Wiehann de Klerk
There Is Power Within You
Sometimes, the pain and the suffering of a present affliction is so strong that we forget the power and majesty of our Creator who can do anything in an instant. We forget His power and ability to change our circumstances in a moment, and because we do, we find ourselves trapped and sinking under the affliction of a pain or suffering which can so easily be resolved by His grace and power.
Jesus was very tired, but even though He was tired, He was still able to perform miracles - why? Because, as we read in Zechariah 4:6, it is "not by might nor by power, but by His Spirit.
The challenges we face are not there to break us, or to destroy us, but they are opportunities for us to exercise our faith, to stand up and use the power that God so graciously gave us.
Zechariah 4:6 is classed as one of the great scriptures in the Old Testament and I find it hard to disagree. It is truly captivating and as applicable now as it once was; a depiction of the fact that reliance on God is the only reliance, and that any assets that you might have are in no way an attribute to true success. “By His spirit," and only then is success a possibility. God's power is to be understood as a power that far surpasses any other, a power that is sufficient for the accomplishing of His will, whether that be with or without the aid of other powers, of individual power or combined might that mere men are accustomed to rely upon. It would be, I must say, improper to use this scripture without explaining the vision in which it is portrayed:
Look at the picture to the left, a depiction of the vision itself. What we see here is seven candlesticks as we read in verse 2, "a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it, and seven lamps on it." Each of these candlesticks are supplied with oil which comes from the olive trees on the side, first into the centre golden bowl, then outpoured to each individual candlestick. Without any help of any man, or the help of any team of men, oil is poured in. In the same way, the temple which Zerubbabel must build is not to be built "by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts." The temple is to be built through the Spirit of God, a strength that will enable them to do great works.
With scriptures like this, a lot of times, they are misinterpreted, misunderstood and misquoted leading to confusion amongst His people. Yet, when we think about it, this scripture is a beautiful depiction and actually very clear in its interpretation. Misinterpretation takes place when we focus our attention in every detail within it - sometimes it is best to simply look at the main scope, rather than every particular. The design is plainly declared in words therein, nothing of surprise: The candlesticks are the Church of God, and the oil from the gold bowl is the Holy Spirit; the gold bowl, the Gospel; and the olive trees, which graciously pour out their sacred stores of golden oil, are the outpouring of the Holy Spirit from the anointed ones, in other words, the sons of oil. The sons of oil comes from the Hebrew word for ones, bane (בְנֵֽי־ - ḇə·nê) meaning son, and the Hebrew word for anointed, yitshar (הַיִּצְהָ֑ר - hay·yiṣ·hār) meaning fresh oil which we read about in Zechariah 4:14 – “So he said, “These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth.” Just like Joshua, the high priest; and Zerubbabel, the governor “stand by the Lord of the whole earth,” so you and I, as anointed ones, make the same choice to stand by Him. The Holy Spirit was freely given to you and me, as the sons of God, for us to be the sons of oil, the anointed ones. To be a son of oil is to be a son that is of service to the church which is the people of Christ in the world. This Hebrew word for oil, yitshar, is also found in Jeremiah 31:12, where we read, "their life shall be like a watered garden, and they shall languish no more." We see this same image here, in Zechariah 4 - even if were mistaken by the precise meaning of it, what is clear is that the candlesticks, which resemble the church, are kept alight, not by the power of a man or the might of many, but by the spirit of God, the oil which is conveyed from God through every one of us as He intends to use us according to His divine appointment. We are His appointed instruments, and through us, His Spirit flows to His people, His church. Some read these scriptures too precisely, taking it to mean two specific people, and only those two, however, the main thing conveyed here is the abundance of Christ, the impossibility of God's grace ever failing to preserve His church - He possesses all abundance and it never diminishes.
The oil continues to flow, to replenish us, to ensure that the Church is preserved, safe and continually growing to its highest perfection in Him.
Looking at the earlier reference to the enablement of the Spirit, in Zechariah 4:6, what we see is empowerment of the sons of oil - "So he answered and 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." Zechariah 4 does not exist to speak only of Zerubbabel and Joshua, and their leadership as they restore prosperity to the land, which we read in Zechariah 3:10 - "In that day,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘Everyone will invite his neighbor under his vine and under his fig tree"; it serves to showcase to every one of us the power of the Lord, His ability to do the impossible, and bring things to completion through His servants, which in this case was Zerubbabel and Joshua. The supernatural enablement is what we read about in 2 Corinthians 12:9 - “'My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.' Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me." Any project ordained by God in which He has called His people, whether that be to rebuild the temple, or as Peter was called, to build the church in Matthew 16:18, it will be completed successfully as long as things are done, "‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts."
“My grace is sufficient for you; for my power is being perfected in your weakness" is an incredible depiction of something very important for us to understand about living in the miraculous. You see, without grace, there is no power; the two work interchangeably. It is by God's grace that He empowers us, and; it is only when we delight in our weakness, in other words, we make room for His power rather than our own, that His power is perfected, or at its full manifestation in our lives. To put it plainly, we allow things to be done "not by might, nor by power," but by His spirit. If you want the manifestation of His power in your life, then you have to delight in your weaknesses - to let go of your solutions, thinking, and individual power. In addition, stop depending on your friends and the might (combined strength) of those around you, just depend on God - let God: Let go, let God. Interestingly, the Hebrew word for power in Zechariah 4:6 is koach (כֹּחַ) defined as a small reptile, meaning little strength - the strength of a human or an animal. To the contrary, the Greek word for power in 2 Corinthians 12:9 is dunamis (δύναμις, εως, ἡ) defined as miraculous power, meaning God's strength. I don't know about you, but I would rather depend on power through God's ability than power through my own ability. All we have to do is "delight in our weaknesses" as we read in the scripture that follows, in verse 10 - "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." This may not make any sense in the world we live in, but it makes complete sense in God's world – it’s a choice as to which world we want to live in: The kingdom or the world. In Ephesians 3:16, the word (AMP) says, "May He grant you out of the riches of His glory, to be strengthened and spiritually energized with power through His Spirit in your inner self." The One who is in us, let me tell you, "is greater than the one who is in the world" - 1 John 4:4. The Holy Spirit inside of you is almighty and powerful. Don't depend on your own individual power, but depend greatly on the measure of His fullness; His infinite greatness. "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline " - 2 Timothy 1:7. The word fear in this scripture comes from the Greek word, deilia (δειλία, ας, ἡ) which is used only once in the entire bible and it means, to be a coward, to act in a way that is cowardly and/or to have cold feet. Cold feet toward what? Basically, anything that pertains to the gospel; to be deterred from the work of the ministry, the preaching of the Gospel, or the healing of the sick. This is a spirit that is not of God, and we know this because it is not the spirit that God gave us, for He "gave us a spirit of power." Here, God calls every single one of us to be His people, a people that is not fearful, but instead, fearless; not to be cowards, but, through the goodness of Himself within us, a people that focuses on Him rather than our own sinful nature, operating out of His power rather than our own reptile strength.
Stephen is a great example of someone who operated out of grace and power - he was, as we read in Acts 6:8 (AMP), "full of grace (divine blessing, favor) and power, doing great wonders and signs (attesting miracles) among the people," so too, you and I can do the same, but we must ensure that we do not operate out of a spirit of fear which God did not intend for us to use, but a spirit of power (dunamis) which He so freely gave us. My dear friends, a gift is not meant to be thrown away, it is meant to be used.
There is POWER within you.
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