Zechariah 4:6 - Mans Flicker or Gods Flame?

Zechariah 4:6: Mans Flicker or Gods Flame?

Zechariah 4:6 (NIV) Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, 
says the Lord Almighty.  


This fifth vision teaches dependence on Gods Spirit, the 
resource who enables us to live holy lives while we await the Promised 
Ones appearance. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary] 

The verse remains one of the most challenging, and encouraging, 
in Scripture. We rely not on our own strength or ability, but on 
the Spirit of God. [Victor Bible Readers Companion] 


The prophet reiterates a fundamental spiritual truth: we do not 
serve God in our own strength nor by our own righteousness, but in the 
power of the Holy Spirit (4:6). [Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry 
and Richard Blackaby re Zec. 1:3] 

Mans weakness is no obstacle; because God's might will 
perfect strength out of weakness. "Might" and "power" express human 
strength of every, description, or "might" is the strength of many 
combined. (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary) 


   What a tremendous truth: God's great power is at work on our 
behalf"the same power that created the universe and raised Jesus from the 
dead. Here are some things to remember: (1) God is on your side, ready 
to help you meet each and every obstacle. (2) God's power is never 
stagnant or out of commission"it is always actively working on your 
behalf. (3) God is always fighting against the forces of evil on your 
behalf"no human strength or spiritual power from the evil world (not even 
Satan himself) can deter or change God's power at work on your 
   When you truly grasp this truth, you begin to understand the 
strength that you have. The power that set the galaxies spinning, that 
holds the earth in place, that calmed the seas, that turned water into 
wine"that power is in your life. Why would we go through life trying to do 
things in our own strength? And yet, so many of us fall into that very 
temptation. Be different. Thank God for his power at work in your life and 
on your behalf. Rely on him instead of yourself. [The One Year 
Bible for New Believers re Eph.1:19, 20] 



   Moses' list of accomplishments runs long. His rsum is 
prestigious. Yet when Moses met God face-to-face, he was full of insecurity, 
replete with excuses. God called Moses to lead the nation of Israel out 
of captivity and into a brand-new life, but Moses was slow to 
embrace the call. He was afraid he didn't measure up to the task. Among 
his excuses was the limitation of his own skill set: "O Lord, I'm 
not very good with words. I never have been, and I'm not now, even 
though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get 
tangled" (Exodus 4:10). He even went so far as to plead, "Lord, please! 
Send anyone else" (Exodus 4:13). 
   God met each of Moses' excuses with reassurance, not in who 
Moses was, but in who God is. Moses' abilities were never the issue; 
God had planned to work through Moses all along. 
   Since Moses is credited with the authorship of the beginnings 
of Scripture, he didn't have the advantage of reading back through 
the stories and the teachings of the faith. Centuries later, 
however, one of his descendants, the prophet Zechariah, captured the 
essence of Moses' life. It was not by Moses' strength but by God's 
spirit that the people were led out of Egypt. 
   God does not call all of us to national leadership, but he 
does call each of us to something. We can respond with excuses. We 
can remind him of our frailties. But it's his Spirit in our lives 
who wins the victory. Our confidence belongs in him alone. 
   Moses, son of Amram and Jochebed and brother of Aaron and 
Miriam, was the national leader of the Israelites. His story is told in 
the books of Exodus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. [The One Year Bible 
Live Verse Devotional] 


   In 1999, I preached in Addis Ababa, the capital city of 
Ethiopia, to the largest crowds I'd ever spoken to"approximately three 
hundred thousand people in four days. I woke up the third day to 
discover that my voice was gone. I was shattered. I cried to the Lord, 
"Why have you allowed this to happen? I thought you called me to this 
work. You've given me a race to finish, and now I can't even run!" 
I'll never forget what I heard in my heart that day. God's Spirit 
seemed to say, In my Kingdom, this is how you run as a champion. Not by 
your abilities. Not by your oratory skills. Not by your power. You 
must run the race by my power. I broke down and asked God to forgive 
   That afternoon, even though I barely squeaked out my message, 
thousands came to Christ. What a lesson! God's power doesn't come through 
our efforts, abilities, or skills. It comes only through prayer. The 
men and women God uses are those who have learned to build their 
lives and ministries on the power of prayer. God used Charles Spurgeon 
because there were men praying under his pulpit"literally. D. L. 
Moody's ministry was influenced by a prayer meeting at a YMCA. George 
Whitefield was seen returning from the fields after having prayed all 
night. Zechariah, the prophet of God, heard the Lord speaking and 
wrote, "Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit." It is God's 
Spirit that releases God's power. And God's Spirit descends when God's 
people pray. There's much talk about God's power today. But his 
greatest power is released only to the heart that has learned to tarry in 
his presence. As the old saying goes, "Much prayer, much power. 
Little prayer, little power." Which do you have? 
   Sammy Tippit is an international evangelist, author, and 
early leader of the Jesus movement. He has preached to millions of 
people in more than seventy countries and is the director of Sammy 
Tippit Ministries. [The One Year Bible Live Verse Devotional] 


