Friday, September 23, 2005

I don't get it!

"...man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord". Deut. 8:3

I've been on a 1000 calorie diet this week (for the metabolism study at Baylor), and this verse has NOT been a reality to me. I've been very preoccupied by my hunger, by when I'm going to eat next, by what I'm eating, by how much I don't enjoy what I'm eating, etc. Now, part of this may certainly be due to sleepiness, since I've been getting up so early. When I don't get enough sleep, I get cranky, and that will certainly skew my perspective. But I'm also weak and have no energy. This is very frustrating to me, as I have been trying to stay on top of the housework, and this week it has not happened. I'm also very unfocused. So, I don't get how this verse works. How do I live off the words of God? I understand how it works in a spiritual sense, but I really don't get the physical applications. I know the Lord has been very faithful in helping me to stick to this diet, to resist temptation (which is getting harder to do as the week wears on). He has been faithful to provide me with encouragement from His people. And it's not like I'm starving or anything -- I can't imagine what people who are truly starving go through. But I also don't understand how I'm supposed to live off the word of God.

Jesus quoted this verse when he was in the desert being tempted. Now, he hadn't eaten ANYTHING for 40 days. That's a really long time to go without food. Then, when he's tempted to turn a stone into bread, this verse is his response. How was it that he was able to cling to the words of his Father for physical sustenance? I guess it's more of the dying I was talking about earlier in the week. And maybe my perception of my physical weakness has been amplified by my lack of focused time with the Lord. I don't know. I do know I haven't been living too much off the words of the Lord. I think maybe some of my discontent with this diet has stemmed from the fact that I've been very focused on myself this week, and I've felt justified in that because I'm suffering a hardship! Ha -- I have the "right" to focus on me because of what I'm going through. But it's not true, is it?

This reminds me of something I have recently noticed in the creation story. I've always assumed (and been taught), that the sun is the source of light. When the sun rises, there is light. When the sun sets, there is dark. Ergo, the sun is the source of the light, right? Not according to Genesis. God created light and dark on the first day. He called the light "day", and the dark "night". All well and good. But, he didn't make the sun until the FOURTH day. So, there was light (and dark) for a full three days before there was a sun. I never really paid too much attention to that before. The sun is not the source of the light, God is. He is not limited by anything, especially his own creation. So, maybe that's the way Deut. 8:3 works. Yes, for the most part, I get my energy, my strength, my physical life from food. But God is not limited by food. His life extends deeper, beyond what I eat. And it's not just a spiritual application. I guess I don't really have to understand it. But I have to know it, and, knowing it, I am called to practice it; to depend not on what I can do or what I know, but on what the Lord can do and what he says is true.

And, to bring it full circle, since Jesus is the Word of God, this means that I am to live by his life, and none other. Wow. He is not just how I live the Christian life, he is how I live at all. "In him we live and move and have our being" Acts 17:28

Thanks for hanging with me as I worked that out. Please keep me accountable in it, even (especially?) when I don't want to hear it.


hoesayfina said...

i am blessed that the Lord is speaking to you so vividly during this study. it is a joy to be His and hear Him. Thank you for sharing the truth that He has revealed to you. i am encouraged. -m

sealka said...

Yay for more calories this week! :)