so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
"For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience they are not the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts." ~ AW Tozer
God's Word is Like Rain & Snow
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11
Rain and snow are part of the Earth’s cyclical process. They are an important part of God’s plan and purposes in His creation. Rain and snow fall from above and soak into the ground below. Water sent from heaven brings forth the growth of crops, the refreshment of people and animals, and the sustaining of life throughout the land. Rain and snow come from heaven and do not return to heaven without accomplishing the purpose for which they were sent. God’s Word is compared to earth’s precipitation because, just like the rain and snow, God’s Word spoken from heaven always accomplishes His good purposes. The Word of God will always succeed, prosper, and overcome, and all those who trust His Word will too (1 John 5:4).
God says that His Word will go out from His mouth and not return to Him empty. He has a purpose and intention for every Word that He speaks from above. Every Word God has spoken to us is vital, purposeful, and useful because it tells us about the Only Way of salvation and how we are to live an abundant life in light of that truth. The written Word points us to the Living Word, Jesus Christ, Lord to all and Savior to all who believe in Him.
Jesus Christ is God Speaking
2 Timothy 3:16 says that all Scripture is “breathed out” by God. 2 Peter 1:20-1 says that Scripture comes from God through men. knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. God's Word has been written down by approximately 40 different authors, across three different continents, over the span of multiple centuries, and yet it is one unifying story. This was accomplished all through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Word of God has been compiled into 66 books, which the whole world refers to as the Holy Bible, whether they believe it to be the Word of God or not. One thing the world can't argue against though is that the Bible is the biggest-selling book of all time. (Gee, I wonder why? Insert gentle sarcasm). As Christians we believe the Holy Bible to be the Word of the Holy God of the universe, speaking to us Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).
“A true man reveals himself by his words. Therefore, it is the Lord Jesus Christ who is called the Word of God. Jesus Christ is God speaking. God thinks what He says, and the thoughts of God are embodied in the person, work, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, His dear Son. God could’ve never revealed Himself so fully in any other way than by giving His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). ~ CH Spurgeon.
God's Love Letter
God wrote us a letter from heaven, and it's all about Jesus. From Genesis to Revelation, the entire Bible is God's amazing love letter to sinners of His mercy and saving grace in Jesus Christ. The entire Bible points us to Jesus, the Living Word of God. Through God’s written Word, we know that God loved us so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die for us on the cross. Through His life, death, and resurrection, Jesus freed us from sin and death, in order that we may be granted eternal life in Him, by grace through faith. God’s Word not only tells us how much He loves us but how we ought to live in the light of believing His truth and love for us. It’s not enough just to intellectually know the truth, for even demons know the truth (James 2:18). As believers, we are to know and live the truth in our hearts, by the power of the Holy Spirit, our Guide, Teacher, and Helper (John 14:16).
The Light of the World
Just like the rain and snow, the Word of God brings forth life (John 6:63) and produces good fruit in the lives of those who trust and follow Jesus. God’s Word is given to point everyone to Jesus. And for those who believe in Jesus, it's given to tell us how to walk in Jesus. God's Word is given to Christians to teach us, reprove us, correct us, and train us in righteousness, so that every man and woman of God may be complete and equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). God’s Word gently reproves and corrects us when we go wrong and trains us and encourages us in godly living.
As it is the chief end of humanity to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, we are given the means to be able to do so when we open God's Word and believe Him. As disciples of Jesus, we are commanded to abide in God’s Word (John 8:31-32), as it absorbs into our minds and renews us (Romans 12:2), just like the rain and snow absorb into the ground and bring forth vegetation. As our minds are renewed in the truth of God's Word, His Word will never return void. His Word was sent into our hearts to transform our lives and bring forth fruit for the glory of God.
God’s Word is a lamp that guides our feet and lights our path in a dark world (Psalm 119:105). The Ultimate Lamp and Light is Jesus, for He is the Light of the world and whoever follows Him will not walk in darkness but have the light of life (John 8:12).
Will Not Return Empty
When God says His Word will not return to Him empty, we know that He is sovereign over all things. His Word will always accomplish what He wants but not always what we want. We may share God’s Word with the goal of trying to change someone’s mind about Jesus in the very moment we share it. If that doesn’t happen, does that mean His Word came up empty? Never. Our personal goals and plans may differ from God’s. Scripture tells us that the wind blows wherever it pleases since God's Spirit moves in mysterious ways (John 3:8). We may share God’s Word with our own plans in mind, but God often uses His Word in mysterious ways, at surprising times, and with the most unlikely people. Just like we can’t predict the rain or snow with 100 percent accuracy, 100 percent of the time, we can’t predict how God will use His Word in the hearts of people He chooses for His plan of salvation. Our responsibility is to simply plant the seed and shine the light of Jesus.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I praise You for Your written Word, which points me to the Living Word, Jesus. I know that Your Word never returns to You void. I also know that Your thoughts are not my thoughts, and Your ways are not my ways (Isaiah 55:8). I know I can’t save anyone. Only You can save souls, Jesus. Help me be the light-carrier and the messenger You call me to be. Help me to plant the seed and water what has been planted by others. Lord, You alone bring the growth! I pray Your Word renews minds and transforms lives all over the world. I pray that the Holy Spirit carries salvation to souls through Your Word, by the gift of Your grace. May You gift everyone I know and don't know, the gift of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, the Living Word of God.
All glory belongs to Jesus! In His name, I pray, amen.
You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.16 All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man or woman of God may be fully capable, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:14-17