Saturday, October 31, 2015

EmmDev 2015-10-31 [Month of Mission 2015] We need power from on high

We need power from on high

Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit      (Zechariah4:6)
The historical background to this Old Testament passage is that the Israelites had returned from exile in Babylon. They were a defeated and broken people and it fell upon the king Zerubbabel and the high priest Joshua to rebuild the temple. This was a task that was deemed impossible: The people were demotivated, the city was in ruins, and the skilled artisans had remained in Babylon.

God gave Zechariah a vision and a promise that the task could be completed, but it required a change of mindset: they had to put their trust in the powerful working of the Spirit and not in human strength and effort.

The vision: A lampstand with seven wicks, each of the wicks with its own channel to the bowl of olive oil and either side of the bowl were two olive trees.

The implication: The olive trees would supply the bowl endlessly, and perfect light (seven implies perfection) would come from this lamp.

The application: Zerubbabel may not look like much, but he will be endlessly supplied by the Holy Spirit. Our own strength fades and our best efforts end in the sputtering flame of our limited endurance, but we can have the strength to press on and endure when God's Spirit keeps us going.

The vision has no rush in it, the trees stand firmly, the oil seeps into the channels and the lamps keep burning. When we stay in communion with God, His Spirit will fuel our work for Him.

It's not by OUR might, not by OUR strength, but by HIS Spirit!

There comes a time when we have to admit our inability to manage a task on our own. It is then that we must rely on God's help to accomplish the work He has given us to do. We must be clear here: God does not give us the power of His Spirit for us to accomplish tasks that we want to achieve. He gives us the energising power of His Spirit to help us achieve the things He has called us to.

Paul reminded the Ephesians that the power of the Holy Spirit working in them was the same power (Greek word dunamis which is where we get dynamite, dynamic, and dynamo from) that raised Jesus from the dead.

If we identify something God wants us to do and we choose not to put our faith in our own schemes and plans, then we can expect that God will do even more than we can ask or imagine.

The famous missionary Hudson Taylor said: God's work, done God's way, will not lack God's supply.
We hope that you have enjoyed this series of devotions for the UPCSA month of mission. A very very big "Thank You" to Jackie Barker, Ruth Armstrong, Lungile Mpetsheni, Mukondi Ramulondi, Robert Munthali, Alan Cameron, Chris Makandawire, Brian Smith, Jacob Manda, Chris Judelsohn, Armando Sontange, George Marchinkowski, Matorofa Mutangonavo, Lydia Neshangwe, Brent Russell, Sibusiso Zungu, Andries Combrink, Paul Neshangwe, Jerry Pillay, Melanie Cook, Eddie Germiquet, Jane Nyirongo, Micah Nthali, Jeremy Smith, and James Gray who all wrote devs for us.

If you would like to continue receiving these kind of devotions Tue-Fri during school terms you can subscribe at

Soli Deo Gloria!

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