Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Zerubbabel- I Needed That!

                I have been given everything I need to accomplish the work that my God has prepared for me. This is something that I needed to be reminded of this morning. This is something that I needed a new, deeper understanding of today. You see, the Lord has put before me a task, a job to do. He has prepared a work for me and it is like nothing I have ever done before. I am a writer. I like to write, and I like to think that it is a talent that the Lord has given me for the furtherance of His Kingdom. However, the confidence that I have in being a writer is zilch, zero, nada! I read my stuff and am confounded sometimes at why anyone would read it at all. I am my own worst critic. My own selfish criticism over the talent the Lord has given me has become a hindrance however, to the next work He has asked of me.  I am standing before a great big mountain and I am freaking out! As I said, what He has asked of me is like nothing I have ever done before.
                “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.”
Zechariah 5:3
   These words came into my heart this morning as I was crying before the Lord. I know what He has asked of me yet there seems to be this wall that I keep hitting. It is like there is a large dome over me and I can’t get to Him and He can’t get to me. There seemed to be something standing in the way. Then I read His word, and I realized that what was standing in the way was me. I was the one trying to figure out how to do what He was asking of me. Instead of trusting that He would do the work He has called me to do, I was trying to make a plan, make a list, make it happen in my own attitude and strength. The wall was there because I needed to lay “me, myself and I” aside and just trust that all will be supplied to me because He will supply it, just like He did for Zerrubabel. I needed a reminder that it was not my work but His.
                Zechariah was written as the people of Israel were coming out of exile in Babylon. They are making their way back into Jerusalem and Zerrubabel is given the task to rebuild the temple. I read a commentary that said that Zerrubabel was most likely very discouraged. The temple was a pile of rubble, just a pile of stones and to the human eye the task looked impossible. But, the Lord had asked this of Zerrubabel, and He was going to give him all that He needed to accomplish it. I can so relate to Zerrubabel. The work that the Lord has asked me to accomplish will require a lot of time, patience, study, and prayer. I look at the pile of stones that are before me and I too become discouraged. But then, like Zerrubabel, the Lord gives us these encouraging images and words to hold onto so that we can keep pressing forward.
                “Now the angel who talked with me came back and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep. And he said to me, ‘What do you see?’ So I said, ‘I am looking, and there is a lampstand of solid gold with a bowl on top of it, and on the stand seven lamps with seven pipes to the seven lamps. Two olive trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left.’ So I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me saying, ‘What are these, my lord?’ Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, ‘Do you not know what these are?’ And I said, ‘No my lord.’ So he answered and said to me, ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerrubabel: ‘Not by might, nor my power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerrubabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’” Zechariah 4:1-7
                As I type these verses I giggle within myself because I too was awakened out of my sleep this morning. At 3:30 a.m. I was awake and could not get back to sleep, I knew there was something He wanted to speak to me, so I prayed, and I sought and I cried out to my God. I too was afraid while I looked at this pile of rubble before me. How would this ever be accomplished? These words were such a comfort and encouragement to me, and I pray that you too can be comforted by them as well. As I read these verses I am reminded of the great anointing that each believer is given when they come to Jesus. In the Old Testament the temple had a lampstand, and it had seven lamps, and the priests would attend to it daily to make sure that it stayed filled with oil so that it was always burning. Oil is also a symbol for the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament oil was used to anoint people who were specially chosen by God. Like David was anointed with oil by Samuel to be king over Israel. In the New Testament and even today, we are given the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Each and every one of us, as believers, have been called and chosen specifically by God for a purpose and a plan. There is a work that He has for you to do. You were not called to be a pew filler; there is something that God has prepared for you.
              He has also given you the Holy Spirit to accomplish that work that He has for you. To be “anointed” means that we have been furnished with every necessary power to do what we need to do. We have been called to do a work, we have been given talents and gifts to accomplish those works, and on top of all that God is giving us a continual supply of His Holy Spirit to finish it. When I read these verses that Zechariah gives us, all I see is a continual feed of oil. The light never goes out, and the oil keeps coming. Remember, Zerubbabel was rebuilding a temple pretty much from scratch. The people had just come from exile, so they too were rebuilding their homes and lives. The task seems very daunting. We are being asked to do something we have never done before. Yet, here is our God, our Lord and King reassuring us, encouraging us that all we need to accomplish the work is being given to us in direct lines from His throne.
                “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God.” (1 Corinthians 1:21) We have been established by God, in Christ Jesus. He alone has chosen us. He alone has called us. We are not here today because of what we have done, but because of what God the Father has done through Jesus Christ our Lord. God is supplying us with an ever continual flow of His Holy Spirit, the anointing oil, the oil of gladness, it is all ours, given to us to accomplish what He is asking of us to do. The Lord encourages us today through His word that whatever works it is that He has called us to do; He has also given us all that we need to accomplish it.
                The great mountains that Zerrubabel saw were because he could not see that God had given Him all that He needed to do the work. I see nothing but mountains, and a daunting task that scares me. But the Lord tells us today that these great mountains, these great obstacles that we are looking at, they shall come to nothing, they shall be flattened under the power and might of His Holy Spirit. “This is God’s assurance to Zerrubabel that not only will the work be finished, but Zerrubabel-he- shall finish it, setting the capstone and declaring that it was a work of grace.” (David Guziak, Commentary Zech. 4: 7; http://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/guzik_david/StudyGuide_Zec/Zec_4.cfm?a=915002)
                God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit are always with us to do and accomplish the work He has prepared for us. All we have to do is walk in it. (Ephesians 2:10) We know, I know, that He will do it all with me. He will supply me with every possible resource that I need, and He will give me all the wisdom, knowledge and understanding to accomplish it. It looks daunting, the mountain looms above me, but my God is bigger than this mountain, and by His might, by His power we can accomplish all that He is asking of us to do. Be obedient today to what He is asking of you, and know that He is filling you with a continual flow of His Holy Spirit, and an anointing which will bring you through to completion. To Him alone are the glory and honor and praise. His might, His power, may it be ever flowing in us and through us so that we might do the work that He has prepared for us, and that we might walk in Him and with Him forever and ever. In Jesus Name, Amen and Amen.