive at a foreordained destiny? Not at all. The Scriptures, particularly in the New Testament, inform us that we can choose to obey God and our conscience, or we can give way to our sinful nature. The choice is up to each individual. But the Scripture reveals also that God works in us to will and to do His good pleasure. So it is not a simple case of predestination, or our will, but a combination of the two working together in an inscrutable manner.
We are not required to understand the interaction of predestination and the will of a human being. There are secret things that belong to God. But each one of us is invited to behave righteously, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. Every human being should pray that he or she would behave in this manner.
When the Lord Jesus was tempted in the wilderness to turn stones into bread, He quoted from Deuteronomy that man is not to live on food only, but on every word coming from God’s mouth. The manna was given to the Jews during their pilgrimage from Egypt to Canaan to teach them this eternal truth, and to teach us this eternal truth.
So we make the choice. Shall we depend for our needs and desires on what we can accomplish with our own abilities and efforts, or should we continually be aware of God’s role in providing our needs and desires?
The world is filled with people, including Christian people, who are under the impression that their survival, security, pleasure, and achievements depend entirely on their own abilities and efforts. There are not many who are at peace, realizing that after they have done their best, God will make up whatever they lack.
If I am hearing correctly from the Spirit of God, we in America are facing moral and physical chaos. There may be food shortages. Many will die. Our customary way of life will be greatly reduced. This could happen in a civil war. There is no doubt the country is severely split concerning the kind of government we should have. There may be upheavals of nature. There may be attacks, internally or externally, from those who are jealous of America’s advantages. When these disasters take place, and they actually are Divine judgments on us because of our sinful ways, our main concern will be food. At that time, we may learn that God can provide food for us miraculously, if need be.
I heard a testimony of a young man whose parents had fled across Russia during the days of the Communist revolution. When they arrived at a staging point on the Russian border with China, they had no food. But God created food in their stomachs. This testimony was given in the Fremont First Assembly of God church in California. It was no wild tale, but a sincere account by a reputable young man. There are accounts in the Bible that describe God providing food miraculously. The most dramatic instances occurred as Jesus fed His followers. Also, there are Old Testament accounts of God feeding Elijah, and the jar of flour and the jug of oil that sustained the widow.
The manna teaches us that God will provide our needs each day. A memorial jar of manna was kept in the Ark of the covenant to remind us that there always is grace for the day.
In the days of chaos ahead of us, the Christian who learns today to trust God will stand and help others to survive. But those who waste the present days of preparation, will run about in panic, screaming for someone to help them and their children.
I am not implying that we are not to do what we can to help ourselves. I will tell you this—God regards laziness as a sin! Rather, I am saying that even though we are earning money by our hard work, we need to always remember that it is God who is giving us the strength and opportunity to provide for our needs. In my preaching in the church of which I am pastor, I have been emphasizing during the last year or two that we must learn now to live by the Life of Jesus, in preparation for the time of trouble on the horizon.
Part of learning to live by the Life of Jesus is that of looking to Him for all our needs and desires.
We are to pray continually:
- That God will fill our minds with His thoughts, so we always are thinking what Jesus is thinking.
- That God will cause us to speak what is coming from Him, so we always are speaking what Jesus is speaking.
- That God will cause us to will and to do His good pleasure, so we always are acting as Jesus is acting.
To the immature Christian, such harmony with the living Jesus may seem far too difficult to accomplish. Actually, it is not unapproachable at all. Our part is to pray as I have indicated above. We don’t need to be anything special as a person, some kind of saint. I think most of us can pray the prayer I have suggested. God can and will do the rest. What will our life be like then? Most likely no different from what it is now, except we will find ourselves praying without ceasing, as the Apostle Paul commanded us.
As we go about our business each day and into the night, we are in a continual dialogue with the Lord Jesus. “Lord, should I do this? Lord, should I do that? Thank you for helping me with this. Lord Jesus, remove all worries from me. Remove the spirit of dread from me. Remove Satan from my loved ones, every room of my house, and all my property.”
You might think it is impossible to set your mind on the Lord like this. Why don’t you try it before you talk yourself out of it? I’ll admit it takes practice. There are many distracting thoughts that crowd into our mind. This especially is true where the television, the news, the internet, are constantly bombarding us with the lies of the antichrist world spirit.
But as you become proficient in bringing your thoughts into subjection to Christ, you will gain righteousness, love, joy, and peace. These the television, the news, the internet, will not give to you. Try it and see for yourself whether I am correct.
One of the big problems for Christians in the day in which we live is fretting. We fret about the actions of godless people in our own society and government and in the world. The situation is going to become much worse than it is. Satan will try to use his antics in the world to tear us down to his level.
We are to keep our minds focused on our position in Christ at the right hand of God. The Apostle Paul told us to think about things that are pure and lovely. It will become increasingly difficult to do this as the world worships the gods of lust, power, and violence. Yet God will help us if we make the effort to keep our minds on things above, because that is what God desires for us.
The rest of God is that state of being in which we seek each day to do what God has ordained for that day. We are in our Father’s hands, and there is no power on earth or in the heavens that can remove us from God’s protection. Only we ourselves can remove us, if we fasten on the huge lie that the antichrist world spirit is.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. (Psalm 34:4-7)
Every time you read about the moral and physical horrors that our environment is today, go back and review this Psalm.
When we seek the Lord fervently, He delivers us from all our fears. All our fears! When we keep our eyes focused on the Lord Jesus and do His will, our faces will be radiant and we will not be brought into shame, as is happening to so many in our day as they succumb to sexual lust. When we come to the Lord as a “poor” man, not puffed up with how great we think we are, Jesus will save us out of all our troubles. The angel of the Lord is camped in front of us, behind us, and on both sides of us. He goes before us when we pray about possible events in the future, and He clears the path.
The only power that can remove us from the protection of the angel of the Lord is we ourselves, as we begin to look to sources other than God for our security, survival, pleasures, and achievement. As long as we keep Christ always before us, there is nothing that can harm us.
The days in which we are living now are a period of preparation. The Spirit of God is pointing out to us Christians our worldliness, the lusts and passions of our flesh and spirit, and our self-will.
- You are to confess and renounce each element of your behavior that is not in the image of God.
- Then, with all your determination and with the help of Christ, you are to fling it from you, declaring that you never again for eternity will practice such behavior. Throw it into the fire, just as the Apostle Paul did with the snake.
- It is an eternal judgment. It will not be mentioned to you again if you keep your promise.
We must prepare ourselves for the evil day that is approaching us in America. We prepare ourselves by learning to live by the Life of the Lord Jesus. When food is in short supply, we are to look to God for His provision. He has promised to supply all our needs through Christ. And He shall indeed, even though the unsaved are panic stricken.
The written Word of God cannot be changed. It shall be standing intact when the present heavens and earth pass away. We can count on it. So we do well today to study the promises, knowing that they certainly shall be fulfilled for us and our loved ones no matter what happens in the world.
I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8)
(“Living On Every Word that Comes From the Lord”, 3760-1, proofed 20210924)