For no word from God will ever fail. Luke 1:37, NIV
That is quite an amazing statement: no word from God will ever fail. It is especially incredible when we consider the context. The speaker is the Arch-Angel Gabriel. He is talking to a teenage girl called Mary about a virgin birth. A virgin birth had never happened before, nor was it ever going to happen again. It was a one-time event, but God's Word will always stand strong.
The KJV words this verse as For with God nothing shall be impossible. However, in the construction of the word “nothing” is the Greek Rhema which is the spoken word and Rhema is the word Mary used in her reply, Be it unto me according to your word.
Let the message of the angel Gabriel sink into your mind: No word from God will ever fail. We can break this into two categories: The General Word of God and the Specific Word of God.
There are some things that God speaks that apply all the time. The Christian can have total confidence in them knowing that no Word from God will ever fail.
Let’s take three examples of the General Word of God:
1. …neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom. 8:39, NIV [Also see Rom. 8:28]
God has spoken in His Word that nothing can separate us from His Love. There are certainly times when we do not feel the love of God. There are dark days, but even in the midst of the most trying times we can have confidence in the Word of God. He has declared that He will never leave us or forsake us [Heb. 13:5]. We can rest in that knowledge. If you struggle with that, take our new course: How To Know God Loves You.
2. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:3, NIV
Jesus promised that He is going to return. We can have absolute confidence that no Word from God will ever fail. We know at some point He will return and we will be forever with Him. The pain and suffering in this world will be like a bad dream when we awake in His presence. Evil cannot continue on forever. There will come a day, when it will end forever. Jesus will return.
3. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word… Heb. 1:3, NIV
We know that God created the universe and all that is in it by His Word [Gen. 1, Heb. 11:3]. We know that Jesus maintains the universe - including the earth - by His powerful Word. What is one application of this Word of God in our world?
Satan loves fear. He is the ultimate fear-monger. He drives people to destruction through fear. One of his greatest tools in our world today is the myth of global destruction through man-made climate change. He pushes this agenda to destroy people’s lives physically [population control, abortion], mentally [living in fear and anxiety], economically [slowing down responsible development of the planet] and spiritually [taking people’s eyes off of God]. Yet the Christian should not be deceived because No Word from God will ever fail. God created this world and has promised to maintain it by His Word. While we are certainly responsible under God to care for the environment and responsibly develop it, we have confidence that God will not allow the world to be destroyed. No horror stories of Climate Change, Global Nuclear Destruction or anything else will change that. God is in ultimate control.
There are some things that God speaks to specific people or for a specific time. This is a Word of God for them and cannot be applied by others unless God also specifically speaks it to them.
Let’s take three examples of the specific Word of God:
1. “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. Luke 1:38, NIV
We will start with a very obvious example from our beginning Scripture. Gabriel gave a specific Word of God to Mary that, as a virgin, she would have a child. This was God’s Word to her. Mary accepted it, believed it and had it fulfilled in her life. But any other young lady in the history of the world could read this promise, believe that she could have a baby while remaining a virgin, and not have it fulfilled. Does that mean the Word of God failed for her? Of course not. That specific Word was not given to her.
2. “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said. Matt. 14:28-29, NIV
Jesus was walking on the water. Peter asked Jesus if he could come to Him walking on the water as well. He received Jesus specific Word that he could…and he did. What about the other disciples? What if John had said to himself, “If Peter can do it, so can I” and stepped out of the boat? He would have headed for the bottom, because Jesus had not spoken that specific Word to him. If he had asked Jesus might have given him the Word as well. But by simply claiming it and following Peter’s example, he would have drown. Would that have meant the Word of God failed? Of course not. It was not a word to him. Unfortunately, some people have tried to test God by walking on water and been disillusioned when it failed.
3. Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. Matt. 4:23, NIV
Healing is a hard one, because we know that it is the General Will of God for His people to walk in health. We know God is not the Author of sickness. He loves to heal and make people whole. However, in a sinful world God can use things like sickness to work good in people’s lives. He can redeemed the destructiveness of the enemy and bringing restoration. Interesting, one of the greatest healers of the Old Testament, Elisha, died of an illness [2 Kings 13:14]. I doubt it was from a lack of faith!
It is never wrong to ask Jesus to heal us or others [unless He has given us a specific “no”]. We know it is His general will. However, in order to stop taking medicine or refuse medical assistance we had better have a very specific Word from God.
I remember reading of a teacher who was very short-sighted. He needed his thick glasses to be able to see anything. One day at a general assembly of the students he decided to prove to them that God still heals today. In front of the entire assembly he declared that God heals and he took off his glasses and stamped on them. Guess what. It didn’t happen. He did not have a specific Word from God. God will not be manipulated.
Yes, God heals today. You do not need a specific Word to ask for healing, but you should have one before taking drastic action.
No Word from God will ever fail - general or specific. Of that we can have complete confidence.