Weekly Devotionals – 29 May 2023

Zechariah 4 records prophetic messages that were given to encourage Zerubbabel and the exiles who had returned from captivity.  These messages stated that God would help them to finish the rebuilding of the Temple, despite the mountain of problems they faced:

•   They had barely started work and laid the foundation (Ezra 3-4), when strong opposition led to a decree from King Artaxerxes to stop work, forcing them to abort the project.
•   This ban was still in force when they started work again and was used to intimidate them (Ezra 5).
•   They had experienced recent crop failures and economic problems, and did not have the resources to complete the project (Haggai 2:7-8, 16-19).

These problems must have weighed like a mighty mountain on Zerubbabel (Zechariah 4:7).

God assured Zerubbabel that the completion of the Temple did not depend on whether he had military might, political power, or financial resources.  It depended on His Spirit!

Zerubbabel knew it was not military might that brought his ancestors out of Egypt. It was God’s Spirit working through the ten plagues. It was also His Spirit, that parted the Red Sea, that enabled them to cross over. Zerubbabel knew King Cyrus was not arm-twisted by military might or power in letting the exiles return. It was God’s Spirit that moved his heart to send them back to Jerusalem. Likewise now, though few in number and weak in strength, God would help them to finish rebuilding the Temple. And true to God’s promise, He helped them to complete the Temple despite all the problems they faced, not by might nor by power but by His Spirit!

Has God asked you to perform a seemingly impossible task? You also realize that you do not have the resources, wisdom, strategies, and plans needed to help you succeed. Don’t despair! Instead, rely on God’s Spirit and His power! 

How do we rely on His power? Through prayer! Instead of wasting energy being anxious, worried, discouraged, or depressed, use that energy to pray. If you can worry, then you can pray! It’s the same mental process, except that worry is directed at oneself but prayer is directed at God! Don’t pray cursorily; pray persistently and earnestly. Then you’ll not only be committing your worries to God, you’ll be inviting Him to intervene on your behalf. Pray throughout the day, as often as you feel anxious, whenever you’re conscious of your problems and whenever you are in need of help. Relying on the Spirit also means that if He prompts you to do something, you will do it believing He has heard your prayers and will be with you, work with you, and help you. 

Are you facing difficult circumstances, feeling helpless and powerless to do what He has called you to do? Don’t focus on your lack of power; focus on the Spirit’s power. Pray for His power to be manifest in your situation. ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit.’ 

Monday: Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Tuesday: Psalm 46:1-2
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way  and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
Wednesday: Psalm 121:1-2
I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?  2 My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Thursday: Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Friday: Jeremiah 32:17
“Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you. 
Saturday: Matthew 17:20
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Sunday: Hebrews 12:2
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 


All scriptures are quoted from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise stated.

By Pastor Yong Tai Tong