As God’s people, we’re called to do His work wherever we are. Because we’re His children, all of our labor has a spiritual component—our actions, attitudes, and speech testify about Him.
The Israelites had returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple, but many people opposed their efforts. Their detractors used a variety of tactics to prevent them from succeeding (Ezra 4:1-5). After a while, discouragement set in, and eventually, the opposition forced them to stop the work. Like the Israelites, we may be under great pressure and unable to discern how to keep going. God told their leader, Zerubbabel, how to proceed, and we are wise to follow His counsel: “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit (Zech 4:6).
When we encounter obstacles, our tendency may be to figure out the solution for ourselves. This attitude of self-reliance is not appropriate for God’s children. While an independent spirit is prevalent and even admired in our culture, it is contrary to the way Scripture tells us to live. Dependence on the Holy Spirit is to characterize our way of life: giving up control and allowing Him to direct our actions will result in doing God’s work His way. Our lives won’t be free of trouble, but we will experience many victories through Him.
When we’re depending upon God’s Spirit, certain things will be evident: without Him, we would fail, and our constant companions would be worry and distress. But with Him, we receive true wisdom and divine power. Then, peace and joy accompany us, even amidst hardship (Gal. 5:22-23).