Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Not By Might Nor By Power But By My Spirit

There are so many things I want to do, so many things I want to accomplish. Vision has seldom been my problem but getting it done often is. Most of us have goals, dreams, plans that we want to accomplish but many people don't even come close to completing any of them. Life is filled with obstacles, challenges, detours, traps, pitfalls, failures, and delays. Most people change their dreams and goals, finding an easier path when the one they have chosen proves more difficult than they thought. Some people chalk it up to lack of determination. I think there is something wrong with the whole premise.

Most of us live like the Sadducees of Jesus' three year ministry days. They believed that Yahweh had no involvement in our daily living, that we had to do the best we could on our own. They also believed the soul died with the body so there were no consequences to face after death, allowing us to do what we want to do. Most of us make our own plans and do what we want to do, still loving Jesus but not involving him in any part of our life; unless we get in trouble. If we act this way it is how Father is going to deal with us. He will be hands off until we get ourselves in so much trouble that we call out to him for help. But there is a better way.

Our life is no longer our own. That is our reality when we accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, asking for forgiveness and claiming him as Lord. We are re-birthed as a new creation, a citizen of the Kingdom and a child of Father. We are now governed by the principles of the Kingdom and not by the patterns of this world. Jesus purchased us at great cost and we now belong exclusively to him. This means that we no longer determine our days but seek Father's will for our days and situations. We don't have goals and dreams of our own; we have the goals and desires of Father. But even understanding this we can make mistakes.

Sometimes we understand clearly the will of Father and what we are to work towards but we forget that it is his work. Quite often the goal is Father's but we think the work is ours. Even the work belongs to Father. He has planned for it, provides for it and has purpose for it. It will be achieved accordingly. Not by what we think or our schedule and certainly not by our resources. We find an example of this in Zerubbabel.

Zerubbabel was sent out of captivity to Jerusalem to head up the Temple re-building project. The task sounds easier than it was. He was hand picked by Yahweh to complete this task but he had a huge list of obstacles in his way. It was a discouraging work and one that required a great deal of determination. But determination alone wasn't enough. His strength and encouragement had to be found in his relationship with Yahweh and the constant reminder that this was Yahweh's work. At one point the prophet Zechariah provided him words of encouragement from the Lord and he reminded him:

"Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit," says the Lord of Hosts. (Zechariah 4:6)

Yes, not just a New Testament thing. Not by might, force, strength, weapons or intelligence. Not by power, influence, friends, wealth, political clout, position. In other words, this project, which was the will of Yahweh, would not be forced into place by the will of man. This would be accomplished by his Spirit, will , desire, power, presence, strength, force. It did not matter what obstacles Zerubbabel faced, Yahweh told him he would turn the mountains into mole hills. Nothing frustrates the will of Jehovah. Therein lies the difference between our goals and Father's will.

If you are involved in a God-thing, do not be discouraged. It will be completed by his Spirit, his will, his time schedule, by the path he has determined. He will use you to do it but he determines how, when and with what. You just concentrate on the relationship part of things, stay focused on Jesus, attentive to his Word and remain open to the Spirit and he will provide everything you need. And be patient. However, if you are not involved in a God-thing and working on a You-thing you should stop what you are doing, drop to your knees and desire a greater relationship with Jesus. Forget everything else and just focus on him and soon everything will come into proper focus for you. We need to meditate on this Psalm:

Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain. (Psalm 127:1)

Too many of us are building our own houses because it is all we know. It is what we have learned from our fathers before us. It is the sample we see all around us. No one has told us any different. But the Word is in our hand and the Spirit is in us. The Word shows us the ways of the Lord, teaches us the paths, leads us in the truth. The Spirit instructs us if we will get out of our own way. The key is the relationship. Concentrate on the relationship and we will soon discover that it is not by might, nor by power but by his Spirit. Allow Father to complete his will for you according to his Spirit. Walk with him, not ahead of him.

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