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Nothing…But in Everything
Pastor Jeff Schlemmer
John 15:5 (NIV) I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Have you ever been in a situation where you had to fix something? Maybe it was your weed wacker, the kitchen stove, or the office copier, and you just didn’t feel equipped to handle it? You knew you needed help, an expert, so you took it to a lawn care repair shop, called the repair guy, or reached out to the copier tech to come to take a look. And because you did, you got the “extra” help you needed to “fix it” and make it right! As we continue to journey through this unprecedented time of the COVID-19 pandemic, big and small things can feel overwhelming. And many times when they do, we try to do “too much” by handling it ourselves! When we are “feeling’ pressed beyond measure, we tend to look to our own resources and abilities to “fix it!”

Zerubbabel found himself in a similar situation. Zechariah, the prophet, told Zerubbabel that he was to rebuild the Jewish temple. A daunting task to be sure! But Zechariah also had an additional message for Zerubbabel found in Zechariah 4:6 (NIV), So 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 Almighty.”

Often, when we feel the need to “fix it,” we get in a hurry and ahead of God instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us through! There are two similar statements in the New Testament concerning Zechariah 4:6. Jesus said in John 15:5 (NIV), “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Did you notice those highlighted words? “Apart from Jesus, YOU CAN DO NOTHING!” Jesus said that; I didn’t! Yes, I know we all are capable of doing many things. But our way is usually not the best. There is a higher way, a better way, and the Holy Spirit can show you how! Doing something solely out of our own ability falls so far short of what God has for us. The good news is with the Holy Spirit, Philippians 4:13, says, “I CAN DO ALL this through him (CHRIST) who gives me strength.” Praise God, with Jesus, you can do everything.

While God does expect us to use our skills, talents, wisdom, and abilities in this life, we do not have to go it alone! It is not by your power or ability that things happen, but by the Holy Spirit within leading you and guiding you in the way you should go. Sure, you do the work just like Zerubbabel did. But it is the Holy Spirit that shows you how. Many times, when I needed to fix something and wasn’t sure how, what did I do? I bowed my head and said, “Holy Spirit, please show me how; show me what to do. God has been faithful to this in my life in every area. From taking a test in college to making a big decision on a purchase or having to fix something in my garage.

So during this pandemic, don’t try to “fix” the messes and challenges that come up in life by yourself. Lean into the Holy Spirit and let Him lead you. Now more than ever before, we have so many opportunities to get unsettled and off track. Now is the time to realize that by myself I can do nothing, but with Jesus’ ability through the Holy Spirit, I can do all things! Determine not to live by your abilities, which fall so far short and can lead to nothing, but in everything, determine to trust God and let him “fix it!”

PRAYER: Father God, in Jesus’ name, thank you for the skills, talents, wisdom, and abilities you have placed in my life. Help me to use them for your glory. Father, this day I put my trust in your Holy Spirit. Jesus, I know without you I can do nothing, but with you, I can do all things. Holy Spirit, I yield myself to be led by you today in matters great and small. Please help me to always look to the greater one in me when the challenges of life come my way. I commit this to you in Jesus’ name, Amen!

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