On the Most Important Subject and Curriculum of Our Lives


January 2, 2021

Isaiah 55:10-11 (NIV)

As the rain and the 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.


Yesterday’s text revealed the Word of God as an eternally enduring word. Today’s text shows us it is an extraordinarily powerful word. We must, however, understand the nature and character of this power. It is not power in the way the world understands power as force or might. It is far more subtle and infinitely more profound. Let’s back up two verses in this prolific chapter 55 for more context.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“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

There is only one way we can possibly begin to grasp the thoughts and ways of the almighty God of heaven and earth. We cannot figure them out or discern them with our natural minds. They must be revealed to us. This is the miracle of the Word of God. He has revealed his thoughts and ways, his mind and heart, his intentions, purposes, and will to us through his revealed Word. We are finite, fallen, and frail human beings, created in God’s image and yet irreparably broken apart from his mercy and grace. The thoughts and ways of the one whose image we bear are infinitely higher than ours. The good news is we have the revealed Word of God and through this revealed Word, by the power of his Spirit, God will show us his thoughts and ways in particular ways for our lives. 

Now, a word about the nature and character of the power of this God and his Word. As I said, it is not power as the world understands power, and yet is power according to the way the creation works. Read today’s text again. 

As the rain and the 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,

There are, in fact, two books constantly revealing the nature and will of God, and we must have them both to walk with God according to his thoughts and ways. They are the book of creation and the book of revelation.

Here is a mysterious truth at the heart of the cosmos. The revealed Word of God creates, and the creation, in turn, reveals the nature and character of the Word of God. Revelation creates. Creation reveals. This is true from the stars and the sky or to our very lives. This interplay throughout all of Scripture is fascinating. When God wants to point aging Abraham and barren Sarah to the promise of their impossible family, he lifts their gaze to the galaxies. The creation is not a transactional metaphor in the mind of God, something he uses to teach us by simple analogy. The creation is a transcendent medium. (That’s deep, I know, and I hardly even grasp it, but I’m learning with you as we go.) You get it. After all, this God sets wild bushes on fire without burning them up! By the end of this fifty-fifth chapter alone, look what’s happening in this transcendent, transformed place called earth:

“You will go out in joy
    and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
    will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
    will clap their hands.” (v. 12)

And, yes, creation is fallen but God is redeeming all of it, not just rescuing the people out of it. This is why he will ultimately send his Son, as the revealed Word of God made flesh, not just to save us but to redeem us, and he will send his Spirit to transform the whole kit and caboodle into the new creation. 

Through it all, his Word is working. It’s working like rain and snow falling on the ground, germinating the seed of his Word in the soil of our lives and causing the slow, steady growth into plant and flower and fruit for our provision and seed for our sowing as we join God in this transformational work. 

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.

It is slow work. It is steady work. It is everyday work. And this because it is the unrivaled transformational, powerful work of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Which is why our horizons of understanding and acting on God’s Word must be greatly expanded. We are behind, and yet we can still be right on time. God’s Word will not fail . . . ever. 

Let me adapt the old saying. “Question: When is the best time to start taking God at his Word? Answer: Twenty years ago.” When is the second best time? Today! Right now! The Word of God is the single most important subject and curriculum of our entire lives, and we must be given to it wholeheartedly and unreservedly for the rest of our days. His revelation recreates us and this new creation reveals him. First Word. Last Word. God’s Word. 


Our Father in heaven, thank you for your Word, which endures forever. Thank you for the way your revealed Word created the whole creation and how your creation continually reveals your glorious Word. Thank you for the Word made flesh and the new creation. And thank you for bringing this new creation into my very soul. I want to hunger for your Word and thirst for your Spirit. I open myself to more of you. I will awaken and arise according to your Word, every single day. You will be my First Word and my Last Word. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. 


Will you write out Isaiah 55:10-11 in your notebook or on a card or somewhere with relative permanence right now? Will you speak it aloud tonight as the last word of your day and again in the morning as the first word? 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt

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