""Not by might nor by power but by My Spirit," says the Lord of hosts." Zechariah 4:6
Might - This is the Hebrew word hayil. It is used in many different contexts to describe strength and influence. Hayil can be used to mean the strength of an army or of a people. It can be used to speak of righteous actions or virtuous women. It often implies financial power and wealth or even military force. Generally, it describes what the world would consider symbols of strength.
But God speaks to Zechariah and says that His way is not going to come by any human means. Nothing that describes the world of strength as we know it will be the description of the way God's strength is known. A little reflection on the Bible shows us just how true this is. God uses our weakness to accomplish His purposes. Abraham and Sarah had no physical strength to produce a child. But God made it happen. Jacob was the second in line and the weaker brother, but God chose him. David was only a teenager and insignificant in front of the giant, but God gave him the victory. Israel was a tiny, obscure nation, but God elected Israel to proclaim His message. And finally, Jesus was born to humble and poor parents, in an obscure village in an occupied country in the middle of nowhere. And he died without any significant accomplishments by human standards. God's greatest triumph in salvation came through complete weakness. God loves to turn the tables upside-down.
If you are like me, you have been taught all your life to make it on your own strength. You have been told that the world loves a winner, that the fight belongs to those who put forth the most effort and that you need to give 110%. God comes along and tells us that His rules are not the same not even close. God looks for those who acknowledge their weakness. God wants those who are completely dependent. God seeks those who have nothing to offer. And He makes miracles from our nothing.
"Not by might" means that I need to stop looking for my own answers. My solutions are not God's solutions. This stunning fact is so difficult for me to incorporate into my thinking. But if God is really in control of everything, then it is His game plan that matters. I have often said that I need to adopt the motto, "Pray more and work less." But it's so hard to do because I have to go against all that human training I inherited.
"God, help me let go of my "might" and give you my weakness."
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inspirational devotions by Skip Moen.
"Today's Word" devotional, from Skip Moen . © 2003 is used by permission. All rights reserved.
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