Todd Stiles   -  

I love the promise in Isaiah 55 that assures us God’s Word will not return void. Remember it? To jog your memory, here it is: “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.” (Isaiah 55:11)

Yet have you ever wondered, “What is the purpose God is speaking of here?” After all, we can’t just make one up, can we? We can’t just assign a random purpose of our own choosing as God’s goal for his Word, right? No, we can’t. It’s not our word, it’s his. So it must accomplish what God decrees and decides. That’s what it will do when it goes forth, and why it won’t return empty or void. Because it is God’s word, it will do what God purposes.

So what is it that God purposes?

According to the context, at least two things: nourishment and change.

Here’s verse 10 — “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…” There’s #1: Nourishment.

And here’s verse 13 — “Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle…” There’s #2: Change.

Don’t rush over these verses. Something amazing unfolds. Let me explain.

It’s easy to see how, when the earth is nourished with water, things grow. That’s verse 10. But what is so amazingly crazy is that when God’s Word goes forth and nourishes (like water), it just doesn’t give us a bigger thorn bush (which is actually what you’d expect in the physical realm, right? Water the thorn bush, and you’ll get a bigger thorn bush). Not so in the spiritual realm! When the water of God’s Word goes forth and nourishes, it also changes things. That’s verse 13. Do you see it? The thorny bush becomes a cypress tree, the briar becomes a myrtle. Wow! God’s Word actually produces internal and external transformation!

Now back to our question: What will God’s word accomplish when it goes forth? What is its God-intended purpose that will not turn into a voided check of sorts? In a phrase, nourishment and change. In a word, transformation! That’ what it will do. Without fail. That’s no empty promise either.

There’s a lot we could say here, but suffice it to simply say that I hope you’ll be encouraged today by this promise: God transforms people by his Word. More personally, God transforms you and me by his Word. That’s why a Bible-centered, Scripture-immersed ministry is of vast importance. You and I can’t feed everyone with our own ideas, nor can we change anyone through our own efforts. It must be God’s Word that waters their soul and eventually changes their life. That’s the only method of genuine life transformation.

Make sure God’s Word is part of every day of your life, infused into your family’s everyday fabric, and front and center in your relationships. Read it as much as you can, in every way you can, knowing that when it goes forth, it is backed by the full power and promise of God Almighty Himself, the One who ensures it will nourish and change—transform—all of us who encounter it.

Pastor Todd