On Bread Alone

breadDeuteronomy 8:3 “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors 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.”

I love bread. All kinds…bagels, croissants, multigrain, baguettes, Artesian, French, Italian. I’ve even eaten salads where my favorite ingredient was the croutons! Thankfully, I don’t have a gluten allergy, but clearly the consumption of too much bread is neither healthy nor wise. We need more to sustain us than dough in its various forms.

Scripture warns us that man “does not live on bread alone.” We were created for more than mere subsistence. We were crafted to flourish, to “be fruitful and multiply,” to experience life “in abundance.” Any insistence on bread alone yields spiritual malnourishment and unfulfilled potential. Half-baked lives, so to speak.

The question we must ask ourselves…..What does our bread consist of? What sustains us? Are we living on financial security? Affirming relationships? Pleasurable moments? Success? All fine aspirations…but in and of themselves, they fall dreadfully short of life’s essence. If we consume such lesser goals to find fulfillment, such lesser goals will eventually consume us. We cannot thrive on them any more than we can thrive on Panera’s finest.

When Satan tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread, Jesus quoted the passage from Deuteronomy that warns us man’s needs run much deeper than physical existence. The miracle of Israel’s survival in the desert was not just the manna, but that God provided it. In the desert they learned about a God whose word resulted not only in manna, quail and water, but in laws they could live by. God taught them how to depend on him alone, a dependence that would win them a land and an identity they could never have achieved on their own.

So how about you?  Have you yet come to the place of recognizing  fulfillment comes in God alone not bread alone? Don’t settle for anything less than a relationship that stretches beyond your here-and-now needs. Knowing God…that sustains us far more than the actual answers to the things we ask him for or the gifts he gives.

Be thankful for whatever kind of bread God has blessed you with, but even more that you have the opportunity to feast on every word that comes from his mouth….

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