Let God Help You Finish What You Started

Let God Help You Finish What You Started November 3, 2013

Let God Help You Finish What You Started

Let God Help You Finish What You Started

Let God Help You Finish is a sermon from Zechariah 4:1-14 on how can help you when you want to give up, and helps you with establishing a vision.

God’s work will be accomplished by God’s Spirit (4:1-6)

So he answered me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by strength or by might, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of Hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6, HCSB)

God works through His Holy Spirit. In order for the work to be done, He uses the power which comes from the Holy Spirit. His servants submit to the Spirit if they want to be used by God.

Think of all of the Old Testament saints who were used by God. They all submitted to the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives to commit to and finish the task or ministry they were given.

Samson was full of the Spirit.

Saul was full of the Spirit and he prophesied.

Samuel was full of the Spirit when he judged Israel.

Elijah submitted to the Spirit to do his work.

Jesus submitted to the Spirit when He was tempted, in order to overcome the temptation.

Human effort without the supply of the “oil” of the Holy Spirit would burn itself out. What the golden olive oil was to the seven fluted oil lamps the Spirit of God is to all aspects of any work done in His name; God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s provision and power. Those who resist this principle will learn the hard way that they will be powerless to do God’s work.

You and I have to submit to the Holy Spirit if we are going to get any of God’s work done. Yes, there is a place for mission, vision, strategy and structure. However, the ultimate work of God will only be accomplished by each of one of us submitting ourselves to the Spirit.

So what do I submit?

You need to submit your selfishness.

You need to submit your __________.

What is it that you need to submit to the Holy Spirit to get what He wants you to do done?

This leads us to the next important principle of God’s work in our lives: the idea that God’s grace starts and finishes the work in us.

God’s work must not be despised because of its small beginnings (4:7-10)

‘What are you, great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain. And he will bring out the capstone accompanied by shouts of: Grace, grace to it!’ ”” (Zechariah 4:7, HCSB)

The work of God is done through the Spirit, but it is accomplished by the grace of God.

Grace works in our lives:

For the grace of God has appeared with salvation for all people, instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age,” (Titus 2:11–12, HCSB)

For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8–9, HCSB)

God uses His grace to give us gifts which we can use to accomplish God’s work.

When the temple was destroyed, the rubble looked like a mountain. It was an enormous amount of dirt and brick which had to be picked up and rebuilt. This looked like an impossible task. However, God told Zerubbabel that God was use him to get it done. God’s grace would be with him and help him accomplish the task. The same is true with you and me. God through His grace will give you a vision about how to accomplish what He wants through you.

God gave Zerubbabel the grace which he needed for the vision which God provided for Zerubbabel and Israel to finish the temple. First, he let him finish the job that God helped him start.

“Zerubbabel’s hands have laid the foundation of this house, and his hands will complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of Hosts has sent me to you.” (Zechariah 4:9, HCSB)

The foundation mentioned in (4:9) must be the capstone and not the true foundation because that had already been laid:

They set up the altar on its foundation and offered burnt offerings for the morning and evening on it to the Lord even though they feared the surrounding peoples.” (Ezra 3:3, HCSB)

‘What are you, great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain. And he will bring out the capstone accompanied by shouts of: Grace, grace to it!’ ”” (Zechariah 4:7, HCSB)

So the project Zerubabbel was leading was a finishing project – he was called to set the capstone of the temple.

For who scorns the day of small things? These seven eyes of the Lord, which scan throughout the whole earth, will rejoice when they see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”” (Zechariah 4:10, HCSB)

To reinforce this completion – the Bible talks about the seven eyes of the Lord. Seven is a number of completion. The idea here is that God will be with them as they complete the project. The people will rejoice as the project is completed. The plumb line is not the same plumb line for measurement. This plumb line is used for a stone of separation or stone to finish the job.

How did that look like? What was the process of the vision which God gave Zerubabbel and which He gives to all of us?

THE PROCESS OF A VISION

1. Birth

He gives somebody and idea. He helps them start the vision and He helps the visionary to collect a group of people who support that vision. This is when the visionary reveals the inspiration and passion to get this idea off the ground.

2. Foundation

Foundation is when you build and invest in the vision. You spend time getting what you need to get the vision accomplish.

