While in a Sunday night church service recently, God spoke to me in a strong tone: “My words will not return void!” Though I didn’t see anything with my physical eyes or hear anything audibly, I sensed that He was standing in front of me. He wasn’t angry but urgent. I knew He wanted me to study out the origin of that verse and all it meant. He was trying to tell me something!
The phrase He quoted came from Isaiah 55:
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me [void,
But it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)
The backstory to this chapter is that Israel was in captivity. God began to prophecy their deliverance through a Messiah. He called for their repentance and ended the chapter with an encouraging promise of salvation and prosperity. He promised that every Word He had spoken would flourish wherever it fell – it wouldn’t be useless or without result!
As I studied verses 8-13, I came away with these truths:
- God’s ways are always greater than ours.
Like Israel, God has called us to seek Him, to turn away from what we think is best. He also stresses that His way includes the power of His Words. His ways are supernatural, including sending the Word, His Son Jesus (John 1:1)!
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
- His Word is powerful and purposeful.
Like rain is sent to soak the earth, so the purpose of God’s Word is to do benefit us. It causes health, growth, and multiplication in our lives. It causes our needs to be met, and everything around us to prosper (be profitable). His Word does not partially complete anything; it accomplishes everything He intended. It will do what He pleases, not what any man desires!
“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater – so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)
- His Word will inspire joy.
Like a plant blooming under the nourishing rain, so God’s Word inspires a reason for us to celebrate! We have seen His goodness!
“For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills
shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:12)
- His Word will turn something bad into something good.
Whatever we may be facing, God’s Word has the power to turn it around for something good. It will be an unchanging testimony to everyone around us!
“Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” (Isaiah 55:13)
God’s Word in our mouths is just as powerful as it is in His. He has called us to speak what He has said in His Word with the expectation that it will accomplish His purpose. We should never discount what He has said, claiming that it is old and out of date. Instead, we should confidently believe that His Word is true, even as we repeat it because He said it first!
“My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.” (Proverbs 4:20-22)
“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” (Mark 11:23-24)
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. (Hebrews 11:3)
A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth, and the recompense of a man’s hands will be rendered to him. (Proverbs 12:14)
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23)