“The word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8)
Part 2 in my life-long series.
This post works off one simple premise: God’s word is powerful. And if you don’t believe me, let me just discredit your objections in advance. I’ll just throw some truth your way:
“The LORD merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born” (Psalm 33:6). We know a God who “calls into existence the things that do not exist” (Romans 4:17). It was “at the blast of his breath, that the bottom of the earth could be seen, and the foundations of the earth were laid bare” (2 Samuel 22:16).
God is “sustaining all things by the power of his word” (Hebrews 1:3). The hum of the generator powering the whole universe is every word that the comes from the mouth of God. And we have at our disposal this same word of God, that which is “living and active, sharper than a two edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12). Knowing that “all scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and “spoken that our joy may be full” (John 15:11).
God’s word sits on a shelf. And he intendeds it not be a proficient dust collector. Because God’s word doesn’t just sustain the whole universe (although that alone boasts an impressive resume). God also intends his word be personally, individually, life changing. Given so we can claim no condemnation (Romans 8:1) and fullness of life (John 10:10).
I don’t boast much experience. But I can boast in God’s word. So. Having said all of that. Here’s three absolute gems of God’s word that have really hit home for me.
“Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain”
Get your head around this one.
When I first read this, I was seriously lost. Because it appears to contain a huge contradiction. Read it again. How can a builder build something that God is building? What does that even mean? What is the writer trying to tell us here?
Psalm 127:1 gives us another example. “Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” Here’s the point. You can work. And you can stay awake. But there’s a catch. The only labour (and life) of any purpose is the one where God himself is decisively working in and watching over. What does that mean?
Here’s my simple summary.
There is a way in which God can write a sermon, when it is man that wields the pen. There is a way in which God can run a race, when it is man that lifts his legs. And there is a way in which God can feed the hungry, when it is man that gives to them.
If you can understand that, you will be changed. You will pray like the Psalmists for God to “give us help against our enemy, for all human help is worthless.” (Psalm 108:12) And you will leave your prayer time with a confidence, saying “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” (Psalm 20:7).
God loves to answer those prayers.
“There is therefore now no condemnation, for those who are in Christ Jesus”
This verse is off-the-charts glorious.
Every earthquake is measured by a machine called a seismometer. This machine simply exists to detect and record the size and extent to which the earth has shaken. Weak earthquakes record a 1-2 on the scale, whilst a devastating earthquakes records a 10. My point is this. If we had a seismometer that measured gloriousness, the size and magnitude and earth-shattering rumble behind Romans 8:1 would reach the highest 10.
It is devastatingly glorious.
And I really mean that too. Romans 8:1 really is devastating before it is glorious. Because it comes on the build up of uncompromising truth. It comes after Romans 1:18, which claims that “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.” It comes after the blow of Romans 3:23, which states that “none are righteous – no, not one.” We are all under God’s wrath. Devastating stuff.
And it is on this bleak backdrop, that Romans 8:1 stands alone.
Martin Luther once said that “If I could believe God was not angry with me, I would stand on my head for joy.” Romans 8:1 provided him his acrobatic moment. Jesus on the cross took our condemnation. All of our unrighteousness. All of our ungodliness. And now, therefore, because of Jesus – we can claim no condemnation. Fullness of joy.
“The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives”
What an awesome verse.
It really doesn’t get much better than this. If you don’t love this yet, you need to open up your eyes. Let yourself get hit with the full freight train of truth behind this claim.
God. Sovereign and Supreme. Totally in control of everything that has and will ever happen. He who put the stars in place (Psalm 33:6). He who possesses infinite knowledge and wisdom that has never been perplexed by anything (Revelation 22:13). He who weaves in the womb (Psalm 139:13) and takes stock of every fallen sparrow (Matt 10:29).
It is this God that directs my small steps.
And not only that. Get this. Take some time to let this absolutely blow your mind: it is this same God that delights in every detail. Think about that. God is not disconnected from feeling. He is not angrily obligated to you. It pleases God to lead and love you.
And if that’s not enough, the verse following this is just as awesome. “Though they stumble, they will not fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.” (Psalm 37:24) I will stumble. But I will not fall. Why? How? Because the grip of the almighty will not let me go.
So if someone ever asks you, “how is your walk with God going?” Turn around. Look them in the eye. Smile. And then say with all authority, “My God has really strong hands.“
That’s my God.
How has God been speaking to you recently? Feel free to drop a verse below and explain how it has impacted you in some way!