   I've been a "striver" all my life.
   "How do you manage to accomplish so much?" people sometimes 
   I work hard, I tell them. I'm focused. I expect great results.
   But sometimes the results we work for don't come. After 
fourteen years of up-and-down marriage, I found the hoped-for results of 
my efforts slipping away. I tried to communicate. I tried to be 
silent. I tried to be more submissive"and then to be a more equal 
partner. I tried counseling, prayer, research, worry. I wasn't perfect as 
a wife or in my methods, but I did try everything I could think 
of"except surrender. 
   By that I don't mean surrendering hope; I mean surrendering 
the results to God. It is the one lesson that returns to me over and 
over"and the one I tend most to forget. 
   "Quit striving," a good friend finally told me. "Pray, and 
surrender the situation." 
   These are the hardest things for me to do"and they 
certainly were back then. But I did, truly. Relinquishing my control 
didn't keep my husband with me, but it did grant me the peace of 
releasing the results to a God who has since blessed me abundantly. 
   Tosca M. Lee, former Mrs. Nebraska in 1996 and first 
runner-up to Mrs. United States in 1998, is an author, an international 
speaker, and a leadership consultant for The Gallup Organization. [The 
One Year Bible Live Verse Devotional re v. 6] 


   Your greatest obstacle in fulfilling God's purposes in your 
life is the skills you have acquired to perform well in your business 
life. One of the great paradoxes in Scripture relates to our need to 
depend on the Lord; yet at the same time, we're instructed to use the 
talents and abilities God gives us to accomplish the work He gives us to 
do. It has been one of the most difficult principles to live out. 
How do we know that what we achieve is by the power of the Holy 
Spirit in our life versus our own abilities, and is there a difference? 
When we reach a level of excellence and performance in our fields, it 
actually becomes an obstacle to seeing God's power manifest in our work. 
What we naturally do well becomes the object of our trust. When this 
happens, God retreats. You see, God allows us to develop skills, but 
these must be continually yielded to God's Spirit. There will be times 
when God will use these skills to accomplish His purposes. There will 
be other times that God will not use any of our skills just to 
ensure that we know it is by His power that we can do anything.  
   It is the oxymoron of all oxymorons for Christian 
business-people. Learning not to act until God shows you to act is a sign of 
maturity in God. "Do not lean on the natural skill which you have been 
given. Let God manifest Himself in what you are doing," said a mentor 
who has learned this balance of skill and walking with God. "You 
must almost restrain from doing those things you know you are prone 
to do and actually go against them."  
   I was learning this lesson recently when I was asked to 
participate in a large event that would give great exposure and much needed 
financial increase to my ministry. It made all the sense in the world to 
participate. Then I prayed with a friend and asked the Lord His mind on it. 
The Lord showed us this was not His plan for me. I declined the 
   Ask God to teach you what it means to walk according to the 
power of the Holy Spirit in your business life. Develop a listening 
ear to the small voice inside that wants to direct your efforts by 
His Spirit. [Today God is First by Os Hillman] 


   John Ortberg contends that if we want to grow toward a 
healthier, more vibrant spiritual life, we must be well aware of the 
limitations of willpower  
   To illustrate, he sketches a scene from the children's book 
Frog and Toad Together, in which Frog bakes cookies. "We ought to 
stop eating," the two say as they keep eating. They discuss their 
need for willpower and ways to help it along by putting the cookies 
elsewhere, but they don't stop eating.  
   Frog finally dumps the cookies on the ground for the birds. 
"Now we have no more cookies," says Toad. Frog replies that now they 
have lots and lots of willpower, but Toad counters that he is going 
home to bake a cake.  
   If not through willpower, how should we engage in what some 
people call "spiritual transformation"? Ortberg suggests that there's a 
big difference between trying and training. He quotes Paul's advice 
to Timothy to train himself in godliness. Paul also wrote to the 
church at Corinth, "Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict 
training (1 Corinthians 9:25, NIV, emphasis added).  
   Rich resources on spiritual formation abound. Are we ready to 
approach spiritual training as Paul urged, with the intensity of an 
Olympic athlete?  
   Ortberg emphasizes that this is not a guilt-inducing, 
burdensome challenge, but a golden opportunity to get beyond willpower and 
invite the Holy Spirit to deepen and strengthen us. In Ortberg's 
vulnerable, highly readable prose, he makes spiritual disciplines come 
alive, and it's instructive that he starts with celebration before 
exploring prayer, confession, following the Spirit, and studying the 
   The spiritual disciplines and tools used will differ from 
person to person and season to season, but training in godliness makes 
continuous growth possible.  
   Lord Jesus, I've found it true that my willpower takes me 
only so far. Your Word tells me that I need to rely on your strength 
and determination. Here I am. Cleanse and empower me now to live in 
your joy and grace. [The One Year Book of Encouragement by Harold 


