September 25, 2012The Grace Factor
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- in Kingdom Living
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As the Holy Spirit continues to set the parameters of operation and functionality in what needs to be accomplished for the Lord within and through us. We must be able to perceive and walk in the GRACE that has been allotted to us.
As we seek for direction and the establishment of purpose, we must understand that if anything is to be accomplished, the Grace of God must accomplish it! Hence the reason I will like for us to look at the importance of Grace in the building process.
Zechariah 4: 1-10
“Now the angel who talked with me came back and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep… So he answered and said to me: This is the Word of the Lord to Zerubbabel (Dominion-Life International Ministries); not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. Who are you O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of Grace, Grace to it!”
In this particular scenario, Zerubbabel is into significant labour for the Lord, he is called to stir the returning Jews to complete the task of reconstructing the temple that was in ruins. (Ezra 2: 2; 3: 1-8; 6: 8) In this territory I sense that the Lord has called us to stir the hearts of the saints to position themselves for accurate entrance into the move of God within this region.
Points to note:
Not By Might Nor By Power!
The strength of man or any of his agencies will not accomplish this work. This word might is a very interesting Hebrew word, it is the word “chayil” and it is used in two contexts in the original:
To describe an army or military might. (Strength, power, force, etc) Deut: 11: 4; Psalms 20: 7
It is also used to describe accumulated wealth. Deut: 8: 17
The Lord of Hosts!
This is an awesome statement in the light of what was said before: The Lord is declaring that the work will not be accomplished by “chayil“, but instead the Lord of Hosts will accomplish it. The Hebrew word for hosts is the word “tsaba” and it is rendered; a mass of persons organized for war; an army! In the Greek the word used is the word “Sabaoth” and it is a military epithet of God, or armies. In the book of Joshua we have a tremendous example of this.
Joshua 5: 13-14
“And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, are You for us or for our adversaries? So He said, no, but as Commander (Captain) of the army of the Lord (Lord of Hosts) I have now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshipped, and said to Him, what does my Lord say to His servant?
What a powerful encounter, what a tremendous revelation! The background to this encounter is that the children of Israel has been in the wilderness forty years and had seen the hand of God in all dimensions, culminating in the death of Moses. Joshua has been commissioned to lead the people forward to their inheritance, they have just finished crossing the Jordan River with its bank overflowing and they have now reached at the very threshold of their promise.
The manna (what is it? – no sense of divine revelation from God, cannot perceive the word of God) that they ate in the wilderness is now dried up and they need a fresh sense of direction form the Lord (In essence they needed a divine revelation for moving forward)
Before lie an impregnable fortress in the form of Jericho and it is at this place Joshua comes into one of the most powerful revelations on warfare and taking territory listed in the Old Testament. In order for Jericho, which was in full view of their Promised Land, to be dismantled and removed; they could not rely on “CHAYIAL” (man’s strength or ability) they had to rely on “TSABA” or “SABAOTH” (the Lord of Hosts). As it was with Zerubbabel (Zec: 4: 7) so it was with Joshua, (Jericho stood before him). But both he and Zerubbabel understood that is was not by might nor by power, but it was by the Spirit of the Lord of Hosts. Hallelujah!
The Capstone or Headstone
This refers to foundational structures, (apostolic mandates) (the capstone, headstone or chief cornerstone is what the entire building gets its shape, size and dimensions from) and this is a very critical stage in any building project, hence the reason there must be divine strength. Throughout the scriptures, every time we see the Lord about to construct He will always send in a particular calibre of personnel and anointing. In Moses time there were men like Bezalel, etc…(Exodus 31: 1-6). In the New Testament we see the apostolic and prophetic anointing sent to establish foundational principles in many areas.
1 Cor: 3: 10
1Cor: 2: 20-21
Eph: 4: 11-13 – God set these ministry gifts in the Church, until…
1 Cor: 12: 28 – God set apostles, prophets, etc – as foundational ministries in the Church.
This is absolutely needed, especially in the foundational stage of any work for and with the Lord. Grace comes from the Hebrew word “chen” and it also conveys ‘favour’. It is used of the action of a superior, human or divine, to an inferior. In this particular scriptural reference Zerubbabel was about to lay the foundation stone and there was tremendous opposition (this was also the case with Nehemiah, Ezra, and the early Church). In the early Church we see a dimension called Great Grace released to the saints (Acts 4: 33).
