The Church MUST Depend on God
Category : General
Zechariah 4: 6 (KJV)
6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.
The affections and dispositions of men cannot be shaped as material things may be; and just because the Church is a structure so noble, a habitation of God in the Spirit, its progress is difficult, and in comparison, with the works of man it is slow. It has also been hindered by the mistakes and dissensions of the builders; but in the end the same Prince who laid its foundations will certainly finish it. He will say, “It is finished,” and in His completed Church He will fill the whole earth with His glory.
The message which this vision was intended to convey was an assurance of God’s presence and readiness to help, and of utter dependence on Him. The prophet was greatly puzzled by this vision. The interpretation was given in such form as would be likely to make it most effective for the enterprise in hand. This prince was in a trying situation, and he needed especial encouragement from God; and here it is: Not by might, (of thy own), nor by power, (authority from others), but by my Spirit – the providence, authority, power, and energy of the Most High. In this way shall my temple be built; in this way shall my Church be raised and preserved. No secular arm, no human prudence, no earthly policy, no suits at law, shall ever be used for the founding, extension, and preservation of my Church. But the spirit of the world says, “These are all means to which as we must have recourse; otherwise the cause of God may be ruined.” Satan, thou liest.
It is important for the church of God to understand that the false grounds of confidence which are to be rejected. Summed up in the words “might and power,” including all earthly means and human instrumentality. We must beware of substituting temporal means and mortal instruments for the work of the Spirit, or the glory of God. Nothing short of the almighty power of God can open the blind eyes or awaken the dead affections of the natural man to see and embrace the Gospel. If we may not trust to the strength of reason, or the force of truth, neither may we to the powers of oratory. The gifts of oratory or eloquence are lovely and excellent, but trusted in, or gloried in, they become snares and stumbling blocks, drawing away the heart and affections from Christ, and converting our acts of worship into an idolatrous service. Every Christian, too, has a sphere of influence with which to serve and honour God, and to help and strengthen others. But this must not be rested in. Religion must be a personal concern, a deed of contract, a life of communion between the soul and God. And there are those who imagine that they love the truth because they love some of those who profess it. The power of affection on the minds of such persons is almost unbounded. But a religion based on such grounds is not to be trusted. When the Spirit of God is not the Author of the work it cannot stand trial, even in this world; it can never issue in the salvation of the soul.
This scene has a natural application to the Divine working among men, and suggests the need of God’s Spirit. The human spirit should be the temple of God. Its foundations are laid in the capacities of the soul made in His image. Sin opposes the work, worldliness hinders it. How shall it be completed? “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. The church must not rely on men or their false and empty promises, we must trust God and God alone for everything, even in the minute or smallest things!
Have a great and godly day!