April 27, 2017


Deuteronomy 8:3 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 verse is most famous for being the one Jesus quoted when tempted by the devil to place His physical needs ahead of obedience to God. (Luke 4:3-4) Even so, we don’t think about it sufficiently to apply it consistently. We have a strong tendency to let our flesh rule the roost in all sorts of ways. Some of those ways are more obvious than others, and often they are more obvious to those close to us than they are to us. That’s always a mistake. We are to take good care of our bodies so that they will serve us, and by extension the Lord, well. However, one of Jesus’ most famous teachings was all about how God is perfectly aware of our physical needs, so rather than our focusing on them, we need to focus on being and doing what He intends for us. (Matthew 6:25-34) God has been trying to teach this lesson to His children ever since the Garden of Eden, but every generation has to learn it for themselves. The Biblical record is a huge help in that, but we can be remarkably obtuse at times. Some years ago a book came out that briefly reached best-seller status, called Looking Out for Number One. I’ve never read it, but from the title I’d say it’s the antithesis of what God said through Moses in this verse. If we focus our hearts on God, He will look out for us. That certainly sounds like a better arrangement to me!

I have experienced God’s protection and provision more times and in more ways than I could count, and in far more ways than I am even aware of. Even so, I still get anxious at times. How foolish! My focus needs to be on obedience, gratitude, and praise. I must not forget the obedience part of that, but with that in place I am to rest, relax, and rejoice, just as He has told me to do. Thinking about it, that is also an area of obedience! Any time I get anxious that shows I have taken my focus off of God. Paul’s words on this subject are justly loved: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) That in turn brings to mind Isaiah’s words: “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3) That is what God intends for me, and for all of His children.

Father, thank You for Your perfect provision. Thank You for the things You allow me to go through to teach me to trust You and Your provision. Help me recognize the many, often subtle ways the devil works to take my eyes off of You, so that in obedience to You I may stand against him. (James 4:7) May I walk in all that You have prepared for me so that all of Your purposes for me may be fulfilled, on Your schedule and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

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About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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