God has been calling my attention to something specific this week—which has to do with not eating rocks. I’ll share that in just a moment.
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Seriously, Who Would Try to Eat a Rock?
I had just typed the subject line for this newsletter when I thought, Seriously. Who would eat a rock?
Then I remembered. Oh. I have.
Earlier this week, God brought to mind something specific about bread and stones.
It was this, from Scripture:
What man among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? – Matthew 7:9 (HCSB)
During that time, the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tells these stones to become loaves of bread.” But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” – Matthew 4:3-4 (NLT)
I thought, What do I do with that?
I looked up the Scriptures, meditated on them, asked God questions, and journaled.
And here’s where God took me:
Satan’s temptation to Jesus was to prove his identity by turning rocks into bread. But Jesus said no. If God had wanted those stones turned to bread, Jesus would have done it. But he didn’t.
I think it’s possible that Jesus may have seen a connection between the wilderness testing of the Israelites (spoken of in Deuteronomy 8), and the one he was in.
- Both took place in the wilderness.
- The people in both tests had been led there by God.
- And the reason?
Scripture says the Israelites were humbled and tested to prove their character and to find out whether or not they would obey God’s commands—to teach them that people don’t live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
Jesus had been led to the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil. And he realized that he didn’t need to make bread from rocks in this test—because that was not what God was saying for him to do. The Word of God—that he had already hidden in his heart—told him that he needed to live by the Word spoken by his Father, that people don’t live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
Something More & Better
Jesus never said we don’t need food—just that we don’t live “by bread alone.” He knows we need both spiritual and physical sustenance.
Jesus taught by word and example that doing the will of the Father is vital sustenance (John 4:32-34; Matthew 4:4). And that even when it comes to physical food, God doesn’t give us stones instead of bread. He gives us good gifts when we ask him. (See Matthew 7:9-11.)
I like to think that when Jesus taught the lesson in Matthew 7:9-11, he had a happy twinkle in his eye, recalling how God did take care of him after he rejected Satan’s stone-bread scheme. God sent angels to take care of Jesus. Scripture doesn’t report what those angels gave Jesus to eat, but I’m sure it was good.
It’s a Simple Reminder
I realized that God had given me a reminder:
- I live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
- I don’t need to prove my identity or attempt to meet my own needs by doing something that God is not saying to me to do.
- I can ask God for what I need, and trust that because he is good, he will take care of me.
So, I mentioned that I ate a rock. I wasn’t trying to eat a rock. It was years ago. A tiny stone had slipped into my food unnoticed in some dried beans I cooked. I bit down on it.
I can say in no uncertain terms that humans are not designed to eat rocks.
And I’m grateful to God for the reminder this week that there are things he never intends me to do; and that his words, and his care, are life to me.
I’d love to hear if this email has spoken to you in your own situation. Just hit reply to send me a message. And if you need prayer for anything, please let me know, as well.
To your freedom, health, and wholeness,
P.S. Here’s the link again where you can download your free excerpt of my book Remembering:
P.P.S. If you have a friend who’d like to receive the excerpt, invite them to subscribe at amylu-riley.com/subscribe, and they’ll get the gift, too!
Contest is Still Open!
The BookSweeps “Win a Bundle of Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction” contest is still open! Two winners will receive my book Remembering, plus a collection of inspirational books from 54 other authors—and the grand prize winner gets an eReader. Here’s the link to enter:
[OUTDATED LINK HAS BEEN REMOVED]
You’re welcome to share the contest with friends!
Inspiring Christian Fiction by AmyLu Riley
Open for Miracles: Valley of Artisans – Book 2
A Winter Wedding in the Valley of Artisans: Valley of Artisans – Book 3
Ordinary Miracles: Valley of Artisans – Book 4
Inspiring Christian Non-Fiction by AmyLu Riley
Faith with Wings
Jesus as Healer: Miracles and Meditations in Luke
Stay: Why I’m Still Here, A Spiritual Memoir