Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4 (NIV)

It’s during those wilderness times that true character shows forth. Set aside for the moment the fact that Jesus was the son of God; that he was fully God and fully man. Born of a virgin, Jesus was perfect in all his ways, yet this divine person had within him the emotional and physical attributes of man as well.

Isn’t that the same as us in some respects? We are created in God’s image. Within each of us there is both divine and earthly, and in that is the conflict we deal with for all of life; the battle between good and evil; the struggle to regain the relationship with had with our creator and the desire to fill the void humanity has left in us.

Gerald G. May states: “There is a desire within each of us, in the deep center of ourselves that we call our heart. We were born with it, it is never completely satisfied, and it never dies. We are often unaware of it, but it is always awake.”

Stunning words. Meditate on them for a moment. “A desire within each of us… We are often unaware of it, but it is always awake.”

That desire rears its ugly head at the most inopportune times. When we are weakest it whispers in our ears. When our dreams seem less likely to be fulfilled it screams accusations. When our choices lead to pain for ourselves or others it mocks us.

Jesus Christ knows how you feel during those times of weakness. Forty days without food would make any man weak. Forty days without bread leads the body to scream for comfort; awakens the desire within for fulfillment.

When we are at our weakest desire pleads with us to take matters into our own hands. We don’t deserve to be treated this way. Life would be better if others would listen to us. I can find what I need in a new relationship, a new job, a new set of surroundings.

When confronted with desire in the form of the great enemy, Satan, Jesus response was classic. It’s not about bread. Even the physical yearnings of hunger and the weakness brought on by a lack of food did not keep him from being focused on the true source of fulfillment; the true cure for desire.

Later, Jesus would say in the Sermon on the Mount, “Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are the ones who will be filled.”

Where has desire taken you? What path have you found yourself on that you never imagined you’d walk? What physical pain are you enduring because of your attempts at quieting the screaming voice of desire? Jesus is enough. His forgiveness, grace and guidance through the Holy Spirit is the only way desire will be silenced.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus. I wrestle daily with the attacks of desire on my thoughts and attitudes. I want it my way. I want to fill this hole in my soul with things I know are temporary fixes. Fill me with your Spirit and quiet the voice of human desire today. Amen.

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