4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” (Mt. 4:4)
We all know how important it is with food for our bodies to be well. If we don’t eat food, this will initially lead to fatigue and make us irritated, and eventually lead to physical weakness – and ultimately – to our death. The words of Jesus above were spoken as He was tempted by satan in the desert and shows us the following: In the same way as our physical bodies need physical food to live and be well, our spiritual man must constantly by fed by the word of God in order for our spiritual lives to function and thrive.
Our relationship with God is not mainly based on our intellect, or our own understanding. We will never be able to “figure God out” with our limited human intellect and brain. We can only communicate with God and have a personal relationship with Him through “spirit fellowship”. Jesus said:
23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”(Jn. 4: 23-24)
Jesus said that since God is Spirit, we humans can only worship and have a relationship with Him through our inner man – and not mainly based on our own intellect. Thereby not said that our thoughts and our intellect are not to be involved! A Christian has not disconnected his/her brain and succumbed to believe in irrational fairy tales and fables! God has given us a brain to think with, and we should absolutely put it to use! However, we have realized that our human understanding is limited, and that God is way bigger than us! Our understanding and intellect must therefore be subordinated to the realities that exist in the spiritual word in order for them to come to their proper place and function. The Apostle Paul expresses it like this:
13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Cor. 2:13-16)
A natural man – i.e. a non-believer – can neither understand God nor spiritual realities, since they must be judged based on having personal insight into the spiritual world. All born-again believers have received the “mind of Christ” and can thereby judge both spiritual and physical things correctly.
However, although all born-again believers have the mind of Christ, this does not automatically mean that we put to use what has been given to us. The mind of Christ should not be mixed with our own human intellect. The mind of Christ has been deposited into our spirit, our inner man. By feeding on the word of God as our spiritual food, our inner man grows strong so that we can draw from the wisdom and strength that has already been deposited on the inside.
When people who have been believers for many years suddenly start doubting God’s existence and question their faith, this is a sign that they have stopped feeding their spiritual man, and instead started to relate to God based on their own human understanding. (I say this with respect for that all people have their own individual journey through life. We should never judge those who doubt their faith, but love and pray for them.) This will never work if we want to have a personal relationship with God. There will always be an element of faith (i.e. believing without seeing) in our Christian lives as long as we live on this earth.
3 For my days vanish like smoke; my bones burn like glowing embers. 4 My heart is blighted and withered like grass; I forget to eat my food. (Ps. 102:3-4, NIV)
If we forget to live by the word of God as our spiritual bread, this will lead to that our spiritual life weakens and vanishes like smoke. Suddenly, God seems to be “far away” and the doubts are rising in our hearts.
What then is the cure? That we return to living by the word of God and prioritize it in the same way as we prioritize eating our physical food – every day.