Sometimes God still surprises me. You? Does he still surprise you, too?
I’ve been working really hard at a few things lately and seeing small outcomes. Instead of getting upset at the results I’ve been trying to release them into God’s hands. God’s work, God’s plans, God’s outcomes, I tell myself.
Doesn’t that sound really holy of me? Like perhaps I should have my head turned into a marble statue and placed prominently in Christian colleges worldwide?
Don’t worry. It’s 100% less holy than it could be, because I spend equal amounts of time trying to pluck my eyeballs from my face because I’m so frustrated at the lack of results.
In small group we’ve been working through Francis Chan’s study Forgotten God, and these verses in Zechariah were highlighted last week:
Then he said to me, “This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Nothing, not even a mighty mountain, will stand in Zerubbabel’s way; it will become a level plain before him! And when Zerubbabel sets the final stone of the Temple in place, the people will shout: ‘May God bless it! May God bless it!’
Then another message came to me from the Lord: “Zerubbabel is the one who laid the foundation of this Temple, and he will complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has sent me. Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” (Zechariah 4: 6-10, NLT. Click here to read it on bible gateway.com)
I’ve had to sit with this passage for an entire week, just reading it over and over again. Zerubbabel had been given a big assignment, one that required his actual work and involvement.
But it wasn’t his work or strength that was really going to accomplish anything, it was the Spirit. It’s the Spirit that makes mountainous challenges level before us.
Not us, the Spirit.
I’ve asked God to give me peace with the results from my efforts, and I’ve asked him for this countless times. It really is a never-ending battle I’m waging here.
And then today I got an email with an amazing and exciting offer to be part something fun, something far better than the results I could have hoped for. I haven’t had a chance to confirm the details yet, but I do know this– God is working out his own plan and outcomes in his own time.
I’ll let you know the news when I have more information, but I leave you with this encouragement today– It’s not by our force, but by God’s Spirit!
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