Events in my life lately involves a lot of spring-cleaning, weeding out, letting go and paving the way for the rebuilding and restoring to happen. While all these are happening, we are also constantly embattled with a lot of challenges – in health, relationships and resources. Mine is not an isolated case – this seemingly uphill climb was also experienced by Zechariah, in the days of the old, who was tasked by the Lord to speak life to the people who seemed to have lost hope and are in despair when the Temple lies in ruins.
Times when we are about to do something BIG, God does these two wonderful things so we can focus on the task at hand:
- CLEANSING – The enemy will try with all of its might to feed lies and accusations – “you’re not good enough for the job”; “you’ve messed up before” ; “are you even worthy for it?” these are just some of the lines that linger in our minds. The devil is an expert in bringing up the past. My daughter shared this to me “ A simple proverb- When the devil reminds you of your past, turn around and remind him of his future.” (which is eternal damnation!) . Before the work is about to begin, the enemy can speak a lot of lies to us, that is why the Lord rejects his accusations so there will be no hindrance to the work. We are like a burning stick snatched by fire! (Zechariah 3:2) Cleansing happens so that we work on in a brand new, snowy white, clean slate. Just like what the Lord did to Joshua in this specific chapter (Zechariah 3), God gives us new clothes to replace filthy ones – a new spiritual covering to replace the trash. God puts on a new turban on our heads – He gives us a new mind so we keep on transforming the way that we think and not conform according to the pattern of this world. (Romans 12:2). We can then walk in and out of His presence – the earth given to us as His dominion! How empowering is that?
2. FILLING – when we see the magnitude of the work, we instantly feel incapable, weak and insufficient. But the Lord assured us that His power will be displayed through:
* His spirit – not by force, nor by strength! (Zech 4:6) Our strength may be zapped given our mortality. Our abilities and knowledge are limited, but His spirit is the one that refreshes us so that we fully rely on Him and depend on Him alone.
* His commands – “Nothing, not even a high mountain will stand in the way, it will flatten before us!” (Zech 4:7) He can’t only move a mountain from here to there (Matt 17:20), but can flatten it! So it never becomes an ‘uphill climb’ with all our troubles, we just continue to walk in the “flattened obstacles” of our spiritual highways and begin to see these mountains through the eyes of faith.
* His certainty – He is sure that the work will be completed. When Zerubbabel was appointed to lay the foundation of the temple, God said, he will complete it. It was with certainty that He said it. We might get discouraged with our work’s progress, we fell short of our own expectations, outside circumstances may hinder us from continuing what we have started, we want out – but we do not give up. “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” (Zech 4:10) . Those small things count. And we are confident that He who has begun a good work in us will bring us to the end.