By My Spirit – Pastor Matt Ragain

Posted by on Aug 1, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

For 70 years the Jewish people were held captive in a foreign land. When they were free to return home, they arrived at a pile of rubble that used to be the city of Jerusalem. What was even worse, the temple of God was completely destroyed. God then called upon their ruler Zerubbabel to rebuild the temple as they rebuilt the city.

The people, along with Zerubbabel, were so consumed with survival that they lost interest and even forgot to rebuild God’s temple. We read in the book of Zechariah that an angel gave the prophet—from which the book was named—a vision. In the vision, Zechariah saw a lamp with 7 wicks. The lamp had a large reservoir of oil to feed the wicks. There were also two olive trees: one on the right and one on the left with the lamp in the middle.

Zechariah asked the angel the meaning of the vision. And the angle responded, “not by might, not by power but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty”. In other words, the oil, from which the 7 wicks spring, is the Holy Spirit, and it is the true source for the flame and is never exhaustible. The olive trees make the point that there will be an unending supply of oil to feed the lamp.

What does Zerubbabel and the people need to rebuild the temple? Many things I would say. They would need money and power and the strength, to name a few. But God tells Zechariah no, these things will not accomplish the task. What will accomplish the task? God’s Spirit.

When I think of Immanuel church, we want to build a strong and healthy church. We want to be influential and love our neighbors. The question is, what do we need to accomplish these things? Many things I would say. We need money and programming and a great church experience, to name a few. But God tells us, in the same way he tells Zechariah, no! These things will not accomplish the task. What will accomplish the task? God’s Spirit.

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