As the foundation continues to be laid for the move of God in this territory, we need to be shouting GRACE, GRACE to our labours. We need to face every challenge with the resolve that God has given us the equipment to have the job accomplished and to defeat every devil that rises up. No mountain, regardless to how high, can stop our relentless pursuit in the plan and purposes of the Lord…
As we continue to surge forward in the plan and purpose of the Lord, I would like for us to continue downloading and saving principles from the life of Zerubbabel.
In this particular scenario, Zerubbabel is into significant labour for the Lord, he is called to stir the returning Jews to complete the task of reconstructing the temple that was in ruins. (Ezra 2:2; 3:1-8; 6:8) In this territory I sense that the Lord has called us to stir the hearts of the saints to restore and reconstruct the house of God that this society has caused to fall into ruins.
There are some very salient points that we can glean from this tremendous work that was undertaken by our ancestors, Zerubbabel and company.
“Then Jeshua the son of Jozadak and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and his brethren, arose and built the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings on it, as it is written in the Law of Moses the man of God.
The first thing that these men do is to construct an altar unto the Lord. The altar represents a place of sacrifice. This word “altar” comes from a Hebrew word “mizbeach” and it means to slay, to sacrifice or to offer up. Throughout the Old Testament we see the patriarchs placing great importance on it. We also see it at the very core of Israel’s worship and feasts. For us it represents a committed life of service to the Lord.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not beconformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
“They also kept the “Feast of Tabernacles”, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings in the number required by the ordinance for each day.”
The next thing they did was to keep the “Feast of Tabernacles”
The Feast of Tabernacles or “the feast of booths” is also called the “feast of ingathering”, (Exodus 23:16; 34:22; Leviticus 23:34; Deuteronomy 16:13). It lasted seven days, the first and last days being holy convocations. Fruit was gathered in and people dwelt in booths made of branches and boughs of trees (Leviticus 23:39-43; Numbers 29:12-38). This speaks to us of a commitment to relationship and unity.
As we read through the Scriptures about this great feast we see a beautiful picture of the unity of the Saints. On this notable occasion every Israelite must leave his place of dwelling, his farm, his flocks, his place of business, etc, and assemble together in the streets of Jerusalem or along the highways, and dwell for seven days in the humble little booths, which they were to construct. They all had one common purpose in mind, to keep the Feast of the Lord (unity of the Spirit: Ephesians 4:3) in its season. And if some feared that the enemy would attack and take what belonged to them, God promised that because of their obedience He would protect what is rightfully theirs. Exodus 34:24
Thirdly they went beyond the daily requirements.
“…And offered the daily burnt offerings in the number required by ordinance for each day. Afterwards they offered the regular burnt offering, and those for New Moons and for all appointed feasts of the Lord that were consecrated, and those of everyone who willingly offered a freewill offering to the Lord.”
Not only did they offer the stipulated sacrifice, which was their reasonable service, (verse 4) but also in verse 5 we see that they offered “for everyone who willingly offered a freewill offering to the Lord”. This is so awesome, hence the reason the Lord had to encourage Zerubbabel, that this will not be accomplished by any other agency but the Spirit of the Lord of Hosts, and that he should bring forth the foundation with shouts of GRACE, GRACE to it.
Fourthly they gave and sacrificed before the foundation was laid.
“From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord, although the foundation of the temple of the Lord had not been laid. They also gave money to the masons and the carpenters, (people who did the work) and food and drink, and oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre to bring cedar logs from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, according to the permission which they had from Cyrus king of Persia.”
They did not wait for a physical manifestation to begin supporting the move of God. They understood that they were not to trust in their might and power, but relied on the Lord to bring His word to pass.
And fifthly they brought forth the foundation with shouts of joy and praise.
“When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests stood in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord, accordingly to the ordinance of David king of Israel. And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord: For He is good, For His mercy endures forever toward Israel. Then all the people shouted with a great shout (GRACE, GRACE), when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.”
In like manner we need to operate in high joy as we establish this work for the Lord. Regardless to the opposition or prevailing circumstances we must bring forth the capstone with shouts of joy, declaring that the Grace of God is at work in our midst.