By God’s Spirit; November 19, 2022

Zechariah 4:6 So 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 Almighty.

This is one verse where the Japanese is much clearer than the English, despite the English being greatly loved. That’s because the terms for “might” and “power” are far more specific, as I feel sure they are in the Hebrew. In English they are essentially synonyms, but the Japanese says “political power/authority” and “ability.” That makes this an exceedingly appropriate Word for this point in world history, and indeed for the whole course of human history. Right now the US is making a big deal of who has political power, and of course Vladimir Putin has made disastrous use of his political power over the past year. We tend to make a big deal of political power! On the personal level we tend to look at ability, our own and that of others. We are awed by those who show exceptional ability, and tend to be either conceited about or feel inferior about our own ability. God is saying that those things fade to complete insignificance before Him, and His Spirit who works in, through, and sometimes in spite of, people. I heard this verse quoted a lot in the early days of the Charismatic Movement, and not unreasonably so. However, we still tended to fixate on individuals. That has been risky in any age! God cares for us as individuals and He uses us as individuals, but He is far greater than any of that, and all of it put together. As much as we give it lip service, we still have great difficulty grasping that God is GOD, the Creator of the universe, and He is in no way dependent on any part of His creation. Rather, we and everything else are totally dependent on Him.

This is something I need to be reminded of all too often. Not only have I been tripped up by pride and conceit, I have seen barriers as insurmountable and have at times pinned my hopes on political leaders. God is here pointing out the utter foolishness of all of that. Political leaders can be important, and we are accountable for our stewardship of the abilities God has given us, but I’ve got to remember that none of that can begin to compare with the greatness of God. On a personal level I am currently faced with several challenges, starting with my wife’s health. The devil is lying to her, as usual, and is trying to destroy her hope of returning to normal life. I’m to stand against that, both in prayer and in my speaking to her. Likewise, the schedule is packed for the rest of the year, and at this point in my life I don’t find that exciting. God has told me clearly to rest, relax, and rejoice, and I need to be obedient! I will be used in various ways, but it doesn’t depend on me. I need to keep myself available to the Lord, not drawing back but allowing Him to strengthen me spiritually, emotionally, and physically, so that His plans may be fulfilled on His schedule for His glory.

Father, the schedule for the next week or two makes me want to crawl in a hole and cover myself up. Help me remember that Your Spirit will indeed carry me through, enabling me to rest, relax, and rejoice, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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