“So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:11
Notice what the verse does not say…
So shall God’s word be that goeth forth out of Kevin’s mouth: it shall not return unto Kevin void, but it shall accomplish that which Kevin pleases, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto Kevin sent it.
Notice what is does say…
So shall God’s word be that goeth forth out of God’s mouth: it shall not return unto God void, but it shall accomplish that which God pleases, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto God sent it.”
God’s word is incredibly powerful, but we must recognize that it’s God’s word spoken by His Spirit for His purposes. God is mentioned five times in this verse and if you replace your name or anyone else’s name at any one of these points the power and promise is lost.
With this foundation I want to share two ways in which this promise has changed my life.
#1. In my personal relationship with Christ.
The Single most powerful influence in my life has been the word of God. Not a good Christian home. Not a nice church. Not Christian friends. Not Christian music. NOTHING has impacted me as deeply, as powerfully, and as eternally as the word of God. However, please understand that it has only impacted me to the degree that I have received it and allowed it to be implanted in me. “…Receive with meekness the engrafted word which is able to save your souls.” (James 1:21)
For years I simply read the word and listened to it being preached. This had a positive impact on my mind, developing Biblical values and Christian perspectives; but honestly it made little difference in my heart and thus my relationship with Christ. It wasn’t until I allowed the Spirit of God to speak the word of God into my soul and make His word the center of my life, that it truly transformed my life. And honestly, as long as I continue to receive God’s word from His mouth into my soul, it will not return to Him empty, without accomplishing what He desires, and without succeeding in the matter for which He sent it.
“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119: 105) – A lamp only guides those who use it.
“Thy words were found, and I did eat them…” (Jeremiah 15:16) – food only nourishes those who eat it.
#2. In ministry
I’ll be honest and say that I’m more of a rookie on this one. I have been very involved in ministry for over seven years but it’s only been recently (very recently) that I’ve realized how necessary God’s word is in ministry. I don’t mean it’s necessary for me to use God’s word; I mean it’s necessary for God to use His word. Now, you might say. “Well duh!” but quite frankly, you’d be surprised how often I have neglected the word of God while trying to minister to others. And you be even more surprised how often God’s word has gone forth from my mouth rather than His mouth.
We must recognize and embrace the reality that ministry is not something we can do. It’s God work and can only be accomplished by God.
This really hit home for me this past year as my wife and I were trying to minister to an atheist couple that live in our apartment complex. We have gotten to know this couple over the past year-and-a-half and had them over for dinner many times and had many long conversations about Christianity, evolution, the Bible, science, you name it. We pray for them often. I have studied the Bible to find good verses and arguments to prove my point. They have even come to our church once. But no matter what we try, nothing seems to work. The thing is, every time we have a conversation I feel sure that I can convince them.
Finally, The Lord graciously gave me a little jolt and opened my eyes to my total inability to change our neighbors. Okay pause for a minute…Did you catch that? TOTAL INABILITY!! Not partial inability – total. Here’s what I mean. Partial inability means I may not be able to do something all by myself, but perhaps I could do it with a little more practice or a little help. Total inability means I am completely incompetent and will never be able to even partially accomplish the task as hand.
In other words, winning someone to Christ, (or any type of ministry) is something I used to see as something for me to do for God and of course I would need His help. Just as long as I prayed through the situation and used the right scriptures and asked the Holy Spirit to guide me, I was sure it would work. However, that’s not God’s design. You see, HE wants to use HIS word to accomplish HIS desires.
If this is truly God’s desire, then you can be certain that Satan’s number one goal is to keep that from happening. The devil winces when God’s word goes forth from my mouth, but he is petrified when God’s word goes froth from God’s mouth. Here’s why I believe that. The devil didn’t seem to mind too much that my wife and I were trying to minister to our neighbors. We didn’t encounter much resistance except on two occasions. Both of those were when our neighbors began reading God’s word for themselves. Both times they immediately got extremely busy in their schedules and soon quit reading the Word. Coincidence? Not a chance. Satan knows the power of God’s word, and we should too.
So what’s my part? Read John 15. My responsibility is to abide in the Vine. It’s true that God desires fruit, but my role is that of the branch – just abide in the Vine. The moment I get focused on how to produce the fruit I’m no longer abiding and the fruit stops.
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” -1 Peter 2:2
No matter what aspect of life you’re dealing with, God’s word is necessary. But don’t ever separate the Word of God from the God of the Word. The two go together. In fact the two are actually One.
– Kevin Boyes