I’ve recently been reading Zechariah 4:6 which says:
“Not by might, nor by power but by my Spirit”, says the Lord Almighty.
A closer examination of the historical context and the surrounding verses reveals some interesting and powerful ideas from which I believe we can learn.
It appears that Zerubbabel had come to a standstill in his project to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem after returning from exile in Babylon. For a dozen or so years the work had ceased with the builders having progressed not much further than establishing the foundations. It looked to be an impossible task to complete the Temple because, at that time, Zerubbabel didn’t have the labor force nor the expertise required – he didn’t have the royal might and power that David and Solomon possessed.
God’s answer to the no-doubt-frustrated leader was to show him a vision of a gold lampstand with a bowl at the top. The significance lay in the fact that this bowl was full of oil, a symbol of the Holy Spirit, and it fed the lights on the lampstand, keeping them burning in just the same way that the Holy Spirit can ‘feed’ us and keep us going when we have encountered opposition in doing what God has called us to do.
The secret to completing the task was not for Zerubbabel to rely on natural resources and the abilities of men but instead to look to what God could do by the power of His Spirit.
Zerubbabel was encouraged to press on and ‘not despise the day of small things’, to look beyond what had been achieved in having laid the foundations and to look to God to see ‘the mighty mountain become level ground’; that is, to see the seemingly impossible task in front of him melted away as he trusted the Holy Spirit to work a miracle.
In carefully studying this portion of Scripture I have found that its impact on me now to be much greater than it was before. I now appreciate that when God says, ‘It’s by My Spirit’, He is opening the door to a miracle and the moving of a mountain. I am now encouraged to press on after I have built a foundation in something to look to God for the exciting completion of the task.
I now feel more confident than ever to keep on seeking to be used by God in the building of His Church and the extending of His Kingdom because I have, along with all believers, the blessing of Holy Spirit enablement! Praise God!
It’s by His Spirit!