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Enough Already!

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Enough Already!

I have entitled this message as “Enough already!” What I want to impress upon you today is that God has given you everything you need today to do what he wants you to do today.
Tomorrow’s problems often take the forefront in our thinking. We need to look at tomorrow’s problems. We need to plan for those. But as we do, God gives a peace when we trust that whatever he wants us to do today can be done. We have everything we need today to do what he wants us to do.
Some of us disagree with this. When we look at what needs to be done, we need more time, we need more people, we need more money, we need more advice, we need more in order to do today what we know God wants us to do.
Because we disagree in practice we turn in one of two areas. First, we become anxious. Second, we don’t even start to do what God want us to do.

Zechariah 4

This is why we need to catch what God is saying through Zechariah in Zechariah 4.
This is the fifth vision in a series of eight visions that Zechariah gave. The book of Zechariah is quoted 41 times in the New Testament, mostly in the gospel and in the book of Revelation. Zechariah was born in Babylon and is mentioned by both Ezra and Nehemiah. Haggai, Zerubbabel and Joshua, the priest, were all contemporaries. He was part of the first wave of Jews who returned to Jerusalem from Babylon. A second wave came with Ezra and another with Nehemiah.
The people were discouraged. They had obstacles in front of them.
The first six chapters of Zechariah focus on these visions that were intended to help a discouraged people overcome the obstacles to rebuilding the temple. The fifth vision of the lampstand is directed toward discouraged leaders, Zerubbabel, the governor, and Joshua, the high priest.
These two people were leading the effort to rebuild the temple. The temple had been torn down by the Babylonians and now about 50,000 Jewish people returned to rebuild it. They had other responsibilities as well. They had families to feed, food to grow, animals to care for. They were tired and discouraged.
Verse 7 gives us some indication of the issues at hand.
Zechariah 4:7 ESV
7 Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’ ”
What was this mountain?
In order to rebuild the temple, the foundation needed to be laid and strengthened. However, before the foundation could be dealt with, there was a massive amount of stone that needed to be moved somewhere before they could even begin.
To give some idea of how hard this was, here is a picture of the ruins of a small city in Israel. Imagine if this was Jerusalem, the capital and the temple, which was a huge building.

Ruins of AI

There are two ways people would look at that mountain of rubble.
The first way would be to say, “Let’s get to it! We will never finish if we don’t start.”
The second way would be to say, “It’s too much work. Do you realize how long it will take us to just move the rocks out of the way? Then we lay a foundation and then put up the walls and the roof. This project is too big for us!”
We can add to that the thought that these were former slaves. They lived in a hostile environment as Nehemiah later found out. They were far enough away from Babylon that they were not going to get much protection from harassment from them.
I would hate to imagine how hard it would be if an earthquake hit this building and ruined the foundation and the walls and roof fell inward in a heap. I would hate to imagine this especially if there were a group of people in town government who had a negative attitude toward Christianity and this church.
With the two camps of believers and doubters connected to this project, what effect do you think this had on Zerubbabel and Joshua?
I am sure they talked about this. “What should we do?” They probably talked about it in front of Zechariah.
Two things would make life so much easier. First, life would be easier if they had an army to protect them. Second, life would be easier if they had more people or the right equipment to move the stones.
The army wasn’t coming and the bulldozer hadn’t been invented yet. What do you do?
An angel speaks to Zechariah and says,
Zechariah 4:6 ESV
6 Then 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 of hosts.
This message is to the governor. “It’s not by might… [i.e., military power…] nor by power…[physical strength or resources] but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.
If God is in something, he will protect those who are doing his will. If you are in the will of God, you have all the protection you need. Sometimes that protection means listening to the advice given you by people who know the dangers. Sometimes God’s protection means that you will be safe in dangerous places.
Missionaries who serve in the trouble spots of the world believe this and have experiences this kind of protection.
This truth empowered the first disciples. Jesus told them that “lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
There are two sources of strength or power. The first is what we have naturally. The second is what we have supernaturally.
I have been amazed at how people who are serving the Lord will be tired, weary, and lacking strength. Yet, somehow, at the end of the day, they look back and they see that God gave them strength they didn’t think they had, he gave them power that they thought was not there and they did what they questioned they could do through the power that God gave them through the Holy Spirit.
Why did God give Zechariah this message? He gave him this message to encourage Zerubbabel to keep on keeping on. He gave him this message to let him know that he would succeed if he kept going.
Zechariah 4:7 ESV
7 Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’ ”
The very people who were complaining about how great the task was would be the very people who would shout “Grace, grace to it!” when the top stone was brought forth.
Zechariah is reminding Zerubbabel of what the Psalmist said,
Psalm 33:16 ESV
16 The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
Psalm 33:20 ESV
20 Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.
Isaiah 40:30–31 ESV
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV
58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Why is it not in vain? Because the work of the Lord is done through us, but it is not done by us. The work of the Lord is done by the Spirit of God.
Within the exiles who returned to build the temple, the Spirit of God would work through willing workers, he would work on the hearts of discouraged workers, he would convict those who didn’t want to work and protect those who had to work with them in such a way to reveal that the temple, though built by the hands of many people, could point to the Spirit of God as the motivator, equipper, strengthener and finisher of the work.
In spite of their doubts and discouragement, God wanted Zerubbabel and Joshua to understand that they had enough already to do his will.
In order for this church to do what God wants it to do today, we have enough already. What we need for tomorrow God will give to us if we use what we have today.
Matthew 13:10–12 ESV
10 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
Jesus said,
Luke 16:10–13 ESV
10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
This past week the church chose a pulpit committee to begin the search for the next pastor. Many in that group have expressed some reservation because they have never been a part of something like this before. The church has a lot of unanswered questions.
As your pastor I want to tell you that you have enough already for today. Don’t be anxious about tomorrow. Whatever is needed is here today.
As the Lord said to Zerubbabel, he tells us,
Zechariah 4:6 ESV
6 Then 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 of hosts.
In your marriage, do today what God wants you to do. Do the work today that God wants you to do. Be the person today that God wants you to be. Remember that it is the Spirit of God that works in and through us to do His will. Do not put your trust in men. Put your trust in the Lord God who equips us and empowers us by the indwelling Holy Spirit to do his will.
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