THE POWER OF GOD’S WORD
By Jeannie Horton Life Christian University student
In 2011 my family moved to Crescent City, California. I knew mountain lions and black bears lived in the Redwoods and surrounding forests, and as a distance trail runner the danger frightened me. I started training for a 100-mile foot race, and I liked to run on a very hilly trail and fire road in Gasquet, California which was about 15 minutes away from Crescent City. I knew that there was a big possibility to see a black bear or a mountain lion, so I always came prepared with protection. The trail to the fire road is 3 miles long, and the fire road goes on for many miles and is rarely used. There is only one way back to my car and it is back down the 3-mile long trail. During one run, I’m just about on the trail to head down to my car when I kept hearing a noise in the forest. I thought to myself, “If I hear that noise one more time, I’m going to stop and check it out.” I then notice less than 1/4 mile away there is a black bear and it looks really big. I first pull my body alarm and the bear doesn't even look up. I yell at it and it looks up and starts walking towards me! I keep yelling and pull the alarm again and it doesn't stop walking! I walk away from it, going in the opposite direction that will get me to my car. I then stop and walk forward again to see if it's still there. The bear is now stopped and looking at me. I yell again and it starts walking towards me again! I then prayed, “Help me, Lord!” God tells me to enter the forest where there is no trail or road and go around him. That worked and I see it run away to the opposite side of the forest. I breathe a huge sigh of relief, thanking God from all of my heart. I then run a personal record in speed all the way back to my car. The next week I went right back to the area where I saw the bear because I didn’t want to live in fear. I didn’t want the fear of this bear to prevent me from doing what I loved! It was extremely scary and I fortunately never saw any bear again. We moved back to Portland a few months later. “Then they cry to the Lord in their trouble, And He brings them out of their distresses” (Psalm 107:28). I had cried out to God in my trouble, He heard and He saved me. His word was not void.
Because of God’s great love, He wants to have a relationship with us. He didn’t just create this wonderful home for us to live, to only fend for ourselves. He has always been here for us in love. He is omnipotent which means that He has unlimited power and He can do anything. He has given us the Holy Spirit to comfort, intercede, educate and to guide. God speaks to us and helps us. His word is so powerful and it does not return to Him void. “So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).
I. GOD SPEAKS TO US
God is speaking to us and He is able to do so in any way He desires. He wants to give us messages about His will, encouragement and to teach and guide. So how does He speak to us? Here are a few ways that God speaks to us:
· The Bible.
God speaks to us through His word, as it is God-breathed. It is a love letter to us from Him, a good news message to all of us. It isn’t just an instruction manual on how to live. People learn about Jesus by reading the Bible, about Salvation, about love, relationships, faith, hope, joy and about our enemy and how we can protect ourselves.
· His Son, Jesus Christ.
God sent His Son, Jesus, and during the short time that He was here amongst us, He touched so many peoples’ lives through His teachings and healings. Even today, through His commandment in the book of Mathew, He’s still touching lives through His believers: “Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age” (Mathew 28:19, 20).
· Holy Spirit.
When Jesus ascended up to heaven He left believers the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us. We need to listen to that still small voice and obey. A Christian friend of mine told me the story of how she was doing some shopping one day. She decided to drive home using a different route. As she was waiting at a rather long light to turn left, she heard in her head “go right.” Unfortunately, she did not obey. Then all of a sudden, someone hits her car and yells at her. She pulled over the best that she could, opened her door and the woman was yelling at her rather mad letting her know that she had almost hit her! She was absolutely horrified and very apologetic. She did not know how she did not see the other woman. She learned two things that day: God spoke to her, trying to get her out of that situation but when she did not obey, He stepped in and saved that woman and her from what could have been a very tragic accident. The Holy Spirit is a gift to us from God.
· Through prayer.
Pray throughout the day with a spirit of thanksgiving. It’s important to listen to God and what He wants to say; don’t just do all the talking! And make sure it is actually God that you are hearing. His word will always line up with scripture. In the book or Romans, it talks about how the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. It says: “So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groaning too deep for utterance” (Romans 8:26-27).
· Nature and God’s creation.
There are so many beautiful and wondrous things that He has given us for our enjoyment and for education. For example, we learn from animals about love, life, and death. We learn about transitions, change, and beauty from the sunrises and sunsets. With each new day and season there is potential for change and growth. He created the rainbow to remind us of his promise that He would never flood the earth again.
· Other believers.
