Isaiah 55:10-11 (NLT)
“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”
A few months back, I took a position with a new company in a completely different field. I moved from the school system to an insurance company. Big jump, I know. God does crazy stuff like that in my life to keep my attention, I suppose. It is a whole new world with information that requires an education of terms and regulations. I love a challenge. That’s a good thing. Trying to grasp the basic concept of a rule, I may ask a question to further understand. Suddenly, I am surrounded by a surplus of information by professionals who have been in this business a whole lot longer than I have. The barrage of responses accompanied by all the extra revelations throws up what I call a “word forest” all around me. Though I am working my way through the “forest”, some days it is overwhelming. I must learn each rule – precept by precept. There are many regulations coupled with confusion as each state is different with individual laws governing insurance regulation. I am trying to get from step A to step B when my colleagues are way ahead of me. I find that when I get lost in the “word forest” I must try to weed through all the extra to get to the substance of what I need to accomplish work for today, but they are preparing me for the future.
Are you walking in a “word forest” today? People with many opinions about how to live. Even other Christians who think they know a better way and maybe it is their job to instruct others or not. Society norm is not helpful in godliness now is it? I want a better life. I want to obediently follow the Lord each day – step by step. I want to do what He says – precept by precept. Our walk with Christ is very similar in many ways to my current journey through the “word forest” at work. I have been living for the Lord for more than a decade and I still get lost sometimes. I find myself off course despite my best effort to stay in step with Jesus. Why can’t I get this thing right all the time? Why can’t I read the Word, understand it immediately and put it to good use? Just before the Lord promises that His Word will not return void, He prefaces it with this: “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Good to know…but hard to remember.
When God spoke His Word, it created life. Everything around us is a direct result of God’s Voice. Wrap your head around that. God’s Intention was to care for us. Provide for us. Bless us. Live with us. Have a sweet and intimate relationship with us. He wanted to walk with us and talk with us. We are His Treasure. His Delight. But people chose a different life, now we must find our way back.
Proverbs 30:5 (NLT)
Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.
What if this statement is valid? What if every word of God proves true? Well, of course it does you are thinking, but the reality is if we truly believed it that we would live differently. God’s Word was put into place to show us our sin and makes us aware of our need for a Savior. God’s Word is salvation. (I Peter 1:23) Not only that, Jesus is God’s Word wrapped in human flesh. (John 1:14) The Word washes our sin away. (Ephesians 5:25-27) It is our freedom and cannot be restricted in our life. (2 Timothy 2:9) The Word of the Lord stands firm forever. (Isaiah 40:8) The Word of God will never fail. (Luke 1:37) How does the same words that convict us, then save us? How can Jesus be the Word of God? So many questions so little time. If every word of God is true. If every single one is valid in my life. Why am I not constantly seeking to know more about it?
Hebrews 4:12-13 (NLT)
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.
Could it be that we are just a little afraid? The Word of God is alive and powerful. It has life of its own. It is sharp and cutting at the same time. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires even the ones that we are not ready to deal with. Nothing is hidden from God which makes sense if He created all of it in the first place. EVERYTHING is naked and exposed before His Eyes even those things we cannot see or think we have effectively hidden from the Lord. He knows. He sees. His Word will effectively separate us from our sinful thoughts and overwhelming desires that lead us from Jesus while at the same time bonding us to His Side Forever.
God is the only one to whom we are accountable. Think about all the people in your life that you either feel responsible for or to. God is over all of them. We are subject to God alone. His Word now becomes a primary resource to become accountable to the only One who counts. I think of all the words spoken to me in my lifetime. Family and friends try to stand by their word but human inadequacy does not always allow us to count on other people. We are not perfect so our words fail us, too. I need God’s Word to be an active force in my life. I must press on to know and understand all that He is saying. He is not a man that He would lie or change His Mind. (Numbers 23:19) We change our mind all the time, hence each time we get into the Word of God with a desire to dig a little bit deeper going just a bit further – there is something new to be found and truth to be discovered. God is not changing but we are by the Power of His Word.