3. Death

In order for a vision or dream to be fulfilled, at some point it has to die. This is a period of waiting on God to show us what we have not yet seen. You still spend time investing, in praying, and seeking God’s direction.

However, at some point, you don’t yet see how it is going to end. In the context of this this verse, the temple had been built. However, it had been misused and as a result of a civil war, and later an invasion, because of the disobedience of God’s people, the temple was now in ruins. There was a death. God was still going to use the temple, and more importantly the people, but there had to be a death first.

The same is true with you. If you not a Christian, you have to die to sin and you have to follow Christ. If you are a Christian, something has to die in order for God to use you. It may be part of the old self still trying to tempt you. It may be something which you are holding onto, which God says to let go.  I don’t know what it is. But something has got to  die.

In the context of a church, some things have to die in order to reach new people. Yes we have seen some baptisms, but some things still have to die in order to reach a new generation. Some attitudes which are barriers have to die.

For a dream to be fulfilled, it first has to die. In order to let God do what He wants, sometimes things have to die. Why does something have to die in order for it to be useful? Think of a seed. Ask any farmer. If you want a plant to grow, then put a seed in the ground. The seed dies. Then it germinates and it becomes a fruit, a tree, a crop.

Paul even compared death to the process of planting a seed.

Foolish one! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.” (1 Corinthians 15:36, HCSB)

Every great leader has had to see something die in order for their vision to come to reality. The people of Israel thought their way of life was dying when they left Egypt. But God had the Promised Land for them. In order to get to the Promised Land, they had to die to the ways of Egypt.

4. Rebirth

Rebirth happens when the vision is formed, placed in proper foundation, has gone through a period of death and then God can rebirth it for His purposes.

For who scorns the day of small things? These seven eyes of the Lord, which scan throughout the whole earth, will rejoice when they see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”” (Zechariah 4:10, HCSB)

So how does this look here. Well, the vision was first to build an activity center to reach out to people around us. That was the birth and foundation. Like the temple, the job is not finished. Some ideas about the activity center and some people’s disagreements and destructive comments and ideas need to end. We have to let some things die so that there can be a rebirth for what God has given this church.

Let me show you a challenge: How long will it take to pay off the debt? We are less than $55,000. That means that the building can be paid off in ten months, not ten years. Here is how it is possible:

500 people giving $10 a month

250 people giving $20 a month

100 people giving $50 a month

So get a building fund envelope and start giving. If every member gave $10 a month, we will soon be finished. If every active member gave $20 a month, we will be finished. If 100 families gave $50 a month would also work.

The sooner that we finish the job, the sooner we can see a rebirth of a vision in which God wants to use this church.

But don’t think of this church as a set of buildings. This church is not an institution. The church is God’s people.

God’s work values people more than institutions (4:11-14)

The two olive branches represent two people: Zerubabbel and Joshua. The significance of this vision is that God works through people. Both of these men represent the two offices at the time: the king and the priest. Through both of these offices, God’s blessings flow.

God will accomplish His purposes through His chosen instruments, mortals who are willing to fuel the fires that give light and life to the house and mission of our Lord. Our Lord will accomplish His purposes in spite of mountainous obstacles that tasks such as the rebuilding of the temple pose. Moreover, while God values men and women more than He values institutions, men and women must not think that their work for God in building the institutions is accomplished by their own might and power. Rather, it is done only by His Holy Spirit.

God will accomplish His purposes through His instruments – His servants. He cares for you. He wants to work through you. So don’t give up.

Footnotes:

1 Walter C. Kaiser and Lloyd J. Ogilvie, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, vol. 23, The Preacher’s Commentary Series (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1992), 340.

2 Walter C. Kaiser and Lloyd J. Ogilvie, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, vol. 23, The Preacher’s Commentary Series (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1992), 343.

"Perfect, Jim, Amen -- and such things are of the utmost because when sealed believers ..."

Developing Christian Love
"""Love not just those of your own tribe, your own class, family or people,but those ..."

Developing Christian Love
"Probably the idea of "test" is difficult in the context of a relationship. But you've ..."

How I Can Pass the Test ..."
"The two groups of 1,44,000 mentioned in Rev chapter 7 and Rev chap 14 are ..."

Revelation 14:1-5 Jesus and His 144,000

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Evangelical
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment