Friday, February 12, 2010

The Way Through – Neither by Might nor Power!

“‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.”

~Zechariah 4:6b (NIV).

MINERS tunnelling through earth have found novel and ingenious ways of breaking through all manner of substance, hardness uncontending. We too insist on our own way most of the time, forcing our way through life at break-neck pace with fortitude to match. But, what a trail of damage we can leave!

Forcefulness is generally not the true way of the world—it’s not the best method. At times it’s the only way but these times are rare in short comparison with the gentler undertow of human continuity.

In the above passage, “might” describes the matter we deal with and “power,” the physics with how the might is used. One is the bat, the other the ball’s momentum and velocity as it speeds from the bat. “Together they represent the full extent of human resources which could be deployed to deal with a difficult situation.”[1]

We know in life that the force of telling is so much less persuasive than the power of asking is. When we force things we make them harder, less natural and certainly less enjoyable. The moment we back off, things not only get easier, we become more successful. Lightness aligns with abundance.

It is the Spirit’s power that wins our day; well, at least that is what is being communicated to us in the above. It is only in the Spirit’s power that we realise solid and sustainable gains in anything of worth. And if we couldn’t achieve that, what would otherwise be the point?

We often forget that without God’s will our efforts are in vain (Ps. 127:1). All our efforts, supposedly in alignment with our perception of his will, go to waste if we discern incorrectly.

There is spiritual power in this. The “wind” and “life force” that are both indicated by the Hebrew word for “spirit,” rûah, is mysterious and at times complex—but fundamental to belief and faith—for the invisible is the stuff of the Spirit. It is therefore light, purposeful and welcoming.

We can hence resist the temptation to force things; when they—on first impression—look like the only or most obvious way. We think twice; and with the higher mind.

This charge above from the angel is like “the pinnacle of a mountain standing high above the surrounding territory.”[2] It is a beacon to us. Find your strength in the Lord your God, for God is Spirit (Jn. 4:24), and do not find your strength in the wiles of the things in your hands.

In life we’re to learn how to never to force a single thing.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

[1] John L. Mackay, Haggai, Zechariah & Malachi – God’s Restored People (Fearn, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 1994, 2003), p 113.

[2] Thomas E. McComiskey, Zechariah – The Minor Prophets (Ed. T. E. McComiskey) (Vol. 3) (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 2000), p. 1086.

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