Not. by. might.

A generous paraphrase based on Zechariah 4, but which certainly speaks a profound and unchanging truth in Kingdom living.  An encouragement for a Thursday.

This is the word of the LORD to [anyone called to a task, appointed by God to do something bigger than they could possibly accomplish, really; to a person who stands before an immovable mountain with so much at stake they tremble – insert your name here]:

“Not by chayil/MIGHT/strength/power or agility, not by by military force, nor valor; not by substance/wealth/position/degree/IQ or title; not by experience/authority/capability/vigor/potency or qualifications; not by efficiency/marketable skills or competence; not by cleverness or craftiness or even your obvious qualifications…

Not. by. might.  Your stuff cannot even begin to handle what needs done.  Period.

But by My Spirit,” Says the LORD of hosts.

“Who are you, O great mountain/obstacle/impossible accomplishment?  Who are you, difficulty/hindrance/obstruction, who are you interference/gridlock/circumvention?  I mean, really: who are you, trouble/lack/roadblock/anything that sets itself up against the word of the Lord?

Before [insert your name here: a called and anointed one, the one appointed for the Kingdom task], you shall become a plain/level playing ground/a path for easy navigation and [insert your name here] will bring forth the capstone/culmination/highest point, the whipped cream with the cherry on top/the final flourish of ta-da!! With shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!  Grace – The empowering Presence of the Holy Spirit to be and do all He has called us to be and do: GRACE!”

Additionally the word of the LORD said of [insert your name here]:

“The hands of [insert your name here, o mighty and maybe a little weary, warrior] have laid this foundation, and [you, again] shall finish FINISH finish it.  Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.

For who has despised the day of small things/less-than-grand-beginnings/insignificant groundwork?  Who dares to dismiss the humble way things started out?  Who has the nerve to devalue the tiny seed in the ground?”

It is not by your ability or name or lineage or power or strength or talent or giftedness.  It will be by the power of the Holy Spirit.  His power doesn’t always come by force.  Sometimes it comes by the ways He uses just regular people with all the brokenness and failure of their lives.  And somehow His purposes are revealed, anyway.

Zerubbabel had laid a foundation: blood, sweat and tears.  He’d worked hard and zealously.  But he was about to succumb to discouragement, about to throw in the towel.

But: the Word. of. God.

The Word of the LORD come along and makes it clear – your hands began this thing and your hands will place the crowning capstone on it.  It is not what you have left in you to accomplish it (for o, we do grow tired), but it is what God is able to do through the weakest, most insignificant, most powerless among us (a baby born in Bethlehem, a Moses with a stutter, a Gideon threshing wheat, in hiding from oppressors, those crazy disciples who struggled to follow Jesus even though they could see Him, David with sheep, and me, for sure).

The weakest of the weak, the biggest bumbling failure of them all, the one who seems least likely….graced by the power of the Holy Spirit can complete the work they were born to complete.

I am hanging on to this promise for dear life.

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