Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Living Word

“As the rain and snow come down from heaven and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth. It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Isaiah 55:10-11

I was taught early in my Christian walk to pray according to scripture. When I was pregnant with my first child, fearful that I might not do everything “right,” I prayed Psalm 139:13-16 and Jeremiah 1:5 over him, trusting that God was knitting him together in my womb, that he had a great plan and purpose for him.

When our family was going through a particularly difficult time involving my first-born, I would ask advice from people who were godly and who knew God’s word. I respected and trusted them all, yet each one had different advice. I remember crying out to God, “Who do I believe?! What is truth?!” He gently reminded me that His word is truth.
So I ran back to Psalm 139, Jeremiah 1 and other scriptures and I began praying those scriptures fervently over my son. We would have good days and bad, but for over 10 years, the general direction was more of a downward spiral than what I viewed as answered prayer. I got angry with God and said, “God, I have prayed your Word over my children their whole lives, and look where it’s gotten us! Have you not heard my prayers? Have you ignored them? Are you there? Can you even hear me?!”

I got very cynical and may have even taken a step back from praying the Word over my children. Early in January of this year, I heard the Lord say two words to me: “Get understanding.” I knew exactly what He was saying: Get back into the Word. I wish I could say that I spent the past eight months digging relentlessly into my Bible. But my efforts have been a little half-hearted. I did dig out my old scripture cards that I used to carry with me everywhere I went, and I got out my Chronological Bible that I started to read several years ago. But I think I still carried that cynicism about God’s Word.

This past weekend, the sermon at our church was “Busting Myths About the Bible.” My heart was stirred again as I listened our pastor share his passion about, not only the truth of God’s word, but the life and power it contains. I realized that I used to have that same passion, but that it had diminished in me. That’s scary! This Word that I have based my whole existence on was no longer the center of my prayer life. I didn’t see it as “alive and powerful” anymore.

So I went to Hebrews 4:12 and thought back about 25 years ago when I first read that scripture and how I felt then. That reminded me of Isaiah 55:11,and I saw something that I hadn’t thought much about in the past.

God says His word will accomplish what HE pleases, and it will achieve the purpose for which HE sent it! My cynicism came because I was angry that God’s Word was not accomplishing what I wanted it to. It did not achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Ooohhh, big difference.

I had been demanding that God conform to MY desires, treating Him like that big Santa in the Sky. And when He didn’t, I got angry. God forgive me. Let me never again attempt to manipulate your Word to make it accomplish what I please. I submit to You and Your will, Your purpose, Your desires. Thank You that Your word is “living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword [scalpel] it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” The thoughts and attitudes of my heart have needed some judging. God, restore to me my passion for your Word, my fervent desire for Your Word, for in it is My Unswerving Hope.