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
Of this passage Theologian Walter Brueggemann writes:
“The consequential power of God is here likened to rain and snow. Rain and snow are not phantoms but are real, forceful powers that produce something tangible in the earth, that is growth and life and future. They water the earth, and the result, regularly and reliably, is that the earth is nourished, creation is sustained, and the food chain is maintained
God’s Word is like this. It is not idle chatter or religious fantasy. It is empowered utterance carrying with it the full weight of God’s majestic rule. God’s word is not empty verbiage; it will work! It will guarantee! It will produce!”.
When we truly comprehend that God’s word is omnificent, that God spoke the universe into existence (Gen 1:3), that His word will never return empty, we begin to realise the importance of sharing it. Yet often in our own lives, doubts, trials and persecutions shake our resolve to continue to share the gospel. We turn to our own abilities instead. Abilities that are not all powerful, rather they are weak in comparison to our Creator.
At the beginning of my own evangelical journey I shared testimony across numerous countries and venues. Initially witnessing many tear soaked altar calls, people willingly gave their hearts to the Lord. Being involved in this joyous occasion was euphoric, one feels the touch of heaven as the angels rejoice. As a novice, however, this euphoria was short lived. Not every sermon delivered the same response. Immediately I questioned my own ability. What had I done wrong?
The problem was in the “I”.
God does not actually need us to achieve His purpose. His Word is sufficient. God allows us to be part of His work as a blessing. A blessing to serve, to help others, to share the good news. It is more blessed to give than receive. When Christ fed the 5000, he did not need the 12 disciples to hand out food, rather He allowed them to. It is His word that triumphs – not our own efforts.
Many a soul has been saved by one sentence spoken in kindness. A Bible tract handed out by a stranger, a letter with some scripture added to the bottom, a chain email with John 3:16. God’s word never returns empty.
However, like any crop it takes time to nurture, nourish and sprout. One man plants , another waters but God makes it grow. As a maturing evangelist I learn that the real blessing is simply in spreading the word – planting seeds. Knowing God is true to His word you realise every seed planted will produce a crop. Instant gratification is no longer necessary. There is as much joy in planting as there is in harvesting. Without farmers – harvesters have no work.
The difference with planting this seed, however, is in its unique ability to germinate. The most powerful seed of all, likened to a mustard seed for its growth potential. Do not be afraid to share it – it will not return empty – God Himself guarantees it.