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Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he (Jesus) answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word (rhema) that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
(Matt. 4:1-4)
The account of Satan's temptation of Jesus, prior to His earthly ministry, is not only packed full of spiritual applications, but is filled with practical, everyday helps and aids, even to curbing the appetite for food.

During the time of His exchange with the devil, Jesus had not yet entered into His deliverance and teaching ministry. He had to prove that He could overcome the physical and spiritual temptations that, given time, will assail all of us.

How could our Lord help His fellow man be a strong witness to the love and power of His heavenly Father, with full inward knowledge and peace? He could not until He Himself had experienced personal victory over all of Satan's efforts, especially the temptation to the flesh.

A Land of Plenty
Let us deal with the insecurity question as it relates to the problem of obesity, gluttony, and overindulgence.

Someone recently wrote about the shock he received when returning from several months abroad. It seemed that every American was terribly overweight, especially in comparison to the people of other countries. Yes, despite all we hear about dieting, exercise, jogging, bicycling, and health spas, Americans still eat far too much and it usually shows.

If Christians had a built-in security just because they were Christians, it is probable that every believer would be naturally trim and slim. If true, one of our appeals to the sinner who was overindulgent would be, "Get saved and lose weight."

To know this isn't true, all you need to do is look around the next time you go to church. You will know that church members have the same weakness as the world. You can't hide it.

Do we have to prove a connection between obesity and insecurity? I don't believe so. It is a common belief shared by all psychologists.

As I was talking with a Christian who has had a lifetime battle with excessive overweight, he related how it all began when he was four years old. His parents began to have trouble with their marriage; so instead of taking a teddy bear to bed, he would take food. When things were calm at home, he had less trouble; when things were bad, he ate more.

Many people with a weight problem can easily trace its beginning to some kind of traumatic troubles, either with family members or with society in general.

Food is natural tantalizing pacifier. There is just something about satisfying the taste buds that gives temporary security. This exercise in futility reminds me of the angel in Revelation saying of the little book, "…it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey" (Rev. 10:9).

In other words, "You're gonna pay for that sweet tooth!"

Jesus As Our Example
As we read in Matthew 4:2, Jesus had fasted 40 days and 40 nights. Notice again how carefully the scriptures are written. The phrase "day and night" is used because the Jews practiced a short fast. After He had fasted and denied His body food for so long, the hunger pains must have been uncontrollably fierce.

It was at this precise time that Satan came and tempted Him with food, then connected the temptation with security: If thou be the Son of God….

Satan's temptation was, "If you don't eat, you'll die." He was suggesting to Jesus that getting food into His body was His security, rather than trusting His Father's Word.

By living in a human body, Jesus had learned enough to know that it must have food or it will die. But He also knew His heavenly Father. His security was in God, not in food or anything else earthly. For Him, it would be better to die of starvation than to rebel against His Father and obey Satan.

Thank God, it is recorded for us how Jesus gained victory over the temptation of the flesh and food. He said, "Get thee behind me, Satan." He satisfied His tongue with speech, rather than the taste of food. Our wonderful Lord Jesus quoted Scripture, "Man shall not live by bread alone."

In other words, man cannot survive by bread only; he must also live by the Word of God.

By the quoting of this Word, you can learn a great psychological and spiritual truth: If you are not keeping the precarious balance between your bodily and spiritual appetites, you are out of balance and your obesity is telling everyone the truth - the whole truth!

You might answer, "I have tried everything: prayer, diet, exercise. Nothing works." But the Word of God works. It worked for Jesus and it will work for you!

The secret here lies in the tongue - that little culprit with the big taste buds, that little instrument set on fire from hell. The more you eat, the more your taste buds will want. Try satisfying them by the instruction found in Proverbs 16:24: "Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones."

Speaking the Word of God will not only satisfy your craving taste buds, but will also feed your inner man; and the happier he is, the less trouble you'll have with the outer man.

If obesity is your problem, then rich, caloric food must become your enemy.

For instance, when others are indulging in some sweet delicacy, you need to say to yourself (out loud when you're sure you won't offend someone), "Pie, ice cream, sweet roll, candy…you are my enemy. You are out to destroy me. You are my temptation in the wilderness. You tempt my taste buds. You're out to send me to an early grave, to shorten my life."

Someone once said, "Inside every fat person is a thin one, clamoring to get out."

The Word of God tells us that if we destroy our bodies, which are temples of God, God will destroy us. Our bodies are not saved. They are just along for the ride, and protesting our every attempt to be spiritual! (The last thing to be redeemed is the body.)

Nevertheless, we are commanded to keep our bodies under control.

The Apostle Paul deeply respected the power of his body as he spoke about it in 1 Corinthians 9:27:
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others I myself should be a castaway (disqualified).
Find Security In God
The Hebrew children knew about eating the right kind of food so that they could survive in a very unfriendly and hostile environment. Our twentieth-century, luxurious style of living can be very contrary to scriptural teaching in this regard.

The more you recognize your security in Christ your Lord, the less insecure you will feel in this present-day environment. You don't need to turn rocks into bread. You first learn to feed your heart with God's Word by reading it and speaking it.

The sweet bread of God's security (God's Son was that bread come down out of heaven) will satisfy the taste buds: "O taste and see that the Lord is good" (Ps. 34:8).

Then the earthly food (Jesus did eat and you have to also) will not dominate you. In your newfound security in Christ, you will always be on top, victorious over all things.

A Prayer
Dear Lord Jesus, forgive me for giving in to the temptations of my appetite. Forgive me for attempting to turn everything into bread. Help me to know that because I am Your child, I am indeed secure.

Food will no longer be my security. I will not turn to it when I feel depressed, rejected, or lonely; I will turn to You. I will taste and see and know that You, the Lord, are always best for me.

By Your help, Lord, I will know that certain kinds of food are not good for me. I will resist it. I will call it what it is - my enemy - and will say, "Enemy, get behind me." I shall not live by bread/sweets alone, but by every word that comes from God's mouth to my mouth.

I am secure because You, the Bread of heaven, are my security. Amen.
Source: Healing Your Insecurities by Dr. Roy H. Hicks
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Roy Hicks
Web site:
Roy H. Hicks was a successful minister of the Gospel who gave his life to pastoring and pioneering churches throughout the United States. He served the Lord in various foreign fields, having made missionary journeys to South America, the Orient, Australia, and New Zealand.

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