Hebrews 4:14-16 (NLT)
So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
I love this. After we hear of the power and sheer force that God’s Word is comes the peaceful promise. So then… God’s Word is alive and powerful. It cuts to the point of our problem and provides a direct answer that sometimes is hard to live by in our human state. But we have a High Priest who came down to this world and lived a sinless life to an old rugged Cross where He bled and died so that you and I can be part of this wonderful process. We can come boldly before the Throne of God to secure our rights as His Children which are delineated in the Word of God for our life. It is the advance directive of our life. Do not be afraid to dig deeper. Do not be afraid to come closer. Yes, there are days that it seems like a word forest to get lost in. But I promise you will come out refreshed, renewed and revived on the other side – every single time.
Matthew 13:19-23 (NLT)
The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!
In the children’s story of Hansel and Gretel as the children were sent into the woods, they had a plan to leave bread crumbs along the way so they could find their way back home. The problem with their plan were that the forest was filled with hungry birds and other creatures ready for a snack. God has promises for us every day given in His Word. Some days we take the seeds we find there and successfully plant them in our life, but there are many days we are not good planters. There are days that the evil one comes and takes them right out of our hand before we can plant them by faith. God is faithful. He will give seed to the sower. (2 Corinthians 9:10) If you desire is to plant the Word of God in your life and see it grow, He will keep giving you seed until one day through the Power of Christ you will overcome the enemy who is trying to steal from you and destroy your life. The Word will work if you keep planting and don’t give up.
Maybe the problem is a lack of staying power, you have a seed from the Word of God but lack a strong bond to Christ living with shallow roots. Well, I have good news. Nothing can separate you from God’s Love. We are given grace to continually grow in the wide capacity of God’s Love each day so that the next seed we plant will grow. The process of growing in love with Jesus is like any love affair. It must be built on trust that grows daily and deeply. (Colossians 2:7) God is more committed to us forming a strong bond with Christ than we are. His Word works this in our life for us. All we must do is remained committed to the process.
Probably the biggest hindrance for me and you is the worries and cares of everyday life. We cannot get over today to see forever so planting seem useless when we need something today. Planting is always necessary. What we plant today supplies our tomorrow? God’s Word must be planted in our life every single day to build the provision and protection for tomorrow. When we become so overloaded that we do not think we have time for the Word, we must go straight to the Word (Jesus) and dump those burdens quick. (Matthew 11:28) So we can get back on track sowing the good things that He has promised in our life again.
Our goal in each day is good soil. God’s Word will grow in our life and sustain us every day if we do not become overwhelmed in the process. He apprehends our heart with His Love and His Spirit produces good fruit from within that will continue to carry us through life. Do not be overwhelmed by the word forest of people or a God that seems too complex to understand just keep doing what He says even the simplest of things sown in a heart of good soil will produce something worthwhile in our life.
John 1:1-4 (NLT)
In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.
I will be the first to admit that I don’t get what God is doing every day. I read the Word and sometimes the meaning is clear while other times it doesn’t add up to what I am seeing in my natural life. I want God’s Word to work in my life. I have to plant it every single day. Even though it is unclear and sometimes I get distracted, I must live in the word forest of God’s Word to make it to the end. Every day it is a necessary factor to my success. I cannot and will not prosper outside of it. Help me Lord to be faithful to the sowing of Your Word in my life. Even on the days the enemy steals the seeds from my hand, or when I am overwhelmed by burdens or when I just have a hard heart – Lord I ask for your Truth to prevail and new seeds of truth with the new mercy provided in each day. I love you Lord. I want your word. Without the Word, I cannot have You! You are the Word, Jesus! To know you requires knowing the Word of God. Keep me close today. Guide me through. Give me understanding. You know my weakness. I will rely on You!
Proverbs 3:18 (NLT)
Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly.