And the angel who talked with me came again and woke me, like a man who is awakened out of his sleep. And he said to me, “What do you see?” I said, “I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it, and seven lamps on it, with seven lips on each of the lamps that are on the top of it. And there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.” Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.” Then he 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 4:1-3,5-6 ESV
Who do you think is doing the things in your life that matter? Are you still working to be good enough for God? Do you think anything you ever do, can be ‘GOODNUFF’ to get you into the Kingdom of God? The prophet Isaiah told us what OUR WORKS are like to God: We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (Isaiah 64:6) That’s actually cleaned up a bit, because the Hebrew phrase for filthy rags, ukabeged ehdim, literally means, “like as rags of menstruation.” Jesus actually made it very clear, no MAN can be GOODNUFF, because our heart is evil beyond measure. “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone.
Leader, we are told in the book of Romans; as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:10-18) And if you have any doubt about how wicked we are, the old testament prophet Jeremiah puts it in no uncertain terms: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9) This is why there is NO SHARED GLORY! To God be the glory- for He is doing all the work!
Conduit, God is doing all the work! God is changing you; God is allowing you to know Him- it is God doing it all! Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts! For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Great Men and Women of God know that God is doing all the work. Whether you are talking about Moses, Jeremiah, Mary, or Gideon: People used by God for Great things knew that it was GOD doing the work, and they knew they were NOT WORTHY of His Glory! Gideon realized this when he was depressed and wondering how he was going to maneuver through the dilemmas of the day. And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” But then he got it and realized GOD HAD IT- Judges 7:20: “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon!” God IS DOING IT! It is His own work. But we are not to be idle; instrumentality is to be used-“The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon!” If we only cry, “The sword of the Lord!” we shall be guilty of an idle presumption; and if we shout, “The sword of Gideon!” alone, we shall manifest idolatrous reliance on an arm of flesh: we must blend the two in practical harmony, “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon!” We can do nothing of ourselves, but we can do everything by the help of our God; let us, therefore, in His name determine to go out personally and serve with our flaming torch of holy example, and with our trumpet tones of earnest declaration and testimony, and God shall be with us, and Midian shall be put to confusion, and the Lord of hosts shall reign for ever and ever.” (C.H. Spurgeon’s morning devotional)