God uses other believers to communicate messages from Him. It is important to check scripture for truth in what the other believer is saying. It needs to line up with God’s word and if God has already confirmed the truth in your heart.
· Dreams and visions.
“And afterward I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions” (Joel 2:28). I was bullied in high school. I felt so helpless and sad, to the point that I remember thinking that I wanted one of the girls to die. One night God spoke to me in a dream. He said two simple words, “It’s over!” My bullies never bothered me again. He showed me even as a young teenager how much He loved and wanted to help me. People do need to be careful with dreams and visions as He doesn’t always speak to us this way. It may not be from Him. Check scripture and pray about what you have heard.
A lot of Christian artists are singing the word of God in their music and people are ministered to while worshiping Him. Praise and worship brings peace and allows you to feel close to God; He will speak to you!
II. STUDYING THE MESSAGE IN ISAIAH 55:11
In Genesis, in the beginning of the creation of the world, God spoke. “And God said, Let there be light; and there was light” (Genesis 1:3). In Ezekiel, He spoke the word to the dead bones to rise and they did. “Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath and spirit to enter you, and you shall live” (Ezekiel 37:5). These are just two examples of the power in God’s word. “His word will not return to Him void, but will accomplish and prosper that which He pleases and purposes” (Isaiah 55:11). As a believer in Christ, that is powerful! We just need to have faith in Him!
God’s word is a seed and seeds have life! And like the seed that fell upon the good ground in the parable from Luke chapter 8, we need to allow His seed, His word, to take life within us and not let the cares of this world choke it to where it doesn’t produce life. His word needs to abide (remain) in us continuously and deep in our hearts so that it can bring forth fruit in our lives and in the lives of others we come in contact with. When we are born again, God changes us from glory to glory. We are to learn His word, His commandments, and statues and follow them. He wants to bless us. He wants to use us, but we need to do our part. We cannot let our flesh run our lives and do what it wants; we need to do what God’s word says. If we allow Him, He will prune away the thorny parts of our flesh to the point that we are producing good fruit in our lives.
God wants us to accomplish His will; He wants our will to line up with His. He needs us, we are partners with Him. “As Christians, we’re partners with God; this means He has a part and we have a part. And the simple truth is, if we will do what we can do, God will do what we cannot do” (Joyce Meyer). He has a good plan for your life. His plan for each of us is God-ordained, unique and personal and He won't change His mind and give your plan over to someone else. So if you've gone astray with your walk with the Lord, just repent. God loves you and is receiving you with open arms. He never left you and the plan He has for you can only be filled by you! In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed: “Saying Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet not my will, but [always] Yours be done. And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him in spirit” (Luke 22:42-43). Only Jesus could do the will of the Father, being sent to the world as a human to redeem us and restore what was lost.
God’s word spoken in faith from a believer’s mouth can change circumstances. His word and His promises are powerful, and they are full of life! One word from God can change circumstances. It can open doors that you could never imagine being opened. He can change hearts, and people are healed, delivered, and set free! Don’t let circumstances get you down. Don’t speak negatively about circumstances. We are to speak to our circumstances as we want them to be, not as they are currently! “Who gives life to the dead and speaks of the nonexistent things that [He has foretold and promised] as if they (already) existed” (Romans 4:17). If you are in debt, don’t say “I never have enough money; I’ll never get ahead.” Say “Thank you God that I am a lender and not a borrower.” Believe that God is going to help you because He loves us and is a God that restores! Believe He has more in store for you.
II. DOING OUR PART
We need to be diligent about making God number 1 in our lives. It is important to let Him into every area of our lives. We need to completely renew our minds and we can do this by not only reading our Bibles but actively studying and meditating on His word throughout the day. He wants us to be in continuous communication with Him by speaking His word and listening to Him through worship and prayer. Prayer doesn’t have to be for several hours a day, but just as you would talk to your children or spouse. You can say things like, “Thank you God that it is such a beautiful day!” or “thank you God that I slept great last night!” If you notice a friend needs prayer, lift them up in prayer. We also need to go out in love and speak to others about Jesus, sharing our testimony, and teaching them about God’s great love for them and about His word.
We serve an awesome God! He loves us so much and wants a relationship with us! If we believe in His Son Jesus, we will have an eternal and everlasting life. He has clearly demonstrated this to us by sending Jesus to save us and bring us into a right relationship with Him. I believe in the power of God’s word. I believe it is true and it will prosper and not return to Him void, but will indeed prosper what He purposes. “For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life” (John 3:16). I believe this is the greatest example of Isaiah 55:11. His word has not returned to Him void.