“Not By Might, Nor By Power, But By My Spirit, Saith The Lord”

MIF 13:1 (Jan-Feb 1981)

“Not By Might, Nor By Power,
But By My Spirit, Saith The Lord”


(Zechariah 4:6)

This verse enshrines the important truth that the work of the Lord is not carried on by human ingenuity and strength, but by the Holy Spirit.

We see it in the capture of Jericho. It was not the armed might of Israel that caused the walls to fall down. The Lord was the One who delivered the city into their hands when the priests blew the trumpets seven times.

If it had depended on a huge army, Gideon would never have defeated the Midianites, because his army had been thinned down to three hundred men. And their unconventional weaponry consisted of earthenware pitchers with torches inside. It could only have been the Lord who gave them the victory.

Elijah purposely eliminated any possibility that human might or power might ignite the altar by pouring twelve barrels of water over it. When the fire fell, there could be no question as to its divine source.

Left to human ingenuity, the disciples could fish all night but catch nothing. That provided the opportunity for the Lord to show them that they must look to Him for true effectiveness in service.

It’s easy for us to think that money is the greatest need in Christian service. Actually, it never was and never will be. Hudson Taylor was right when he said that what we need to fear is not too little money but too much unconsecrated money.

Or we resort to behind-the-scenes politicking, or to high-powered promotional programs, or to the psychological manipulation of people, or to clever oratory. We engage in vast construction program’s in organizational empire building, vainly thinking that these are the keys to success.

But it is not by might, or by power, or by any of these things that the work of God is forwarded. It is by the Spirit of the Lord.

Much so-called Christian work today would still continue if there were no Holy Spirit. But genuine Christian work is that which makes Him indispensable by waging the spiritual warfare, not with carnal weapons, but with prayer, faith, and the Word of God.

—William MacDonald