There are some moments in life that are beyond our control. We waste too much time attempting to combat or change situations that we cannot change. Having the wisdom to know what we can and cannot change is where our energy is best spent.
In the Bible, there is a man by the name of Zechariah. He was a prophet who spoke on God’s behalf to Israel. During his time, Israel was under the rule of the Persian Empire. It was Persian foreign policy to permit local traditions to continue post-invasion, but there is little evidence to support any significant improvement of the Jewish way of life.
The Israelites are outmatched, overpowered, and out of options. The Persian army is too strong. Have circumstances ever made you feel like that? This can be a discouraging and hope-deflating season. There is a time to fight, a time to retreat, and a time to be still.
In Zechariah 4, God brings hope to the people who wonder if this is as good as it will ever be? The day of their freedom and deliverance will come, but it will be the result of divine intervention.
“6 Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.”
This word of encouragement comes with three key truths when you find yourself in a situation beyond your control.
1. “Not by might.” The term “might” is a reference to military power. Israel’s history is filled with mighty military victories. They were fearless against odds that would provoke fear in lesser men. Although experience and past victories may build confidence, it was not the method God was going to use this time.
2. “Nor by power.” The word “power” refers to physical strength and ability. God’s people are facing circumstances where their ingenuity, strength, and ability will not be a part of the solution. The situation is bigger than them. Their involvement would likely worsen the situation and delay God’s deliverance.
3. “By my Spirit.” Deliverance will not come from military prowess, or human ability but by the Holy Spirit. Our inability to rightly discern our circumstances is often the result of not seeing the spiritual battle we face. True freedom is a by-product of the victory provided us by the Holy Spirit.
When our systems and experiences fall short of dealing with our circumstances, step back and allow the Holy Spirit to fight the battle for you in the spiritual realm. If you are doing all that you know to do but still lack joy and peace, it may be time for God to do what He can do, through the Holy Spirit, and secure your victory.