Sounds life changing.
That’s just it. It sounds. Then it fades like the tinkling of a symbol or the clanging of a bell, because that’s all it really is. Just noise. Noise that clutters our minds. Clanking that claws at our souls as we start to crave it. Rattling that rubs our faith thin.
I wonder if we fall for this kind of feel good preaching because maybe, just maybe, we don’t know our Bibles the way we should. (here I hang my head in shame) It just seems so much easier to just take the word of a person on a stage or of anyone who seems to know what they are talking about.
The Bereans of Acts 17 were described as having a hunger for truth. They received the message Paul taught them, then they did a vital thing. They examined the scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (Acts 17:11)
They were teachable and receptive to what was being taught, however, they wanted to see the truth in ink and weigh the principles and meanings for themselves.
We seem to lose that hunger from time to time. We’d rather be spoon fed on easily digestible food so that we don’t have to take the time and energy to search for the truth ourselves.
Thanks microwave, TV dinners and instant milk. We’ll blame it on you for grooming us to this age.
There’s a trend in Christians claiming words have power. And they do. They have the power to build up or tear down. They have the power to encourage or destroy a heart.
Some even say that words will not return to us void, but will accomplish what we desire. That somehow what we say can and will happen.
That last part made me cock my head, pierce my lips, squint my eyes, furrow my brow and go, “hmmmm” all at the same time, and I knew I better start looking for answers. It’s called the Holy Spirit. Listen to Him.
I found the verse in Isaiah 55:11. When reading the verse all by itself, yes, it really does sound like we can speak what we want and expect it to be so.
“so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Sounds great! I can have what I want! Attach a few more snippets of verses and contexts like “does not doubt in his heart but believes what he says will happen, it will be done for him” (Mark 11:23) or “when he asks, he must believe and not doubt” (James 1:6) and Boom! We have a God who gives us what we want, how we want, when we want, whenever we have a mind to say it.
But what ever happened to “Thy will be done”? Is that now obsolete, because we get to decide what we want? Furthermore, how are we pray if what we say is what we get? My will be done?
I have no doubt that God still performs miracles today. I have no doubt that we can destroy and bring harm with words, or that we can encourage and build up with words.
But coming to the conclusion that we can have what we want just by saying it…. is that really what God meant? Be it healing, wealth or any other desire.
Let’s look at Isaiah 55:11 in context. I invite you to grab your Bible and look at it yourself.
The Lord starts speaking in verse 8,
“ “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 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 from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst forth in song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This is for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.” ”
Then the Lord stops speaking. (verse 13)
When read in context, the italicized verse is clearly not intended for us to claim for ourselves.
This verse is about God’s word going out, giving life, doing what it is intended to do, accomplishing what it needs to accomplish and succeeding in the Lord’s plan. It is God’s word that does not return void.
Just as the rain brings life to the earth, so is God’s word – life changing, life altering, life giving,life breathing power.
Not mine. And not thine.
Only His. His being the Lord, YHWH, Yahweh, God.
His word can send me out in joy. His word can bring me peace. His word can make nature rejoice in front of me.
So wild is the power, the promise and the capability of God’s word.
Shame on us for wanting to twist it into something we, the creation, can obtain.