I want to briefly talk to you about Zerubbabel. When the Israelites were returning from captivity from the Babylonians, Zerubbabel was put in charge of rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem. The foundation was laid through his leading and then some difficulties arose, opposition came from the Samaritans and all work on the temple stopped.
Sixteen years went by, Zerubbabel and the people started building houses for themselves and were not worried at all about doing what God had asked them to do, they had put it on the back burner, and in the too hard basket.
Then God spoke through his prophet Zechariah:
“So 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 almighty. What are you mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of 'God bless it! God bless it!”
(Zechariah chapter 4, verses 6-7)
God was encouraging Zerubbabel to keep going, He was telling him how to do it as well, not by the might of the people or through his own strength but through God’s Spirit. Then God spoke to the problem and told them it would be laid flat before Zerubbabel. Then He tells Zerubbabel that He will finish the temple bringing out the last stone, finishing with praises to God.
Have you had a Zerubbabel experience?
We can be just like Zerubbabel, we start building something and get some forward motion then we get some opposition, some difficulties arise and we either push through or stop. Maybe we think it’s too hard: If God wanted me to do it, it wouldn't be so hard, it should be easy.
Like Zerubbabel, maybe you have stopped building God's kingdom altogether and you have started focusing on your own. Some years go by and you still believe in Jesus and go to church, but your intimacy with Him has suffered.
Maybe today all you need is a word from the Lord, the same word Zerubbabel got.
“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty. What are you mighty mountain? Before (your name) you will become level ground.”
(Zechariah chapter 4, verses 6-7, Paraphrased)
Free to dream again
It's time to start dreaming again, you may have wasted some time, that's alright it's not to late. Come back to the Father, that place where you first met, that intimacy and awe you had with the Father when you first got saved. He hasn't changed and neither has His plans for you, neither has His love for you or His forgiving grace.
It's time to start believing again, start speaking out your dream again, start praying into it, write it down, put it on your wall or mirror where you can see it daily and have it before your eyes. If you want some help with this there is a book called Imagine Big that can help you with some ideas and it can encourage you to dream again, as it did me.
My Zerubbabel experience
When I was growing up I didn't really have any dreams, I had so much disappointment, I stopped dreaming to protect myself. I thought if I don't get my hopes up I won’t be disappointed. I got saved when I was about 23 and still I had no vision about the future. All I knew was that I wanted to help people.
I had a little dream: to help the broken. I had no idea what that would look like and didn't think about it. I just went through the motions. I helped out at a rehab for awhile which grew me a lot and I started Bible College. I knew I wanted to learn more about God but didn't know why.
A couple of years went by. I finished college, and yes during that time God gave me the opportunity to help people, but I had no vision for the future. I was going through the motions with a lack of excitement and enthusiasm and I started to worry about myself: working to pay bills, buying this or that, training in the gym and building my own kingdom as it were.
The last year He has called me to sit at His feet and wait on Him, He has been speaking to me about intimacy and just soaking in His presence. I was so worried about doing this or that while forgetting about Him. I was trying to do it in my power and my strength, but now He is guiding me to rely on Him and His spirit and His timing.
He showed me it’s alright to dream again, it’s not a sin to dream, to dream big. It's alright to get my hopes up. Opposition and disappointment may come, but when our hope is in Him and not ourselves, we can walk through it.
Shane Rowney is currently living on the Gold Coast serving in a local church. He enjoys surfing, gym and music but most of all spending time with the Lord.
Shane Rowney is currently living on the Gold Coast attending a local church. He enjoys surfing, gym and music but most of all spending time with his Father.