We sang “Anchor” by Hillsong United in church on Sunday. It’s a beautiful song and I adore the imagery of Jesus as my anchor. In the middle of any upsetting situation, faced with any temptation, or in any trial or storm I should find myself; I need only to look to Jesus to secure me – to hold me in safety. With Him there’s no way I can be snatched away by the winds. I can’t be lost. He is my anchor. It makes me think of the story of a man who lashed himself to a palm tree in the middle of a hurricane. Buffeted by the fury of the storm he was bruised and bloodied but survived only because he was anchored to the tree. Jesus … as my palm tree. How comforting is that truth?
While we were singing, two lines of lyric struck me in such a way that I had to immediately sit down during worship and write them down. The first was, “Your word, unfailing.”
Your word, unfailing.
Out of the entire song … why is this line touching me? I ponder in the days to follow and more questions than answers develop. How do I know God’s word is unfailing? I also recognize that I add a comma to the lyric where we naturally pause when we sing. Is there a comma in the original lyric? Does the writer of these lyrics mean God’s word as in the Scriptures or does he mean God’s Word as in Jesus? Does he mean both? Does it matter? I begin my study …
First, the dictionary: Unfailing. (Adj)
1. not failing; not giving way; not falling short of expectation; completely dependable
2. inexhaustible; endless
Then the thesaurus: Unfailing … meaning certain, dependable, reliable, trustworthy, constant, consistent, abiding, lasting.
Finally, in the Scriptures I search for the word “word” in the HCSB and find:
Every word of God is pure;
He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. ~ Proverbs 30:5
… My word that comes from My mouth
will not return to Me empty,
but it will accomplish what I please
and will prosper in what I send it to do. ~ Isaiah 55:11
Heaven and earth will pass away,
but My words will never pass away. ~ Matthew 24:35
God’s word is unfailing. It is pure, it is strong and true, it can accomplish God’s purpose (making it alive), and it will never die.
If you’ve read the Bible more than once then you know that the same verse of Scripture can have vastly different meanings to you each time you read it. I can attest that even day-by-day God’s word can have different meanings and perform new works in one’s heart. I will never forget reading a fairly long passage of Scripture one day and deriving nothing from it other than a good story. The very next day I reread it and was flabbergasted by the significance and the lesson it was teaching me. I was especially convicted of how superficially I’d read it the day before that I spent a long time asking God for His forgiveness and to help me to never read his word so casually again.
It was a direct example of how God’s word accomplished His purpose in me. We can rely on the Scriptures. They have proven to be true, trustworthy, and consistent. Just consider that our Bible was written over thousands of years, penned by many different people, but authored by only one – God’s Holy Spirit.
Then I took a look at the word as God’s Word.
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God. ~ John 1:1
We need not read beyond Genesis to see the plurality of God, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” (Gen 1:26a) God only has to speak a word and worlds are formed. Then John confirms that the Word was there in the beginning, with God and was God. Jesus is that Word. The very breath of God that called the universe into existence. I love in Colossians where Paul states, “For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth … … all things have been created through Him and for Him.” (Col 1:16) Why? Because He is the Word. He is God. Alpha and Omega. He was there from the beginning and He’ll be there until the end … unfailing.
I think I now know why this lyric is tugging at my soul. There is nothing … no thing … on this earth that is truly unfailing except God. Friends grow apart. Attitudes change. Everything, even you and I, dies.
Only Jesus is my One True Constant. My Rock. He and His word are unfailing.
What’s a favorite lyric of yours that has touched you in some way?