Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Do You Lack Courage

Please read Zechariah 4:1-10. During this time period (the above verses) God called two prophets on the scene, Haggai and Zechariah. They came in a time of extreme national discouragement. God has instructed the people to rebuild the Temple. But after 14 years it still lay in ruins. The nations was in a spiritually demoralized state of being. They had lost their heart for God and His work. In this context God said "It's not by might nor by power but by my Spirit saith the Lord of hosts." Note three truths that apply just a well to the times we live in. First, a view of fruitless times. It was a time of drought, spiritually and in the land. During dry times we need to get thirsty for the power of God. I remember hearing an old evangelist say "I would rather be a back alley bookie than a preacher without the power of God." It was a time of discouragement. In the spiritual realm discouragement will bring the drought. It was a time of division. The nation was divided and it was a time of defeat. There had been 14 years of no blessing from the Lord. Second, the writer point out the vanity of fleshly efforts. Might, refers to human resources, strength, ability and wealth. Power, refers to personality, flesh, mental strength. We will never win spiritual battles in the flesh. Third, the victory of the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Our problem is not with the lack of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will do His office work if we would just give Him office space. "If our churches have not the Spirit of God it is better to nail shut the doors and windows and put a black cross over them saying "God have mercy on us." A church in the land without the power of the Spirit of God is more of a curse than a blessing. Charles Spurgeon said "Failure follows on the heals of self confidence." Beware of worshiping the "god of common sense." That is relying on what others say rather than on what God says. A young preacher did a good job on the Sunday morning sermon. As an older believer walked out he complemented the young preacher on the message. The young preacher said "It was Jesus." The older saint said "No, it wasn't, it wasn't that good." The power of the Holy Spirit gives us staying power. Discouragement comes and fellows want to quit. When the things go wrong as they sometimes will, The road your trudging seems all up hill. When the funds are low and the debts are high, You want to smile but you have to sigh. When cares seem to press you down a bit, Rest if you must but don't you quit. Life is clear with its twists and turns, As everyone of us sometimes learns. And many a failure turns about, He might have won had he stuck it out. Don't give up though the pace is slow, You might succeed with another blow. Often the goal is nearer than it seems to a faint and faltering heart. Often the struggler has given up when he might have gained the victors cup, and learned too late when the night slipped down how close he was to the golden crown. Success is failure turned inside out, The silver tint in the clouds of doubt. And you can never tell how close you are, It may be near when it seems so far. So stick to the fight when your hardest hit, When things seem worse you must not quit. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.

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