   God called Zerubbabel to do an important job, namely, finish 
rebuilding the Jerusalem temple. A group of Israelites had been released 
from captivity to return home to accomplish the monumental task. But 
when they ran into some opposition, they abandoned the project. For 
fifteen years the work came to a standstill. 
   Do you ever wonder how people serving the living God could 
become so discouraged or distracted that they would throw in the towel 
and walk away? In most cases, it seems to make little sense. Sure, 
there are pressures. But anybody with responsibility is going to face 
some pressure. 
   I believe there is a common denominator. Many of Gods 
servants dont do Gods work in Gods way. Consequently, they are 
doomed to failure from the outset. 
   God knew that Zerubbabel and his team, like their 
predecessors, would face opposition. To prepare them for what lay ahead, He 
encouraged them through the prophet Zechariah: This is the word of the 
LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might nor by power, but by My 
Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. Who are you, O great mountain? Before 
Zerubbabel you will become a plain; and he will bring forth the top stone 
with shouts of Grace, grace to it!   (Zech. 4:6, 7). 
   This was Gods way of saying to Zerubbabel, The work can 
be completed. There are no immovable obstacles, when you do things 
My way and by My Spirit. And when its finished, there will be a 
big celebration. 
   There are two ways to approach Gods work. First, you can 
do it in the flesh. Doing Gods work in the flesh boils down to 
depending on influence, personality, gifts, natural resources, education, 
and experience. Or second, you can carry it out under the direction 
of and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Thats Gods way. 
   When we do Gods work in Gods way, it will bear the 
unmistakable mark of the Holy Spirit. There will be something inexplicable 
about it. People will know that what has happened can never be 
repeated simply by bringing the right components together. The whole is 
divinely greater than the sum of the parts. 
   All of us who know the Lord"homemakers, bankers, mechanics, 
assembly line workers, construction workers"are involved in Gods 
work. We are all a part of what He is doing. And we all need to do 
Gods work in Gods way. [Life Principles SB By Charles Stanley re 
vv. 6, 7] 


   We will not succeed by sheer effort, but by the strength of 
the Holy Spirit. God's power is made perfect in our weakness (2 
Corinthians 12:9). He wants us to rely solely on the power he provides, the 
same power by which he raised Jesus Christ from the dead. That 
death-defying power is available daily. God wants to give us lives full of 
energy and momentum as we plug into his power source. 
   When we face an uphill battle, we must yield our hearts and 
minds to the sustaining grace of a loving God. And at those moments 
when his power seems to elude us and his grace seems far away, we 
seize the opportunity to practice patience and cling to the promises 
in his Word. The psalmist cries out to God, "I lie in the dust; 
revive me by your word" (Psalm 119:25 NLT). He doesn't pretend to lead 
a self-sufficient life. He completely surrenders and depends on 
   When we run to God, he gives the power of his Holy Spirit so 
we may accomplish his will. [The Daniel Plan 365-Day Devotional] 


   I am the Creator of heaven and earth: Lord of all that is and 
all that will ever be. Although I am unimaginably vast, I choose to 
dwell within you, permeating you with My Presence. Only in the spirit 
realm could Someone so infinitely great live within someone so very 
small. Be awed by the Power and the Glory of My Spirit within you!  
   Though the Holy Spirit is infinite, He deigns to be your 
Helper. He is always ready to offer assistance; all you need to do is 
ask. When the path before you looks easy and straightforward, you may 
be tempted to go it alone instead of relying on Me. This is when 
you are in the greatest danger of stumbling. Ask My Spirit to help 
you as you go each step of the way. Never neglect this glorious 
Source of strength within you. (John 14:16, 17; 16:7; Zec. 4:6) [Jesus 
Calling by Sarah Young] 


As activity increases, and men become successful in doing any 
work for God, there is danger of trusting to human plans and methods. 
 There is a tendency to pray less, and to have less faith. Like 
the disciples, we are in danger of losing sight of our dependence on 
God, and seeking to make a saviour of our activity. We need to look 
constantly to Jesus, realizing that it is His power which does the work. 


Most Important Decision in Life: 

Seeking God Made Real: http://vimeo.com/31489782

Prayer Made Real: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc8VdMV26VE


Restoring The Power by John Bradshaw: 

Glow Tract Video Bible Studies: http://www.bibleresearch.info/

ABible.com: http://www.aBible.com