Not By Might Nor By Power

Sometimes you just know God is talking right to ya. Here’s an excerpt from Chuck Swindoll’s famous title,The Grace Awakening:

This chapter is dedicated to all who are in ministry…I want to ask crucial questions. Is what you’re doing the work of your own flesh energized by your own strength? Are you relying on your charisma to pull it off? Do you often have a hidden agenda? How about your motive? Is the enhancement of your image of major importance to you, or can you honestly say that your work is directed and empowered by the Spirit of God? Is yours a grace-awakening ministry?…

‘This is the word of the Lord saying, “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord of hosts.’ (Zechariah 4:6)

“Might” and “power” intrigue me. They are words that describe human effort, another way of saying the energy of the flesh. They ring a familiar bell in the minds of all ministers, for every one of us has been guilty of doing the work of God in the energy of the flesh. Yet human wisdom and fleshly energy alone will fail. God’s best work is not going to be done by human might or by fleshly power…The work of the flesh will amount to zilch in light of eternity. The glory will belong to the person who made it happen, and the rewards stop there too…

A ministry built by the energy of the flesh looks just like a ministry built by the energy of the Spirit. Externally, I warn you, it looks the same. But internally, spiritually, down deep in the level of motive, you know in your heart God didn’t do it; you did it!

Let me put it to you straight. Restrain yourself from might and power if you are a minister. Deliberately give the Spirit time and room. Consciously hold yourself back from clever ingenuity and reliance on your own charisma. If you don’t, you will live to regret it…

My warning stands:  Anything that does not result in God’s getting the glory ought to be enough to restrain our own might and power so his Spirit can do the job…

What a great word from a great man. Useful council for a person convinced that success in ministry is reached by any other means than the outpouring of God’s grace.


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