We’ve been studying the relationship between authority and faith. As believers, we have to exercise our authority, and that authority comes when we speak God’s word. Last week we saw that the word ‘increased, ‘grew’ and ‘prevailed’ in the early church, and how we can apply that teaching to our life.
But since we cannot see God and His word, we may find it difficult to understand these spiritual concepts. But the Bible uses agricultural analogies to explain the Word to us. It talks about the sower, the seed and the ground. Earthly and natural examples make it easy for us to understand heavenly and spiritual realities.
God’s invisible attributes:
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse. – Romans 1:20
This verse talk about God’s invisible attributes. The verse seems contradictory in saying that God’s ‘invisible’ attributes are ‘clearly seen’. How can we see something that is invisible? The answer is that we see them in the ‘things that are made’ – in the world around us, in creation. The things that are not seen are made known in the things that are seen, even right from creation. Hebrews 11:3 says – ‘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.’ God created the earth and man with the intention that if we just saw earth and man, we would understand God and God’s nature. We see God in all creation; therefore man has no excuse to plead ignorance of God.
We also understand God’s invisible attributes in the ‘eternal power’ and the ‘God head’.
I. Eternal Power
We see that God’s power is seen in God’s word.
Heb 1:3 – upholding all things by the word of His power
Many commentaries of Hebrews make the observation – the phrase is not the “power of His word”, but the “Word of His power”. Is there a difference?
If he had said ‘power of His word’, it would mean that God’s word has some power and that the word is powerful. There’s nothing wrong with it. It is true. God’s word has power.
The phrase ‘the word of His power’ means that all of the power of God from the beginning till the end, the eternal power of God, the absolute expression of God’s power lies in His Word.
It’s not just that His word is powerful, it’s that ‘His power is in His word’. If we want to see God’s power, we must see it in God’s word.
God’s power is in His word
1. When the word of God comes – life changes
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,
11 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.
12 “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.
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 55:10-13
To understand all of God’s power, Isaiah asks us to take a look at the seed.
Look at the power of the seed. There may be drought and the lands may be dry. But after it rains, there is green lushness all around. The trees look fresh and the flowers bloom. There is much fruit.
Similarly in our spiritual lives – it may be dry and unhappy, there may be no peace, no sense of purpose and emptiness. But when the word of God comes – life changes. There is joy and peace. There is success and fulfilment. There is singing and rejoicing. It demonstrates the word of God’s power.
2. As long as there’s a seed, you can never run out of it
Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. – Gen 1:11, 12
When God created plants, He made them in a particular way. He made them all bear seed within themselves. If we want more of a particular plant, we take the seeds, plant it and it multiplies. Everything that God created has a seed. Why? Because, if not, man would have eaten the fruit and then there would be no more for him to use. Only the seed ensures a continual supply of what he needs. Everything that God created has the capacity to multiply.
Word is spoken of as a seed. As long as there’s a seed, you can never run out of it. It will multiply and bring forth in your life what you have sown. As long as there is the word of God, you can never run out of blessing.
How does God bless you? How does God meet your physical, spiritual, financial needs? By providing the seed. It will produce what you desire. Because there is a seed, there is a hope and a future. The seed is the Word.
The growth from one seed to a million seeds is not difficult. God’s word is like that. From nothing to something is not very difficult.
Abraham had no child. No hope and no grounds on which to hope. Yet he believed with hope. Where did Abraham get hope from? He went to God’s promise, the promise of seed and multiplication. ‘Production and Multiplication’ is what ‘seed’ represents and that’s what ‘word’ means.
3. It may seem small, but produces a great harvest
When we understand how the seed works, we understand how the word of God works. It may seem small, but produces a great harvest.
Look at the mustard seed that Jesus spoke about in Matthew 13. The mustard seed is among the smallest of seeds, and yet grows to be huge tree. It has many branches; the birds take shelter in it.
4. The Word of God is all-pervasive
It is like a little leaven. The whole mass of dough will get leavened with just a small bit of leaven.
The word of God is all-pervasive. It spreads everywhere and encompasses your life – your spirit, soul and body, family, marriage, work, finances and health. The word shows effect in everything.
5.In the midst of a fallen cursed world, the word of God can create new life for us
While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer,
And day and night shall not cease.
– Genesis 8:22
Noah gets out of the ark and looks at the mess that the earth is in. He wonders what to do. God tells him that as long as the earth remains, some things never change; one of them is ‘sowing and reaping’, ‘seed time and harvest’. As long as there is a seed, there is a future and a hope; you can create a whole new world.
