“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out of my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”(Isaiah 55:10-11 NIV).
Are you surrounded by hard hearted people who resist the ways of the Lord, depending only on their earthly wisdom and human desires? Do you think your labour in convincing them to follow God’s way is in vain? Take heart. God says of His Word, “….it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it”. Do your part in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) so that all men may hear the Word of God, and get the opportunity to choose eternal life.
In the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:18-23) we learn that we cannot predict the outcome of the Word. Just like seed sown in deep soils, some people will be receptive and understand it. And like seed sown in rocky places, others will not understand. Others likened to seeds grown on pathways will embrace the word for only a short time before the worries of life and deceitfulness of wealth overpowers them. We cannot force belief in people. However we should remember that with time, the elements break down even the hardest rock. Some seeds in the desert lie dormant for years awaiting just a little moisture, and when it rains they bloom almost overnight. There is always hope in the word of God. No matter how hardhearted your target audience is, the Word of God will work in their hearts. It has divine power. “By myself I have sworn, I have uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee shall bow: by me every tongue shall swear” (Isaiah 45:23 NIV).
Be patient and do not forget that your life, if it mirrors the life of Christ, is the greatest teaching and evidence that the Word of God is alive.
Children are a good illustration of the power of God’s Word. When they are brought up knowing the Word of God, even if they trip, they rarely fall far or for long, for the Word in them convicts them when they wander from the truth. God’s word will not return to Him empty. “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it” Proverbs 22:6.
Do you apply the principals of the word of God like prayer, and often despair that you do not see them fulfilled? Take heart. Like rain, the word of the Lord is never in vain. The ways of the Lord are higher than yours. His Word is working in your life, often in ways you may not be aware of.
We usually expect God’s immediate answer to be “Yes”. And sometimes to our delight it is an immediate “Yes”. In 2 Kings:19-20:11, King Hezekiah got two major prayers answered. He prayed for victory against Israel’s enemies and an angel of the Lord destroyed one hundred and eighty five thousand of the enemy troops. When he heard that he was about to die he cried out to the Lord reminding Him of all the good he had done and the Lord added fifteen years to his life. In his famous prayer, Jabez, an honourable man with many troubles asked the Lord to bless him, enlarge his territory, be with him, and keep him from harm and pain. And God granted his request. (1 Chronicles 4:8-10)
However, sometimes the answer to our prayers is “Not Yet” “For the revelation awaits an appointed time: it speaks of the end and it will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it: it will certainly come and will not delay” Habakkuk 2:3(NIV). The Messiah had been prophesied about hundreds of years before He came, and He did, in God’s right time. We should learn to wait upon the Lord’s right timing.
Sometimes God’s answer is “No.” Remember, Jesus prayed for the cup to be taken from Him (Mathew 26:38-39). His soul was overwhelmed with anguish as he approached His time to suffer and die on the cross. God answered His prayer by sending an angel to strengthen Him (Luke 22:43). If the cup had been taken from Him, God’s plan for our redemption would not have been accomplished.
According to 2 Corinthians 10:7-10, Paul prayed for the “thorn in his flesh” to be removed from him, but God said “No” in order to keep Him humble and dependent on God’s strength. In verse 9 God said,” My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”. Who knows how much less Paul would have achieved if he had his “thorn in the flesh” removed? God’s word when invoked will work in your life to accomplish His own desires. Just trust Him and await the fulfillment of His purpose.
Since the word of God will never get back to Him empty, we should read the Bible as often as possible. Each time we read the word of God, we understand it better, we get revelations that cover our current situations; it opens our eyes to see things more clearly; and we grow stronger in our faith. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, we read, “All scripture is God – breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness , so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”. The Word of God will be the light that removes the darkness from our lives, the cool water that removes our thirst, and the bread that sustains us. Only the Word of God will stand to the end. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35 NIV))