“Then He answered and spoke unto me, saying ‘This is the Word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts’.”

Zechariah 4:6

If it’s attainable or explainable in our own strength, we can rest assured it’s not of God.

How much do we really live by faith?  Think about it:  What are you attempting to do that’s impossible without His direction or aid?  If we’re honest, we’ll say “Very little.”

Oh, we say we do.  We dream “the impossible dream” and “launch out into the deep” after having drawn up detailed plans, hired consultant agencies, developed a marketing plan, conducted an extensive and elaborate fund-raiser, etc.  But, in reality, the world does the very same thing—and usually does a much better job at it than we do!

For sure, we can construct magnificent edifices where the steeple touches the sky.  And, we can fill those massive buildings with the most beautiful stained-glass windows ever seen.  But, the question still comes back, “Was this accomplished by God’s Spirit or just another worldly project accomplished in one’s own strength though cloaked in religious garb and lip service to Him?”

“Not by might nor power.”

The Hebrew word “chayil” is used here for “might” and means “army, wealth, company, etc.,” while “koach” is used for “power” and also means “firm, vigorous, hardiness, strength, substance, etc.”  Thus, it’s clear any undertaking that’s achievable in our own strength or the result of our own worldly wealth and wisdom is not “of His Spirit.”

It may be big.  It may be beautiful.  And, it may be beneficial.

But, the question is, “Who got the credit for it?”  Or, “Whose name is on the side of the building?”

“Now, Preacher, you’ve done gone to meddlin’ now,” someone says.

Maybe so.

But, still, today’s Manna clearly calls us to examine what we do. . .why we do it. . .and how we go about doing it.  Again, if it’s explainable and attainable in our own strength, then we really don’t need God’s help at all.  We simply do it and then give Him the customary, token nod.

Oh, dear Pilgrim, what “mountain” looms ahead of you right now that seems impossible to rise above, go around or through?  Have you simply resigned yourself to its size and said “Well, God must have something else in mind?”  Could it be He’s saying “Why not let Me handle it; I specialize in mountain-moving” (Mt. 17:20)?

For 35 years King Asa “did that which was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God” by continually “seeking Him” (II Chron. 14:2, 7, 11; 15:1, 4, 12, 15).  But, in his 36th year he sought the aid of the king of Syria instead of God (16:1-6) and the physicians when his feet “were exceedingly diseased” (16:11-12).  Sadly, he died two years later.  Would he have lived longer if he’d continued “seeking the Lord” and said “Not by might or by power, but by the Spirit”?  May we remember this today when confronted with a God-sized problem.

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