God’s Life-Transforming Word
God’s Life-Transforming Word
One of the most common topics of conversation I’ve had with people since moving to Pipestone in May has had to do with how much rain we have had this year. Although rain is certainly a good thing, this overabundance of rain has caused countless difficulties for many people. Farmers have been unable to get into their fields as planned. Homeowners have had to deal with water in their basements. Just a few weeks ago, our church parking lot looked like a lake! In times like these, it can be a challenge to think of rain as a blessing. However, in dry seasons, we are so thankful for every inch of rain we can get. The reality is that we do need rain because of how God uses it to water the earth and to effect growth.
In Isaiah 55:10-11, God’s Word is compared to rain, as it says, “For as the rain and 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, 11 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, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” This passage clearly speaks to the power and effectiveness of the Word. God’s Word will not return empty. It will accomplish His purpose. Although this is a comforting truth for us to know, it can be easy for us to miss the obvious question: What, then, is God’s purpose for His Word?
In his book Dangerous Calling, Paul David Tripp references this passage and states that “the ultimate purpose for the Word is worship” (50). The point of spending time in the Word is not simply that we would grow in our knowledge of the Bible’s contents, but that it would produce life-transformation within us. Scripture is powerful to create a change within us so that our very lives would be lived in worship of our God.
The following verses, Isaiah 55:12-13, convey this very purpose: “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the LORD, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
This picture of all creation worshipping the Lord demonstrates the purpose for which God’s Word has been given to us. Typically, the addition of rain will only result in a thorn bush or a brier plant growing bigger. This rain, however, which is a picture of God’s Word, results in a complete transformation. The thorn becomes a cypress. The brier becomes a myrtle. Through God’s life-transforming Word, our lives are changed and we are compelled to respond in worship to the One who has given us new life.
As you continue to deal with the effects of a rainy season, be reminded of God’s life-transforming Word and the work that He wants to do in and through you. There comes a point when we’ve had enough rain, but my prayer is that when it comes to the Word of God, you can never get enough!
Seth Moan, Intern