"Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts"
The vision that God gave Zechariah in the sixth century B.C. is the never changing vision for us today. That vision is to establish the worship of God, and encourage the witness to God for His glory alone in every generation. As we shall see in the details of this vision, this goal can only be achieved by the power of God's Spirit. The following factors must be recognized:
I. THE PROBLEM THAT ENCOUNTERS US.
"This is the word of the Lord. . . not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord of hosts. Who are you, O great mountain?" (Zechariah 4:6-7). We cannot pursue God's eternal purpose without encountering a "great mountain." All hell will be loosed against us! Whatever forms this opposition takes, the ingredients will contain compromise (Ezra 4:2), discouragement (Ezra 3:12-13), and unbelief (Ezra 4:4). Even the Lord Almighty has to ask: "For who has despised the day of small things?" (Zechariah 4:10) - overlooking the fact that "little is much when God is in it!"
The Lord said to Zerubbabel, "Not by might nor by power, but by the Spirit, says the Lord of hosts" (Zechariah 4:6). In this promise are both the word of warning and the word of wisdom. The word of warning is against our human proclivity to rely on the "arm of flesh." (Galatians 3:1-2.)
The word of wisdom is God's command to us: "By My Spirit says the Lord of hosts'' (Zechariah 4:6). Only when we are filled with the Spirit and anointed by the same Holy One can we see the "mountain become a plain," i.e., flattened!
But, this brings us to the heart of God's message to Zerubbabel:
III. THE POWER THAT ENABLES US.
"Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts . . . Who are you, O great mountain?" (Zechariah 4:6-7). This is where God gives us a visible illustration of the source and force of the Spirit's enabling. Look again at the lampstand in detail:
1) We have the Fountain Head of Power. "A lampstand of solid gold with a bowl on top of it" (Zechariah 4:2). God the Father is the Fountain Head of the Spirit's power (see Luke 11:13 and Luke 24:49).
2) We have the Fullness of Power. The "seven pipes" (Zechariah 4:2). Seven is the number of completeness and fullness. Some scholars believe that there were 7 times 7, or 49 pipes! All this and more is promised to us in Ephesians 5:18.
3) We have the Function of Power. The "seven lamps" (Zechariah 4:2). These lamps had one function: to give light. The church exists, and likewise every Christian, to shine in a dark world (Matthew 5:24).
4) We have the Flow of Power. "Two olive trees" (Zechariah 4:3). Historically, these trees represent Joshua the Priest and Zerubbabel the King (or ruler) (Zechariah 4). Ultimately, the olive trees ("Sons of fresh oil") symbolize Christ our Lord as Priest and King. And the message that comes through loud and clear is that only by a personal and perennial relationship to Jesus as Priest (calling for a life of intercession) and King (calling for a life of dedication) can the endless supply of oil be poured out to fill the lamps of light in our dark world - which is our supreme ministry (Phil. 2:14-16).
So, the bottom line is living and shining not by might nor by power (in the flesh), but by God's Spirit. This must now be our daily life style - living and shining by the Spirit in every circumstance and at all cost.
Let us pray:
By your Spirit, Sovereign Lord,
And the honor of your Word,
Strengthen me to bear your light,
In this world of darkest night.
Pour on me your oil so pure,
Till my heart is calm and sure;
And with power from your throne,
Make it known I'm yours alone.