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  • Writer's picturePeter Clayton

Verse for the Week: Zechariah 4:6

“Then 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 of hosts.’”

In the first instance the prophet Zechariah addresses Zerubbabel, but in doing so establishes some vital principles for Godly living. Zerubbabel was the Governor of Judea during the time that the People of God were being re-established in the land of promise following their captivity in Babylon. As Governor of the province, along with Joshua the high priest, he had been charged by the prophet Haggai with the task of rebuilding the Temple. (See Ezra 5:2 and Haggai 1:1).

There had been domestic opposition, external threats and a torturous route along the road to restoration for God’s People. The temptation to rely on human ingenuity and expertise was ever tempting, but Zechariah’s challenge introduced fundamentally different priorities.

At one time I was involved in the design and construction of Ministry of Defence houses for US bases in the UK. Experience, training and ultimately a lot of hard work were required. Design had to fit requirements and be suitably adapted to the particular occupants. I recall that the foul drainage system needed to be especially robust!

Experience, training and expertise no doubt have their place when we turn to growing in the Christian life and building a Christian congregation, but they are not foundational. Human strength will always ultimately fail, practical experience will have its limitations, but when it comes to the things of God and the work of the Gospel it is upon the Spirit of God that we are to depend.

He is the Spirit of holiness and enables us to build holy lives and holy Churches. He is the Spirit of wisdom and opens our hearts to perceive the purposes of God by comparison with the good ideas of human inadequacy. He is the Spirit of Christ who persistently causes us to focus on Jesus in all things. He is the Spirit who reveals the ways and works of the living God, ensuring that we are wholly God-focussed in all things.

There is opportunity in these days to refresh our walk with Christ and know anew his indwelling Spirit. Be determined to establish your life afresh on that which is enduring – the power of the indwelling Spirit of God. When, as a Church, we again begin to congregate as the People of God, may our focus be on the Christ whose Spirit lifts us up, restores, renews and blesses us profoundly. (RS)

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