Even in the midst of emptiness, mess and destruction, the seed is able to bring forth new life and harvest and multiplication. Similarly, the word of God can bring new life to us even in the midst of nothingness, chaos and evil. Even if there is nothing, the word of God is able to create a new world, a new future for us. In the midst of a fallen cursed world, the word of God can create a new life for us.
Some people think that the word is not sufficient. They fail to understand that the word of God is just like the seed; it is the most powerful and productive thing in your life. The word of God represents all of the power of God.
II. God Head:
God exists as the trinity – Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. We are confused by this. It is difficult to understand. A great Swiss theologian once said that if we try to understand the trinity, we would lose our mind; if we don’t believe in the Trinity, we would lose our soul. The Trinity is an important subject and difficult to understand. But we can understand a little of that in what we can see, in how God made man. God created man in His image. So, man is also a kind of trinity – spirit, soul and body. The maker is reflected in the image of the made. God is one person, yet He is Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Man is also one person, yet he is spirit, soul and body. If we go deeper into this subject, we will understand better.
III. God’s Word Accomplishes What He Desires:
Let us now go back to the passage in Isaiah 55.
Why is God sending me seed? Why is He sending the Word as seed to me? What does He want to produce in my life?
Verse 11 says that the word of God accomplishes what God desires. It is not about what we desire, but what God desires. God desires that we reflect God’s nature and His glory. Sometimes, like children who refuse to dress up neatly for a social gathering, believers refuse God’s blessing upon their life.
Like the rain and snow water the earth and make it bring forth and bud, the Word of God gives seed to the sower and bread to the eater and does not return void to God, but accomplishes what it sets out to do. There is resistance from the earth because it is under a curse and has hard ground and thorns and thistles, but the rain forces it to bring forth. Similarly, some believers offer some resistance. Their hearts are like the cursed ground. It is wayside ground or is stony ground. And sometimes, tribulation and persecution arises. Sometimes, cares of the world, deceitfulness of riches and desires for worldly things choke the word. They are unable to receive the word because there is resistance from their hearts. But the word is more powerful. It is the ‘prevailing’ word (Acts 19:20). The resistance that is offered by our hearts is overcome by the prevailing word.
All we have to do is to receive the word of God and allow it to fall on our hearts like the rain and the dew. All our previous foolishness, wrong beliefs, unbelief, deceitfulness, worries and concerns will be forced to leave us. The word will ensure that it brings forth and accomplish what God has sent it to do.
Some people think that just because they are born again, their heart is incapable of producing bad things. Let’s look at an illustration. Let’s suppose I had farm called ‘Hallelujah Farm’ in the suburbs. And while I am in the city and unable to visit the farm often, some people enter my farm and plant some marijuana, is the farm going to resist them saying that it belongs to a preacher and has the name ‘Hellelujah’? Of course, not. The soil does not know whether the seed is marijuana or apples. It will just produce and bring forth what has been planted. So is a man’s heart. Even if you are a believer, if you allow your wrong beliefs to persist and grow, it will stop you from producing the good things in your life that God desires. When you don’t allow the word to go into your heart and prevail, there is no chance of improvement in your life. Whatever is in your heart and in your mouth; that is what will produce in your life. The heart is capable of producing only what is in it. Therefore, it is of prime importance that you allow the Word of God to prevail in your heart.
Returning the word of God:
Verse 11 says that God’s word will not return to Him void. Sometimes, this is understood literally – the Word will not go back without accomplishing what it was sent for. Let’s think about it a bit. Why would the word return? After accomplishing, why does it need to ‘return’? What is means is that when the word of God comes down, it must be returned to God in some way. It is a fact that the word of God returns to Him as it is said in the Bible. But how does it return to Him? Who sends it back to God? How does it go back to God? The person who receives the word of God, receives it like a seed, and begins to speak it and sow it in his heart. The way to sow the word in the heart is by speaking it. The heart then becomes full of God’s word about purpose, joy, peace, health, victory, prosperity, blessing and other promises of God. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Now, when we speak it, it goes back to God. That is why God says, ‘Let this word not depart out of your mouth’. Then you will have good success. I Peter 1:23 says that the word of God is ‘incorruptible’. It never fails, it guarantees a 100% harvest.
The word of God is described both as the water and as the seed. These are the two essential things for a harvest and God provides them both for us.
– Summary by AFT Team