So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: “Not by my might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,” Says the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 4:6
Do we really make application of this verse to our lives and service to the Lord? We know that this verse tells us that it is only through the Holy Spirit that anything is accomplished in or through our lives, so that must mean that is what is actually happening, right? Maybe, maybe not. Let me explain.
The Apostle Paul tells us to make it a priority and put effort into (be diligent) dissecting (rightly dividing) God’s word, to dig deep into His word to discover the truths that are found there (2 Timothy 2:15). While we get a general idea what a single verse is telling us, we really need the full context that verse is contained it to get its full meaning.
Devoting the last 15 months to the issue of homelessness and encountering many ups and downs, I began wondering if rescuing individuals from homelessness is something that God would have Faith That Moves involved in or if He even wants to do that. It was then the Holy Spirit prompted me (because that is what He does (Isaiah 30:21, 1 Corinthians 2:10-12) to get some context to the LORD’s statement in Zechariah 4:6.
This is what I discovered by dissecting the context of Zechariah 4:1-9:
Judah had just returned to Jerusalem after 70 years of captivity in Babylon and had begun to rebuild the Temple, with Zerubbabel leading that effort. With little resources available to complete the task and a small workforce that became discouraged and gave up, Zerubbabel also gave up. Within this context the prophet Zechariah had a vision that involved the priests’ duty to keep the lampstand in the Temple continually burning (Leviticus 24:2) signifying Israel’s being a light of God to the rest of the world.
To understand Zechariah’s vision keep in mind that oil in the Old Testament is a picture of the Holy Spirit.
The angel speaking to Zechariah explained the contraption Zechariah saw in his vision, that continually filled the lampstand with oil from the two olive trees, is a word of encouragement to Zerubbabel that he would in fact finish work on the Temple, but not by might (collective strength, resources of a group or army), nor by his own power (individual strength). Just as the two olive trees would provide a constant supply of oil to keep the lampstand burning, it is the Holy Spirit that is our constant source of power. Pastor Chuck Smith summarizes it this way stating “there is a constant source available, power for you through the Spirit.” David Guzik points out that the message of the LORD to Zerubbabel was that he would finish the Temple not by his cleverness, his ability or physical strength, but by the Spirit of God.
Because I never studied the context of this passage, I missed that the mountain of discouragement to Zerubbabel would be made a plain (verse 7) culminating in completion of the Temple. Zerubbabel’s mountain was removed, and moving mountains (Matthew 17:14-20) in an individual’s life is what Faith That Moves is about.
Pastor Smith paraphrases the word of the LORD to us, “Hey, it isn’t by your organized efforts. It isn’t by your force, but it’s by My Spirit saith the Lord.”
The application from Zechariah 4:1-9 I see is to not get the cart before the horse. Have we taken it upon ourselves (our might, our power) to come up with a solution? Faith That Moves has experienced the ramifications of that. Consider how much money, time, and effort for years that have been spent on this issue without any resolution.
Pastor Smith points out “the work of God is not to be accomplished by might, or by power, but the work of God can only be accomplished by the Spirit of the Lord. Therefore, it is extremely important before we engage in any work for God, that we seek to discover the leading of the Spirit. The secret to any successful work for Jesus Christ is discover how the Spirit is moving and move with the Spirit. For it is not by might, nor by power.”
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17).
To Be Continued…