One of the songs we used to sing at church came from Zechariah 4:6-7. It went, “Not by might. Not by power, but by my spirit sayeth The Lord. This mountain shall be removed by my spirit sayeth The Lord.” I remember wondering what the deeper meaning of that scripture song was. As a child, I didn’t have the capacity to understand it, but I sang it with all of my heart. I had no idea those scripture songs would come back to life in my mind years later.
As I read those verses recently, I started reading them in different translations. An angel was showing Zechariah things in the spirit realm. One of the things he saw was a lamp stand made of gold with a bowl for oil and seven lights with spouts down to the bowl of oil. There were two olive trees on either side of the lamp stand where the bowl was getting its oil from. Zechariah asked the angel what it meant.
In the Message version, the angel replied, “You can’t force these things. They only come about through my Spirit. So, big mountain, who do you think you are? You’re nothing but a molehill.” In my own life, I’ve been known to force things to make them happen. I tell myself, “If things aren’t happening, make them happen.” I pride myself on my determination to get things done. If there’s a brick wall I can’t get over, I do what I can to knock it down. I don’t let it stand in my way. I’m learning that I can’t force things that God wants to do in His timing.
In the Amplified translation, the angel replied, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit of whom the oil is a symbol, says The Lord of Hosts. For who are you, O great mountain of human obstacles? You shall become a plain. A mere molehill.” Here I see that we have to stay plugged in to God’s Spirit. The oil feeds the lamp and keeps it burning. The bowl was connected to the olive trees so it wouldn’t run out. Our connection to God gives us the strength to get past the obstacles in our lives created by ourselves or others. It’s not by anything we do, but only through Him that we will succeed.
In the Good News Bible translation, the angel replied, “You will succeed, not by military might or by your own strength, but by my Spirit. Obstacles as great as mountains will disappear before you.” I like this one because when we face mountains in our lives, we wonder if we will ever get past them. Here, God reminds us that we will be successful and it won’t be dependent on anything we do. It’s through Him that we will be successful. When we realize that, the mountains in our lives will no longer look like mountains because of our perspective. A mountain is tiny in God’s eyes.
Whatever mountain stands in your way today, know that you will be successful in getting past it, but it won’t be because of your own strength. It won’t be because you forced your way through it. You will succeed because you are tapped into God’s Spirit and recognize His strength in your life. When you give up your strength and tactics to accept His, you will see those obstacles in your way disappear and become mere molehills. Trust in God today and get into His Word so you have oil in your lamp to see what He is about to do for you.
1. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. (Psalms 103:3 NLT)
2. He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. (Psalm 107:20 ESV)
3. O LORD, if you heal me, I will be truly healed; if you save me, I will be truly saved. My praises are for you alone! (Jeremiah 17:14 NLT)
4. Everyone tried to touch him, because healing power went out from him, and he healed everyone. (Luke 6:19 NLT)
5. For though he wounds, he also bandages. He strikes, but his hands also heal. (Job 5:18 NLT)
6. Jesus said to her, “Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague.” (Mark 5:34 MSG)
7. He heals the broken-hearted and bandages their wounds. (Psalms 147:3 GNB)
8. If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 AMP)
9. Through the middle of the broadway of the city; also, on either side of the river was the tree of life with its twelve varieties of fruit, yielding each month its fresh crop; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing and the restoration of the nations. [Gen. 2:9.] (Revelation 22:2 AMP)
10. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole. (Isaiah 53:5 AMP)
This is one of two posts in a series by Deb Wolf who blogs at Counting My Blessings. This is her third time appearing here at Christianity 201 and we do appreciate the work she does on her site; the tag line is “Encouraging you with stories of faith, hope and love.” Click the title below to read at source and/or read part two, “Jesus Answer to the Fear of Cross-Carrying.”
There is a verse in the Bible that did anything but give me peace and contentment. I tried to pretend I was obedient, but my heart knew it terrified me.
Then He [Jesus] called the crowd to Him along with His disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. Mark 8:34–35
[Last Wednesday] was Ash Wednesday—the beginning of Lent. For the next six and a half weeks followers of Jesus will fast, pray, and ponder His journey to the cross.
Followers who are called to deny themselves, carry their cross, trust and obey . . . lose their life for Jesus.
I didn’t want to carry my cross. I liked my comfortable safe life. Sure there were some problems and pain, but life—my life, my kid’s lives, my husband’s life, complete trust and obedience . . . what could happen to a life lost to cross carrying.
My doctor and a counselor said I was “high-strung,” anxious.
Lack of Faith
I knew I was a fear-filled worrier. Seriously, I turned worry into an art form. Not surprising. Look around. Have you seen all the truly terrible things that can happen?
I didn’t want to admit it, but I knew it was lack of faith.
But that verse and others like it:
But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.” Acts 9:15–16
For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in His steps. 1 Peter 2:21
If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. Matthew 10:38
Giving Up Fear for Faith
“I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith . . . I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
It’s true. In this world there will be trials and sorrows. Worry doesn’t prevent it. Fear won’t keep it out of reach.
Trials and sorrows did happen, but.
What a small yet important word.
“You will have trials and sorrows. But take heart, because.”
Take heart [don’t lose your faith], because…
I have overcome the world
I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.
Be sure of this: I am with you always.
Through trials and sorrows Jesus was faithful, and because of His faithfulness my faith grew. Faith that was greater than my fear. Faith that was impossible when I focused on my fears, but grew when I kept my eyes on Jesus.
Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Hebrews 12:1–2