Zechariah builds the House Meditations: 11. And So?
Zech 1:3 ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’
Zech 2:10 For I am coming, and I will live among you,” declares the Lord.
Zech 3:10 In that day each of you will invite your neighbor to sit under your vine and fig tree,’
Zech 4:6 ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’
Zech 6:13 he will be a priest on his throne
Eph 4:11,12 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service,
But: As so often seems to happen I thought the previous study was the last one of this series and yet as I have been praying this morning there comes what seems a natural completion of it that takes us into the realm of practically praying. My assertion in the previous study, that undergirds all the other studies, is that God was speaking through Zechariah to His people while they were building the Temple, the house or dwelling place of the Lord on earth. Yet the words were to prepare and equip His people to be His dwelling place themselves, as we now see so clearly through the New Testament. But it is so easy to just ‘do a Bible study’ and leave it at that, but the truth is that the word of God is designed to change us. How should these studies change us?
The Big Issues: As we have progressed through these studies I have become more aware of the two big issues: the first is the world ‘out there’, the world that God wants to reach. As we look at the state of the Western world today it is in a mess. I would recommend the sobering reading of ‘Morality’ the 2020 book by Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks which systematically uncovers the moral bankruptcy of the West, with very specific practical outworkings. There is a desperate need for change. The second thing is the church. To Israel He had said through Isaiah that they were to be “a light to the Gentiles.” (Isa 42:6). To us today Jesus says, “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Mt 5:16) If we dare be honest we have abysmally failed to be this resulting in the state the world is in today. We have carried on our spiritual ceremonies and failed to impact the world around us because, even though some of us have been doing a lot, it has rarely been as ‘the body of Christ’ with his power and his revelation.
And So? Whenever such truths really impact us, it is not that they pull as down in condemnation for our failures (which is what the enemy would seek to do) but challenge us to stand up and pray. Prayer has always been the precursor to true revival, it is the acknowledgement of the people of God of their helplessness and failure with the recognition that only a sovereign act of God can change things. But what to pray. I think it has been eighteen months that I have felt this call to prayer but only today did I feel a specific way to pray. When God moves on in His purposes, it seems so often He gradually reveals His strategy, even though in essence it was there in His word already. For those who will allow themselves to be moved by this may I offer the following, no doubt very incomplete, things to pray, to start pointing us in the right direction. Please feel free to add what you will:
“Father, please forgive us, cleanse us, envision us and empower us and then release us as you start to move sovereignly.”
– To come in line with God’s heart must mean first being honest about our need, with the recognition that we need Him to change our hearts in preparation for being part of what He is planning to do, so we will start to become available to join in with what He is doing.
“Lord, please raise up an even greater army of prayer warriors who will not only pave the way for these things to happen but who will stand there overseeing the battle when it comes.”
– Prayer in incomprehensible ways, is seen as part of God’s strategy to mobilize His people and enable them to rise up and conquer as Moses did of old (see Ex 17:10-13).
“Lord, release faith and vision in your people in new ways that they may become an army of witnesses in both word and deed to the world around us.”
– Will we become available, will we be trained to be confident as witnesses who move in both word and power to reach the hearts of those around us?
“Lord, please raise up an army of evangelists, anointed by you to bring the life-changing conviction that is needed to bring the watching world to its knees in submission to you as they receive Jesus their Savior and Lord.”
– The gifted ministry of the evangelist is the one divinely anointed to remove blindness and bring conviction, bring the word of God to bear on individual lives. Nothing less changes people.
“Lord, please raise up an army of teachers, who will be there to feed, teach and equip new believers with divinely anointed understanding as they come as babes in Christ.”
– New believers will need to understand a new perspective and in the excitement of all that happens, establishing them in their new faith will be essential to enable them to stand in the years to come.
“Lord, please raise up an army of pastors who will be there to feed, care for, protect and bring healing to the many dysfunctional new believers come from this hurting and damaged world.”
– The people in the world around us today are so confused, so hurting, so anxious, so wounded, so disorientated, that they desperately need loving care and healing.
“Lord, please raise up an army of prophets who will bring revelation to keep your people on track, warning them against coming obstacles and distractions and revealing the way ahead.”
– Revelation is at the heart of the working of God and we desperately need His vision, His insight, His wisdom to energize us, and move us forward.
“Lord, please raise up an army of apostles who will come with the humility of divine wisdom that builds and strengthens the rapidly expanding church and able to release your power in your people.”
– The gift of the apostle comes as a strategic wise anointed overseer to guide and equip and empower and enable the people of God, not mere managers but equippers, envisioners, empowers, and senders.
“Lord, please release faith in each of us, your children, to enable us to receive your destiny for these days to be life changers, world changers and those who glorify you.”
– We are all called to be active parts of this body, with changed hearts and minds and wills, submitted to Him. This will require time and ongoing daily enabling to achieve as we pray.
“Lord, as I purpose to be available to you for you to achieve through me whatever you want, please clarify in me your gifts that enable me to be the unique part of your body you want me to be. Amen.”
– My gifts from God that make me who am, the gifts you have from God, are there just waiting for Him to energize and use them – all the above things, and musician, administrator, Internet Techie, writer, composer, whatever. A gift from God to be used by God as God stirs them, opens doors for them to be used, and then enables them to touch other lives and glorify Him. May it be so.