“One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God,” said Jesus to the devil.
What if “every word that comes from the mouth of God” is what God speaks within us? And what if listening to God-within-us is as important as eating?
Notice, for example, that the devil quotes scripture at Jesus! We must heed this warning: the external voice of authority is not God’s voice. Jesus was in touch with an inner voice. How else could he have accessed true wisdom to resist scripture-based lies?
God speaks to you in the same humble way: through your own thoughts, feelings, imagination, and desire. Though often, not through those on the surface, but those, as Richard Rohr says, from “the deepest and usually hidden self where most of us do not go.”
More from Richard Rohr’s The Universal Christ:
“Intuitive truth, that inner whole-making instinct, just feels too much like our own thoughts and feelings, and most of us are not willing to call this ‘God,’ even when that voice prompts us toward compassion instead of hatred, forgiveness instead of resentment, generosity instead of stinginess, bigness instead of pettiness. ...As Joan of Arc brilliantly replied when the judge accused her of being the victim of her own imagination, ‘How else would God speak to me?’”
Perhaps this is a temptation encounter you recognize: Jesus utters the voice of grace and the devil, the voice of shame. Which to trust? Ask God’s help to live by words of grace and to challenge words of shame.