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)
Articles here are often a mixture of in-depth Bible study and personal devotions. Sometimes I think we don’t do enough of the latter. Today, we’re again returning to Proverbs 31 Ministries. This time it’s a different writer, Leah DiPascal. Click the title below to read this on their site.
“When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, ‘Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.’ Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.” Luke 13:12-13 (NIV)
She heard His voice but couldn’t see Him clearly. The surrounding crowds had blocked her view.
Bent over at the waist and unable to stand up straight, she strained to get a good glimpse of Him. Then, unexpectedly, He’d called her forward.
I imagine her heart was racing as she slowly shuffled her way to the front of the synagogue.
Why would Jesus single her out of the crowd? Was He going to make a spectacle of her brokenness? Or expose her deepest pain and darkest secrets?
As the crowds around her murmured, each step toward Jesus felt as if she were lugging the weight of the world behind her.
For 18 years, her body had been crippled. Eighteen long, exhausting years.
She certainly had plenty of reasons not to go to the synagogue that Sabbath morning. Why subject herself to the possible harsh stares and hurtful comments? Yet she was there, listening intently to the teachings of Jesus.
She didn’t say a word. She didn’t try to get His attention. She simply stood in His presence, soaking in the life-giving statements that gave her hope in the midst of her hopeless situation.
But Jesus saw her. Jesus had compassion for her. Jesus loved and wanted to heal her. And in one swift statement, those 18 long, exhausting years came to a screeching halt.
“Woman, you are set free from your infirmity” (Luke 13:12b).
With the gentle touch of His hands, warmth flowed through her body, and she suddenly realized she was standing upright. She no longer strained to get a glimpse of Jesus … she now saw Him face to face.
With a burst of joy, bondage gave way to freedom and she exhaled in worshipful praise and adoration to her Lord. Her healer. Her bondage breaker.
Scripture doesn’t tell us her name, but I think we all can relate to this woman in one way or another. Maybe you see a small part of her story that rings true in your own life, connecting you though years separate. Could it be:
- An ailment that physically restricts your body and makes you feel weak?
- A spiritual battle keeping you in bondage to the enemy?
- An unwanted flaw that draws painful attention and hurtful comments from others?
- A heavy heart filled with shattered dreams and stinging emotions?
- A burden you carry, causing you to shuffle through life feeling alone, unwanted or disposable?
Whatever has made your life seem long and exhausting, Jesus can repair it by His powerful presence, His comforting words and His healing touch.
He loves you. He longs to be gracious to you. He rises to show compassion so you can stand upright again.
Assured. Secure. Enveloped in His comforting embrace.
You are never lost in the crowd because you have captivated Jesus’ heart. His gaze is always fixed on you.
He sees your pain. He’s aware of your affliction. He knows your struggles.
Like the woman in the synagogue, come as you are — with all that makes you feel less than. Draw near to Jesus, soak in His life-giving Word and wait expectantly to hear Him speak freedom over your situation:
“Woman, you are set free from your infirmity” (Luke 13:12b). Jesus did it for her … and He can do it for you too!
Lord, I come to You today and lay all my burdens at Your feet. Take the emotional and mental weight I’ve been carrying so that I can stand upright again. Draw near to me. Heal me. Free me. I want to live assured, secure and continuously aware of Your loving embrace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Isaiah 30:18, “The LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” (NIV)
Psalm 145:14, “The LORD supports all who fall, and lifts up all who are bent over.” (NET)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
I would’ve loved to see Jesus miraculously heal that precious woman in the synagogue on that Sabbath day. It’s beautiful how her very first response was to praise God. How do you express gratitude for all God has done in your life? What are some things you can praise Him for today?