“’Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” – Zechariah 4:6
How often have you felt incapable, out of place, lacking strength or knowledge or wisdom or courage? How often have you felt insecure, and tired? Have you ever felt lost, blank-minded, and empty? Have you ever felt that you had no vision for a particular moment or season of life? Have you ever simply said, “I have nothing, Father.”
It amazes me that despite all my experiences with God, all the times He has come through for me, or others around me, that I can still find myself in this very place – lacking faith, and feeling that the tools He has given me to navigate my daily life are locked away in some dark backwoods shed along with the key to access them. I am dumbfounded by the fact that I can ever think that the God and Creator of the universe is somehow on the opposite end of that universe – too far for me to reach Him, or Him me? I know this not to be true of the God I serve, but yet I still find myself in these places from time to time, often allowing my emotional state, and the knowledge of my own inadequacies, to dictate my actions and suffocate my knowledge of the faithful One. Though I can feel alone in this issue, I am aware that this is actually a corporate struggle within the Church.
Doubt, fear, and all the like, are normal traits of the human spirit, and it does not take much from our surroundings, or from our opposition, to bring these feelings to the forefront of our human constitution. By nature, we are weak, and weak-minded. Even the most powerful among us, the most successful, the seemingly well put-together ones, are just as weak, can be just as insecure, and can find themselves in an emotional cesspool of doubt and lack. It is simply who we are, when left to ourselves.
Alone, however, we are not. The One we can seem so far from, is never out of reach, out of touch, or unwilling and uncaring. In fact, He makes it clear to us, that He is near, and that even in our best of moments we are not in a position to take on the world and circumstances in front of us, without Him. Unless He first moves, and acts, and empowers, we cannot succeed in the ways of true importance. For victory comes “’Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” Even the great Apostle Paul leaned upon this understanding. In his second letter to the Corinthian church, Paul writes in chapter twelve verses nine and ten…
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
In James 4:8 we read, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” As I read this scripture I get the sense that we can go as deep with God as we so desire. The closer we come to Him, the closer He will come to us, and the more of Him we will gain, learn about, and become immersed in. It is in Him we gain our strength, our motivation, our source of life. When we fail to recognize His nearness, and fall into one of these doubt-filled spiritual pits, we simply need to trust, leaning not on our own understanding, but acknowledging Him in all our ways (Proverbs 3:5), remembering that “if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself” (2 Timothy 2:13). In Him, and through Him, we will be removed from that pit, and that not by our own might or by our own power, but by His Spirit. In so doing He will make our paths straight as we move forward beyond that point, remaining in trust of His faithful nearness, and continuously coming close to Him along the way.
In that moment, when His Spirit ignites the wick that was formerly weakened or even snuffed out within, we will again begin to feel capable, in place, strong, knowledgeable, and courageous. We will feel secure and rested. We will be found in His presence, feeling creative in mind and spirit, and becoming full of His life once again. And as He so wills, His Spirit of Revelation will spark a new and fresh vision within us as we face the moments and seasons we are in. For when we are weak, in Him we will be found strong!
Through our trust in His Faithful Spirit, we can break through and once again go deeper and grow stronger.