By the Power of the Spirit

Have you ever been asked to do something and wondered “how the heck am I going to accomplish this?”  There have been times when I have been charged with a task and certainly have doubted my own ability to carry it out.  

I cannot recall what I needed to do on this particular day at this specific moment, but I had a (maybe not so) random memory. Oddly enough at this moment, the opening to the popular 80’s cartoon He-Man and the Masters of the Universe popped into my head.  

Yes, I am showing my age, lol.  Perhaps if you are from my generation then you too remember the introduction to the cartoon.  It went a little something like this:

“Fabulous secret powers were revealed to me when I held aloft my magic sword and said, by the Power of Greyskull, I have the power.”

When Prince Adam holds the magic sword high and speaks these words, power is transferred to both he and his trusty sidekick cat Cringer (say that 5 times fast).   At his utterance, they both receive great strength.  As they receive the power, Prince Adam inevitably becomes He-Man and Cringer becomes the mighty Battle Cat.   

I find it interesting that this cartoon’s main character was created to use a sword to gain power?   I say interesting because scripture identifies the Word of God as just that.  A sword.  Ephesians 6:17 says…and the sword of the Spirit – which is the Word of God.  

As we learn and understand the Word of God more and more, we find that God is our ultimate and single source of strength.  The Holy Spirit transfers something astounding to us like none other.

As I recalled this childhood memory it immediately brought to my mind Zechariah 4:6.

In the book of Ezra, we learn that Zerubbabel planned to rebuild the temple but because of opposition, it was not immediately completed.   Fast forward and we read about the several visions of the prophet Zechariah in his namesake book.  

This particular passage is from his fifth vision which describes a gold lampstand with a never-ending flow of oil.  When Zechariah asked what the lampstand was, the angel of the Lord replied, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by strength or by might, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord of Armies.”

The message here is that regardless of any obstacles in front of Zerubbabel, the Lord would see to it that the rebuilding of His temple was completed.  Or another way to put it, it would be by the spirit of God and not by mere human ability.  God called Zerubbabel to this assignment and therefore, God would be the source of his strength.

Just like in this biblical story, we too are able to carry out what may seem impossible when God has given us an assignment. When it comes to our abilities, here are two points we should remember.

Strength Comes Through the Holy Spirit

It is God who gives us our strength.  Not sometimes but ALWAYS.  Just like in the vision given to Zechariah, it is important for us to remember that with God as our source of strength it flows from Him to us through His Holy Spirit.  

It may be inconceivable at times how He will help us to bring our assignments to completion but that’s because His ways are lofty (Isaiah 55:8 CSB).  Just like He-Man held his sword aloft, we too must hold our swords, that is the Word of God, up high.  

We must look up to Him and lean on His Word to receive the secret power.  And even when it seems like it, there isn’t a single thing that will stand in our way when God releases His Holy Spirit onto us. (Acts 1:8 CSB)

Our Weakness Exalts God’s Strength

I would be amiss if I didn’t mention weaknesses.  Just as Paul spoke about the thorn in his flesh in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, we all have a thorn or weakness if you will.  

Not a single one of us asks for these thorns yet unfortunately, we all have them.  They hurt, they are annoying, and they likely cause us what one might perceive as an inconvenience.  Yet, verse 10, calls us to remember that because of Christ, when we are weak, we are also strong.  Our weaknesses will prove that we can do nothing without God.  But when we achieve what we have been charged to do He will be exalted.

When the impossible stands before you, remember to hold your Sword aloft and receive the power of the mighty Spirit of God.

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