January 2016 newsletter
By the Spirit of the Lord
This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,”
Says the Lord of hosts. “Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of “‘Grace, grace to it!’” (Zechariah 4:6-7)
In a vision, God shows the prophet Zechariah two olive trees from which oil flows into a bowel, which in turn feeds a golden lampstand. Through seven pipes, the oil flows to the seven lamps of the lampstand. God then explains the vision to the prophet: the oil represents the anointing of God’s Holy Spirit. It is in His power that God’s people need to trust, rather than in their own strength and ability.
Zechariah prophesied to the people of Judah who had returned to Jerusalem from Babylon under the leadership of Zerubbabel in the late 6th century B.C. After 70 years of captivity, they were finally back in their homeland, only to find the city in ruins and the temple of God reduced to rubble. Rebuilding the city and the House of God would prove an almost impossible task. It is in this desperate situation that God speaks to the people and their leader through the mouth of the prophet to encourage them. If they will only depend on His power rather than their own, they will be able to accomplish this seemingly impossible task. God will make the mountain that stands in the way as a plain, and they will be able to complete the building of His House by His grace.
Like the people of Judah at the time, we too face new situations, as we enter into a new year. In 2016, there will be mountains in our way that seem to stop us from moving forward – in our careers, in the work of the church, and – most importantly – in our personal spiritual lives. We have a spiritual enemy who does not want us to progress, and he will do what he can to hold us up and discourage us. In our own strength and ability, we have nothing to overcome the obstacles he puts in our way. If, however, we depend on the power of God’s Spirit, every mountain will have to move out of our way and every purpose that God has called us to will be accomplished. Like Zerubbabel, we will raise the capstone to complete the task that God has set before us. We must only remember, it is not by might nor by power, but by God’s Spirit that we will triumph. Therefore we must constantly place ourselves in the position where we can receive the flow of God’s anointing.
The 1st Century church understood this truth. That is why they waited patiently for that first outpouring of God’s Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Once they had been baptised in the Holy Spirit, they continued to depend on His power as they went and did what God had called them to do: to go and make disciples of all the nations, to baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and to teach them to observe all things that Jesus had commanded them. And as they did so, Jesus kept His promise to be with them “always, even to the end of the age.”
Like every new year, we will begin 2016 with a series of prayer meetings. Let us assemble together and seek God’s anointing so we can overcome – so every mountain will be turned into a plain and every purpose of God for our lives, our families, our church, and our community will be fulfilled