Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Ezra 4, 5, 6
Zechariah 4:6-7 (NIV)6 So he [the angel] said to me, “This is the Word of the Lord to Zerubabbel: ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord God Almighty. 7 “What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubabbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’”
Hosea 1:7 (NIV)7 Yet I will show love to the house of Judah; and I will save them – not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses or horsemen, but by the Lord their God.
When I was a little girl, one of my favorite story books was "The Little Engine That Could". I would sit in the rocking chair with my mother, fascinated by the colorful art work of the choo choo train winding its way along the steep and rocky mountain pass, while Mother read the words, “I think I can, I think I can.” That little train had to make a choice right then and there. Would he choose to climb the mountain or slide backwards into the valley? Would he fail trying, or would he not try at all? The determination of that little steam engine made me want to clap my hands every time my hero got to the top! It is always good to clap our hands together when we reach a milestone moment in our life.
Level ground is something we all long for in life. Milestone moments become pure joy as we stand on dry ground, feeling the wind whip across our face. We made it through! We’ve reached the top! I will never ever forget the day we spent driving up a steep rocky mountain pass in our family’s station wagon. When we reached the top, we could see for miles and miles around us, as we gazed at the beautiful valleys below. Coming down that mountain was a break-burning adventure. We said our prayers and hoped the car would make it to the bottom safely. Thank goodness for full service filling stations. Our poor Spaulding mobile needed some fresh oil, a new set of tires, and break pads after that little trip. It was worth it all; the view from the top was spectacular.
The Israelites were doing everything within their power to erect the temple of God. It was definitely an uphill climb. They had received their freedom and the tools needed to rebuild a holy place of worship; yet, they were fighting fatigue and depression. The people needed someone to encourage them to continue moving forward. The power to complete the job would not come from their own strength or sheer determination. No, the success would come when the people placed total reliance upon the Spirit of the Lord. He alone would carve out level ground where the capstone would one day be placed.
It is good to catch a vision and purpose for your life’s work. It is awesome when we pursue our purpose with passion. We must never forget to hand our hopes and dreams to the Lord, who is the author and finisher of our faith. He can take the desires He has planted in our hearts and bring them to fruition, when we recognize that it is only by Him that we can reach others with the Gospel message.
This morning, my prayer is that we will all fall on our knees, asking the Lord of life to carve out level ground where He can place the capstone for the future ministries of our churches. If we will place our faith in Him, He will make a way for us to reach the world for Jesus Christ.
Like the little engine that could, I think I can, I think I can, I know I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me.
Grace and peace,
Pray for: level ground! It is not by our own steam that we can reach the mountain top. We need the Holy Spirit power to create level ground for the capstone. Jesus is the foundation of our faith. Let us lift Him high in worship and praise today!
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