Bible Verse: "This is the word of the Lord. . . Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord Almighty." (Zechariah 4:6).
Zerubabbel was in charge of building the temple of God. It was slow going. There were many obstacles, even enemies who did not want the temple rebuilt. Then there was the apathy of the workmen. It was God's work, but it was being done in the energy of the flesh. You are working for God, right? But does God own your work?
Watchman Nee says it is a matter of God identifying with your purpose and goals. Work that is not born of the Spirit and done in the power of the Spirit, must be a work done in the flesh. Much so called Christian work is done for the satisfaction of the flesh. It is exciting, or rewarding or done to garner the applause of others.
Effective Christian work is conceived and born of God. The work is not my plan but His. He not only plans the house, He is the builder of the house. And He is gracious to use my hands to craft it from the very best of materials - gold, silver, precious stones.
Remember the man who built his house on the sand? Or another who built his house of wood, hay and stubble (1 Cor 3:10-15). God was not involved; it was not God's project.
When the time of testing came, fires of persecution or discouragement ate up the house. The builder escaped with his life, but he had nothing to show for the life spent.
I must know God's will in what I am attempting to do. I must wait on Him for His plan of action. I must trust Him for the resources and the time table. And I must see that all glory for any work done goes to Him alone. Very often, I feel too weak to do anything.
Whether we are asked to speak, to present a project or to support a cause, we must seek God direction and His power. Paul said, "When I feel weakest, then I am made strong." Billy Graham said the same. When he stands up to speak to vast arenas full of people, he said he feels weak and totally inadequate for the task. Without His power operating in and through us, our efforts will produce but dust and ashes.
It is good that the Holy Spirit reminds us, in the words of Jesus, "Apart from Me you can do nothing." (John 15:5). But after that He must get the glory. Any garland that men place on our heads, we lay at His feet. Much is done for show. People pay to go to "a parade of homes," but how many show up when a Christian Mission advertises an "open house." That is dull fare and few show any interest.
It is to "the Father's glory that you bear much fruit." Everything you do, everything I do, must be to the Father's glory. Men might not recognize your work of God, but what matter. They may consider your methods old-fashioned and ineffective, but they are not the Judge. Better that we ask Him to judge our work now, to show us our failings while we yet have time for Him to recreate in us the dimensions that are missing.
As we build for God, He builds in us. Peter told the believers of his day, "add to your faith goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. . .' (2 Peter 1:5). They could not build any of these into their characters. God would do this for them as they opened their lives to the work of His Spirit. If you concern yourself with these, and ask God to grow them in you, "they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of ou r Lord Jesus Christ. "