In part I have been applying that by getting men into the Word and allowing the Word to work in their lives, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. My conviction and experience is if men get in the Word and I get out of the way, the Lord will lead them into truth.
I read a lot. Theological journals and some scholarly works are part of that reading. I benefit from reading those – caveat: my primary time for input for my walk with God, is time with Him in the Word, I read the journals to understand what they are dealing with, but I do not accept anything I read without validating it Biblically. The challenge I have encountered in reading these is that I find men who are “scholars” who are espousing some incredibly unbiblical positions.
How does that align with the Word of God not returning void? How does that align with the Word being piercing? Why are they not led into truth?
Thinking and praying through this over time I think an answer may be emerging for me. You may already have figured it out. But, I am a slow maze learner. The last portion of Isaiah 55:11 (here @ Bible Gateway) states that the Word won’t return, “Without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
If the Lord’s purpose in a person’s life is to draw them to Himself, the Word will do that. If it is His purpose to push them away, the Word will do so. It is His purpose that is important, not mine.
It is a further reminder to me, a rebuke, that I am not in control. It is His Word, His ministry, His gospel, His choice that matters. He determines what is void and what is not. My role is to still get men into the Word and get out of the way and let Him do with them what He desires.