Whilst serving on the missionary ship, the Dolous, the Lord introduced me to Isaiah 55:11.
"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"
Thanks to God, after sharing my testimony (Rev 12:11), I have experienced many people coming to faith and giving their life to Jesus. This has happened in Australia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand. Literally hundreds of people being saved; it soon becomes very addictive. Heaven shares the joy of the sinner repenting and thus your heart races in excitement when it occurs. However, when I experienced it not happening - I started worrying.
What did I do wrong? Did I say the testimony incorrectly? Did I not talk enough about Jesus Christ? Was I too forceful? Was I too timid? God listened intently to my questions. It was then I was handed Isaiah 55:11. For me it was a revelation.
'My word will not return void'. I instantly realised what God was saying. His word is so powerful it created the universe. It will achieve its purpose, though sometimes like a seed it takes time to grow. As humans we cannot even contemplate the authority of God's word. Yet even our own words can command authority. A policeman can tell you what to do and you are obligated to oblige or else. A Judge can sentence you with his words and your own position will not affect the finality of his sentence. A Doctor's words (the diagnosis of a terminal illness) can have devastating effect. Human words have power. Imagine the words of God.
This week I shared my testimony at Summerville Baptist School. I had been invited to speak to the whole grade seven students. I was excited as usual. The night before I had prayed to the Lord and asked Him to sow seeds. These young people were all around twelve. Within two or three years the temptations of alcohol and drugs will inevitably emerge. I wanted seeds planted that would bring them closer to God and further from the foolishness of the world.
I arrived and found sixty wonderful children and their teachers. Projector was all set up including speakers. God had paved the way. I introduced myself and showed the presentation. I then talked about moving from soldier of the world to soldier of God. The children listened attentively. At the end many asked questions and I was encouraged by what they asked. Many were seeking advice in regard to someone they knew; a mother struggling with alcohol, an older brother that had been attacked in Northbridge. For twelve year olds it was startling.
The head master stood up and thanked me sincerely. Amazingly, he then said the following words... "I am sure many seeds have been sown after your talk". The precise words I had asked for in prayer were repeated back to me. I smiled and choked back a tear. When God speaks through someone (and you are aware of it) you are always overwhelmed.
I was handed an envelope as a thank you. In the car I opened it. It was a thirty dollar hardware voucher. I choked back another tear. God was reassuring me that the Rehab farm will come (in His time). "Here is a voucher to buy some nails or a hammer when the right time comes. Or perhaps a spade to sow some seeds? "
I drove home in Joy. The children had even approached me after the talk and took brochures about Harvest of Hope. Again you could sense their concern for their loved ones. Along the highway I contemplated all that had happened. As I reviewed the talk word by word, I glanced sideways at a car passing by. On it was written "Bravo". God was actually thanking me. And whilst the little ones were not asked to give their lives to Jesus (the timing and setting not right) His word never returns empty. Seeds were sown and that is what matters.
Jack Jones, Editor of The Christian Network and Street Chaplain - http://www.thechristiannetwork.com, Australia's most comprehensive Christian Web Magazine.
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