Zechariah 4:1–8

This is the word of the Lordto Zerubbabel: “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty. (Zech. 4:6)

Has God ever asked you to do something that seemed impossible? Perhaps it was a need He repeatedly called to your attention, such as the plight of the homeless in your community or starving children around the world. You knew something needed to be done, but you struggled with the “Who, me?” question. Or maybe you’re someone who sees a need and says, “Why not me?” Confident in your abilities and power to influence others, you’ve set out to do a God-sized job in your own strength only to fail.

Zerubbabel was the governor of Judah in the fifth century before Jesus’ birth. Returning to Jerusalem from exile in Babylon, he faced the formidable task of rebuilding the temple. The remnant of Jews who returned with him no doubt wanted to rebuild the temple, but other priorities and hostile neighbors interfered. Fifteen years later only the foundation of the temple had been laid.

More than likely Zerubbabel was battling discouragement when Zechariah brought the Lord’s message to him. What Zerubbabel had been unable to do in his own strength would be accomplished by the work of God’s Spirit within him.

Just as discouragement and self-doubts may prevent us from accomplishing what God calls us to do, so will self-confidence. What we need instead is God-confidence! It is by His Spirit that the impossible becomes possible.

Acknowledge your need of God’s Spirit to do God’s work.

Marlene Bagnull is a wife, mother, and grammy to three youngsters who live two blocks away.