BY WHOSE POWER…MINE OR THE HOLY SPIRIT’S?

 

6 Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.

Zechariah 4:6 (ESV)

I want us to consider who is actually accomplishing God’s work in the world today. Do we do it or does God do it through us?

Zechariah was a prophet of God in Jerusalem after the return of the exiles from the Babylonian captivity. Through an angel God gave Zechariah 8 visions to give to the people. The people had begun to rebuild the temple but for various reasons had stopped and had done no work on the temple in about 15 years. It was Zerubbabel’s task to oversee the reconstruction of the temple. The LORD was not happy that no work was being done on the temple so He sent Zechariah to prophesy to the leaders and to the people. The people had two leaders during this time. Zerubbabel was the Governor of the territory at the time and Joshua was the Priest. Between the two leaders all the people’s physical needs and spiritual needs should be met.

Zerubbabel must have been under intense pressure. On the one hand, God wanted the temple to be rebuilt and was using various forms of punishment on the people for their lack of obedience to His command in this matter. On the other had, the local peoples did not want to see the temple rebuilt. They were using every method imaginable to stop the work from being done…physical threats, economic consequences, lies, intimidation, etc. The spiritual condition of Zerubbabel’s own people had deteriorated so much that they were more concerned with their own comforts and daily lives than they were about being obedient to God. I wonder how many times Zerubbabel was fed-up, at the end of his rope, and just wanted to quit and let someone else deal with the situation. Most of us can relate to what Zerubbabel was going through and can think of a time, or times, when we were at this point in our own lives. Enter God – the Great Comforter, the Encourager, the Almighty.

God sent a message to Zerubbabel and it must have been a tremendous relief to him. God said to him that there is nothing he could do to accomplish the task that God had given him. “Not by might nor by power” means that Zerubbabel did not have the ability within himself (such as intelligence, bravery, determination) to accomplish the task and that his outward resources (such as wealth or military) were also not sufficient for the task. At this point you are probably thinking were is the relief, where is the comfort? God was not done yet. God continued His message to Zerubbabel – “but by my Spirit”!!! God said to Zerubbabel “you can’t do it but I can”. God has the power to accomplish His will. God says the He will work through Zerubbabel to accomplish His will. Talk about a weight being lifted off of his shoulders. He had just been told that you can’t do this so God was going to do it through him. Suddenly there is no longer any pressure or stress on him. His only task now is to be obedient to God and not get in God’s way.

Now that we have the context, lets discuss what is happening here. All men are sinful and by nature cannot (and don’t want to) do anything good (click here for more on this) in the sight of God. The sin nature has so corrupted them that their only desire is to do evil. Man can sometimes do works that appear to be good to other men but God knows the true motive and that none are truly good. Even after we have been saved by the blood of Jesus man is still unable to do good without the Grace bestowed upon him by God. The Holy Spirit serves as the active agent for God in the believer. Once we have been saved and have Jesus living within our hearts then, through the Holy Spirit, God can do good works in and through us.

We all face situations that are overwhelming and we know that we are incapable of navigating. That is the time to turn to Christ. He can and will accomplish His will in your life by working through you via the Holy Spirit. This should be a huge comfort to each of us. We can stop worrying about how to do something and just concentrate on being obedient to God and His Word. If you are given a task that is “too big” for our feeble minds to comprehend…turn it over to God. It is not overwhelming to Him. He can handle it. Trust Him.

The only way you can do that is to trust Him as your LORD and Savior and turn everything in your life over to Him. The freedom He provides us is unbelievable. If you have not trusted Christ yet please let me help you to do so now. Submit your life to Christ’s Lordship and He will do the rest. Please do that now if you have not done it before. If you have questions or need some help, post a comment and I will follow up with you.

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