HERE. WE. GO! The top 3. It is normally at this point at CVM events we would throw in a ridiculous curve ball to create anarchy. I won’t’ do that here…..ok, here is what I wanted to use.
‘As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.’ Proverbs 26:11.
(I was also going to Songs of Solomon, but thought I had better leave it there.)
03. Then he said to me, “This is what the LORD says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. Zechariah 4:6
Old Testament this time and a word of great encouragement spoken to a bloke called Zerubbabel. He was tasked with rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem after a group of Israelites captives had started to make a return from Babylonia.
Zerubbabel was greatly discouraged, disheartened and struggling against the scale of the task at hand and how it would be accomplished. It was in this moment of despair that he gets an amazing word from God.
What has this got to do with us today thousands of years on?
I think there is a tendency for us fellas to get ourselves stuck in lots of different situations in life, mistakes or challenges that take us into deeper water than we expected to be in. When we are in these places we tend to do a few things, use all the effort, fight and energy we can to sort it out, then when that runs dry, we pray and surrender it to God.
I have done this so many times in my own life, wrestled with stuff and ended up exhausted, disheartened and frustrated. It is always at this point I stop and surrender, pray and invite the Holy Spirit to get involved. What I have seen in this pattern is that when I realise this fight isn’t won by my own strength, power and force, but by a move and work of the Holy Spirit, the battle changes, for the best.
On one occasion, I was speaking at a men’s event, turned up and the bloke I was chatting to said ‘oh yeah, heard you speak before, love your jokes and the accent, brilliant.’ Whilst it was a kind compliment, it troubled me. I wasn’t seeing anyone come to faith when I was speaking, just blokes laughing at the jokes. I realised that whilst the gags are funny, really funny, I wanted more than that, not by power, force or jokes, but by the spirit!
This changed things for me, one of the first things I do now is yield to the Holy Spirit, then start to move and work. Yield first, invite the Holy Spirit to direct and speak and then we move.