Matthew 4:4 | Man shall not live by bread alone … STUDY!

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I want to talk today about how we are supposed to study to show ourselves approved. Revelation of the Word of God can only come when we take time away from our lives to STUDY the Word of God and feed on it.  

Jesus told satan when he tried to tempt Him that…

4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Matthew 4:4 KJV

The sad truth is that so many of us as Christians are spiritually starving.  We don’t ever feed ourselves on the Word of God.  

An Illustration of Spiritual Starvation

Let me put this picture in your head.   You sit down to eat a meal.  You have steak and potatoes and a hot roll on your plate.  Now as you go to eat the meal you pick up the steak and chew on it for a minute or two and then spit it out.  You push your potatoes around on the plate and lick the butter off of the roll.  

Then you simply get up and leave the table.  

God tells us in Psalms that He has “prepared a table before us in the presence of our enemies” (Psalm 23:5 KJV). 

Sadly much like this story we might sit down at God’s table but we never take any nutrition from it!

Does the taste of good food alone sustain you? NO!

Do you think that you could survive just off of the taste of good food?  No! 

Yet so many times we simply taste the Word of God when we come to church, sit through a service, and then leave saying “That was a good service.  Pastor had a great message today!”

We have to truly digest the meat of the Word of God for ourselves.  We have to study and meditate on the Word day and night (Joshua 1:8-9 KJV).  

The reason why we don’t see the Word work in our lives is because we haven’t been feeding our spirit man on the Word of God.   We have simply been giving it a small taste every now and then.

This is the same way if we simply put food in our mouth and never swallowed it… it wouldn’t ever DO anything in us.

When we neglect to feed ourselves with nutrition, we can’t handle it when we DO get it.  

12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

Hebrews 5:12 KJV

What is God saying here?

I’m a fan of the TV show Survivor.  I used to watch it with my mom when I was a kid.  And this verse reminds me of what they go through.  

If you aren’t familiar with the show, people are placed on an island and have to gather food for themselves and live on rice with very little actual nutrition.  They will do challenges and win games and sometimes they get to go on “reward”.  These are times when they’re given things like steak or hamburgers to eat. 

The problem is that their bodies aren’t used to these kinds of food anymore.  They’ve been living on rice and cocoanuts for weeks and they simply can’t take those foods.  

Without getting too graphic, let’s just say that many times it goes out just as fast as it went in.

What am I saying?  

We are the same way spiritually.  Just when we should be teaching others and feeding ourselves we still need someone else to spoon feed us just like a child.  We wait for Pastor to tell us instead of studying the Word of God for ourselves. 

Don’t misunderstand.  You NEED a pastor (see Step 5: Remove Negative Hindrances to your Faith).  The thing is that you also need to GROW UP.  

It starts by studying the Word of God for yourself. 

How can you “chew and swallow” the Word of God?

Ok so the question really is, “How do you feed yourself the Word.” Many people simply casually read the Bible.  That’s like taking the roll and licking the butter off of it. 

Others will read a verse, think on it for a few minutes and then distract themselves with Instagram or work or family.  That’s like the person who chews the steak but never swallows it. 

No, we have to meditate day and night.  This sounds hard – and it is if you aren’t intentional about doing it. 

#1 Write the verse down and post it.

Put the verse somewhere where you will see it every single morning when you wake up. When you DO see the verse make a conscious effort to remember it – yes memorize it. You thought you got away from that after you graduated school didn’t you? Nope!   

#2 Read it out loud 3x a morning

Ok so when you first write the verse and post it, every morning take the verse and read it outloud about 3 times.  On the third time, try to say it without looking at the verse.  The goal here is to memorize the verse.  

#3 Speak it throughout the day

Now as you’re going throughout your day, maybe you have a lunch break or some spare moment on the toilet – whenever you can think on the words. 

Confess it out loud. This will allow your spirit to hear it and begin to “swallow” down into your belly.  It sounds weird I know until you do it for yourself. 

There will be a time when you confess it out loud and then right down on the inside of your belly – where your spirit the real you resides – you will feel the greatest peace you’ve ever felt before in your life.  

The Word of God became A WORD of revelation to you.  That’s when you know that you have truly digested what you are reading. 

#4 Continue to confess it

Faith is NOW.  That means you have to continue to feed yourself.  Continue to look at it daily.  You don’t just eat once a week.  You eat something every day.  

If you want to be ready for anything that life throws your way, you need to be built up in faith in the areas where the enemy might attack you. 

This isn’t just some religious thing to do. 

I used to think, I don’t need to memorize scripture. What’s the point?  

21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.

22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Proverbs 4:21-23 KJV

If you want to keep the Word of God in your heart – your spirit, then you have to start by keeping it in your eyes like verse 21 of Proverbs 4 tells us to do. 

The truth is that scripture verses in your head really WON’T do you any good and more than food in your mouth won’t do any good until you swallow.  But you can’t have one without the other.  

Start by memorizing scripture verses that you study.  Roll them over in your brain.  Talk about them.  Think about them.  Talk about them. Think about them. Over and over and over. 

Then and only then will you be able to gain revelation from your heart on the subject and be able to use that scripture verse effectively when you need it.