1 And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep,
2 And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof:
3 And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.
4 So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord?
5 Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
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.
7 Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain:
and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.
8 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
9 The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it;
and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you.
After salvation, God calls us to a life of growth and spiritual maturity. Our spiritual growth always leads us to greater involvement in the mission or work of God, but let’s be honest, the work of God can get very tiring and frustrating at times. How many Christians serve God out of duty and not out of a desire to express their love for God? Thankfully, the Lord did not leave us without assistance in our spiritual growth and our spiritual work. One of the main tools the Lord uses to accomplish His work is the Spirit of God in our lives.
In our passage, Zerubbabel has a conversation with an angel who shares with him three truths about a Spirit-filled work.
A Spirit-filled work is personal.
In verse number six, we see that the angel tells Zerubbabel that this is the word of the Lord for him personally. Because God had given Zerubbabel a specific mission and work, God had a specific word for him as well.
Isn’t is comforting to know that God not only has a specific work for you, but He has specific word for you as well? It is easy to get frustrated when we are in a difficult situation, but God knows our struggle. When we open His Word, He has something special for us to encourage us in our work.
People go crazy over getting to spend time with a celebrity. We take pictures, have them autograph an article of clothing, and we tell everyone we see about who we met. It is exciting to see someone famous! Think about how exciting it would be, if in a mass of people, a famous figure pointed you out and said “I want to get to know you better cause I have a position I want you to fill.” Wow, we would let everyone know about the time we got to spend with this celebrity.
You have someone much more important than any celebrity who has a job for you. The Creator of the universe has a specific spot for you! Not only does He have a work for you to accomplish, He wants to spend time talking with and helping you do that job in a way that pleases Him. I don’t know about you, but knowing that God has a job for me drives me every day. Today, you may not have a celebrity who wants to spend time with, but you have a God who wants to so spend time soaking up your time with an Almighty God.
A Spirit-filled work is independent.
Have you ever tried to help something along that is designed to operate independently? If you have, you know that there is normally a good chance for it not to turn out too good for you or the object you are assisting to help. Many times, we may get hurt or the object will end up not working properly.
This is the great paradox of the work of God. Yes, God has something just for you, but He does not need you to accomplish it. The personal word of the Lord to Zerubbabel was, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit. If anything great is going to happen in the work of God, it will not be because of our might or our power; it will be because of the Spirit of God accomplished the work through us.
May we never become so arrogant that we think the work of God is accomplished because of our talents and our work. In fact, it is the opposite. The work of God is accomplished in spite of us which is humbling and frees us of any pressure to see that it succeeds.
A Spirit-filled work is powerful.
In a society that is driven by numbers, reports, and results, the work of God can easily turn into a business if we are not careful. Whatever God has called you to do, results are guaranteed when done in the Spirit and independent of us.
Following the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel, the angel gives examples of works that Zerubbabel can accomplish through the power of a Spirit-filled work. The works mentioned in verses seven through nine are God-sized results.
We see another example of the power of a Spirit-filled work in the first two chapters of Acts.
4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Right before Jesus ascends back to Heaven, the disciples are still confused about the kingdom. You can almost hear the sigh of relief from the Apostles in verse six as they ask Jesus if He could set up His kingdom now that He has risen from the dead. Jesus tells them not to worry about the kingdom in verse seven and leaves them with a challenge in verse eight about the power of the Spirit in relation to the work of God. Do you think it was an accident that Jesus Christ’s last charge to His followers included the power of the Spirit and the mission of all Christians? What if the disciples had chosen to go and do the work that they had been left in charge of in their own power?
Praise the Lord, according to Acts 2:1-4, they waited until they were filled with the Spirit.
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Because they waited on the Spirit’s filling, they were able to see God-sized results and miracles on the day of Pentecost.
God has a work for us to accomplish. When it seems like you can’t go on in that work, find encouragement in God’s Word because there’s something in there just for you. In this work God has called us to, let’s leave it up to God to do the work. When God is in charge, it is much more rewarding and productive for us. Our world is in need of some God-sized results, but those only come when we leave the work up to the Spirit of God, and we operate as Spirit-filled Christians. Today, allow the work of God to be accomplished through your life by being completely empty of self and completely filled by the Spirit of God.