"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."
In these troubled times God's Word never changes. Everything else around us is changing and not for the better. Nevertheless, God's Word to us remains the same. Churches have emptied out, some are trying to reopen, millennials continue to leave the churches they once attended, some older believers are remaining at home due to health conditions and feel the need to not expose themselves to the strains of viruses that are plaquing us. Yet, there are others who are done with going to church period.
Not long ago our churches had a full-on schedule of programs and events, but much of that has ceased. Even before Covid-19 hit, there was a big shift and exodus from local gatherings for various reasons. Our churches have become smaller in number, and some are greatly discouraged by this. We mourn the loss and physical presence of many, and we don't understand what's happening.
What is the main draw for attending church? Why do we go? What does it do for us when we are there? Is it the activities that we live for? Is it the overall environment of bodies in the building that make it worth the while? Is it the social circle we've developed over the years? What is it?
While Jesus was being tempted by Satan during His fast, He quoted the above verse. Man shall not live by...... it made me think of the things that spell substance to us. What is our 'Bread' so to speak? Sometimes what we fill up on is the churches itinerary with events and activities, music, and relationships. When that's gone, one could feel like there's nothing left to attend church for.
The Lord specifically states to Satan where true life and sustenance comes from. It comes from feeding on the Word of God! When all else fails that will suffice and be enough for us. I get it, that is not what we want to hear. We want to hear things are going to change and return to what they once were. We want the church to be filled with people again and a resuming of all activities.
How much time are we investing in our spiritual lives? Are we feeding daily on the Bible or are we walking around without a spiritual meal? That's where the rubber meets the road. We can have as much of God as we want. The choice is ours. It is reading and meditating on the Word of God that will sustain us through hard times, economically challenging times, times of dearth in the church and times when the world is in chaos. There's no other way to be sustained as a Christian. After we've read God's Word, we have to set out to obey it. If we're not ready to obey God, we put ourselves in real jeopardy. God will force Himself on no man.
Things may never go back to what they were, and we do know that things will get much worse as we move forward. To be encouraged, to have joy despite what's going on around us, requires that we stay in the Word, prayed up and walking in the Spirit so that we will hear what the Lord God wants to say to us. In order for God to use you and I, we must sit in His presence each and every day. That makes all the difference. The things going on around us and in the world should not shape our lives as Christians.