Friendship with God — Matthew 4:4 [a practical, devotional study of scripture]

Friendship with God — Freedom From Expectation

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 (Matthew 4:4, prompted from Devotional Sessions – Phil Rice).

What a helpful addition to our journey into this topic of Friendship with God. If you would, take a moment to quiet your heart and read these words of Jesus. Read them through several times. Let them sink in deep. Read slowly and deliberately. Don’t feel the need to rush or jam through it all.

We intake so many words from so many sources [family, friends, culture, leaders [spiritual or not], organizations, bosses… even ourselves]. We receive many of these words we are exposed to into our own hearts. Some of these words bring hope and love, while others bring shame, stress, guilt, anxiety, fear.

Take a few moments and ask Holy Spirit if there are any words [or expectations] that you have received into your heart that were never meant for you. Expose these words and confess them to God and invite him to give you his words in place of those that should have never been received. Take some time to meditate on the words he gives you. Thank him for his words. Keep them with you as you journey in your experience of friendship with God.

My personal engagement with this session [Friendship with God]

This is a big one for me. I hold on to so many words that are not God’s words. They come to me and I hold onto them, some out of fear of letting go, some out of self righteousness. But unless the words mirror those that come from the mouth of God, they are not meant for me. I have taken into myself something toxic to the human composition that must be removed.

And honestly… if I have a build up of words and expectations that counter what God says, it’s really hard for me to hear him with clarity. It’s much easier to give in to fear, anxiety, shame. But what a beautiful reality! God invites us to receive his words and expectations as our food, in exchange for those that are not his. And as his words grow within us they produce peace, love, joy, and all the good stuff [woop!]. To me, this is such a relief and an integral aspect to friendship with God.

An added note from Phil Rice

I hope you’ve benefited from this excerpt from Devotional Sessions | Practical Spirituality. Share this session with anyone you think would be impacted and don’t hesitate to leave questions or comments for our mutual benefit of continued conversation.

Thanks for journeying alongside,
Phil Rice



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