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 (Zechariah 4:6, KJV)
Although we typically associate carnality of the flesh with gross sins, as listed in Galatians 5, we must note that carnality does not always manifest as sin. In fact, a subtle and potentially dangerous manifestation of carnality is trusting in our efforts, abilities, or systems. This is the appropriate context for understanding Zech. 4:6 above, “not by might…..but by My Spirit”.
The Christian life and ministry are powered by the Spirit of God. Please note, I did not merely say serving God in ministry requires the power of the Holy Spirit. As the evangelist depends on God’s power for preaching the Word effectively, so does a mom in the kitchen need the Spirit to control her anxiety over the numerous worries bombarding her heart. Similarly, as the healing evangelist needs God’s power to heal, the brother on the street needs the power of the Holy Spirit to say no to lust to maintain a pure mind.
Trusting in the arm of the flesh is a dangerous pit for every Christian, especially ministers. And the more sincere and gifted we are, the greater the temptation to rely on ourselves. Worst still, we are often blinded to the truth that we depend on ourselves rather than God. For example, we can trust our theological knowledge, ability to pray, faithfulness in giving, consistency in attending Church, good moral character, etc. You can tell that none of the things listed in the preceding sentence are wrong in themselves; it is not the things but our trust or dependence on them.
It is paramount for us to not only know but to acknowledge that we truly need God. Not by might is not a Christian cliché. We need God. We need His counsel, strength, love, presence, etc. But, beyond needing God’s Spirit to be or do things for Him, God does not accept any services we offer outside of His Spirit.
Please read, ponder and mutter the words of Zech. 4:6, above, repeatedly as they permeate into your heart.
Apply the Word
His strength is made perfect in weakness. When we are weak, then we are strong! Train yourself to depend on His wisdom and power.
Thank the Lord for the River from heaven that supplies all our needs in Christ.