ALL THAT MUSCLE WON’T HELP YOU
So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts (Zechariah 4:6 New King James Version).
When we do things in the name of the Lord, or for the Lord, we need to make sure God’s Spirit is with us. His Spirit empowers us. Jesus called the Holy Spirit the Helper; some translations call Him the counselor – at any rate, everything we do should be backed by the power of the Holy Spirit. This includes evangelism, ministry service, bible study, and service in the church. Without the Spirit, we will either bear no fruit, bear sickly fruit or we will get stuck in a rut going through joyless motions.
Evangelism without the Spirit is like kicking a dead horse. I believe many, in their zeal to share Jesus Christ, do so without the prompting of the Spirit. It is the Spirit who convicts; when we convict, we act as judge and jury. It is not our job to push on the lost; we are simply to allow the Spirit to move in the heart of those hearing our message and stop talking when the Spirit says to stop. To go any further, we’ll turn the person off. Ministry service is another area many serve in without the power of the Spirit. Sure, we may have a talent in one area, but that may not be an area where God desires service at this time. We also have a tendency to try and help God by filling needs within our churches, instead waiting for those God as called to the ministry area. While this may have to be done in some instances, I believe there are many missed blessings because someone took it upon himself or herself to fill a need without waiting on God. Meanwhile the person God called may have not bothered to serve since someone else stepped in and filled it.
Bible study without the Spirit is difficult. If we don’t take our time to study Scripture, and allow the Holy Spirit to bring revelation and understanding, we will only read the words, they won’t sink in. Lately I’ve begun reading my bible more for quality than quantity. I want to savor every word, letting it penetrate my heart. If this means I don’t get past one passage of Scripture, then so be it. This is not an ordinary book and we shouldn’t treat it as such. This is a book in which God speaks to us, it only makes sense to listen!
Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the blessing of this day! Thank You for waking us up, for loving us so much to show us when we have stepped out in our own power and for correcting our ways and path. Father, may we always be led of Your Spirit; may we not try to step out of line and get ahead of You. When we take it upon ourselves to do something You do not have for us to do, bring a word of correction and frustrate our efforts, bringing to mind Your very word in our hearts. Father, may we not be forceful with our evangelism, may we have discernment to know who You have brought us to share with, wisdom to know the words to speak and humility to know when to stop talking. Father, we love You and we know that our time here on earth is not guaranteed day after day, help us to make the most of every day and to give You all glory and honor and praise! We stand before You in the name of Jesus, Amen.
Today’s Attitude of Worship: Take time to listen for the Holy Spirit; when you read your bible, read it to hear, not to simply read it; examine your motives for your service in church and ministry. Allow the Holy Spirit to convict, correct and lead.
Additional Scriptures: John 14:15-26; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:1-4
“A church in the land without the Spirit is rather a curse than a blessing. If you have not the Spirit of God, Christian worker, remember that you stand in somebody else’s way; you are a fruitless tree standing where a fruitful tree might grow” (Charles Spurgeon).