Not by might, nor by power


I’d never read this book before, but I was flipping through it the other day and came upon the following passage.  I read it, read it again, and then read the rest of the book.  And since I like to run off at the mouth, you’ll also find some of my thoughts about it.  Entry level thoughts, perhaps, but they’re mine…

“See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey…”

He could have chosen to come some other way.  Some way more befitting to a man about to lead his people (us) to salvation, to the “promised land.”  Or if not exactly lead us, show us the destination and let us choose our own route.  Why not ride into Jerusalem on some great stallion, or in a chariot?  Was it only so that prophecy would be fulfilled?

People thought they’d be liberated by the sword, and by many battles and deaths.  Instead, we were liberated for all time by a single death and a single resurrection.  The power of that resurrection is available to all, with only one catch.

We must recognize that Jesus triumphed over death, and that through him, and only through him, we can do the same.   An easy realization, right?  Not exactly.  Surrender, absolute surrender, is never easy.  But when it comes, when we are able to let go of all we know and receive all Jesus has for us, well, then you’re talking about a whole new ballgame.

We already know we win this war.  Scripture tells us.  Yet the individual battles are just as difficult as if we had no knowledge of the ultimate outcome.  You’d think an assured victory would make it easier to “soldier on,” but it isn’t that way at all, at least not for me.  But maybe it’s better that way.  Or maybe better still if we had no idea of the outcome.  If we had to live with the thought that we were fighting our battles simply because they needed fighting, that we were fighting for our lives, even if losing the war was a real possibility.

With that said, why is it so difficult to fight spiritual battles?  Why so hard to rebuke the enemy when we know if we do, he must go?  I struggle with this one almost every day.

Maybe it goes back to a person’s innnate sense of self-preservation.  It costs us something of ourselves to wage spiritual warfare–it costs us that which we know about ourselves to be true (or think we do).   We are depending on another to do the fighting, and we are (perhaps) losing part of that sense of self  that is more worldly than anything else.  We have to do this, we must do that.   The doing of those things, the performing of those tasks, whatever they are, is what makes us who we are.  We’re defined by not only what we do, but what we have, and what we have in our lives.  So inevitably, it’s much easier to capitulate to the world than to fight, and change, and grow.  And even knowing Christ, it’s something I still do some of the time, and maybe even most of the time in certain areas.

In other words, it’s still incredibly difficult for me to die to myself.  In a way, I suppose I’m waiting to be redeemed by the sword.  Or waiting for someone to fight my battles for me.

“His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth…(v10-11)”

 That’s good to know.  It’l really be something to be part of that vast a kingdom, to live there for eternity.

“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of Grace and supplication…(Zech 12:10)”

It’s a little hard to reconcile the heroic images verses 10-11 call up (Zechariah also goes on about how the enemies of Israel will be destroyed) with the image of a King riding in on a donkey, and the idea of supplication.  

Why is it so hard to be a supplicant?  I think if we’re honest with ourselves, we all have to admit that it is.  Why so difficult to throw up my hands and say, “Lord, help me!”  Doesn’t seem to have much to do with the enemies of Israel, but maybe it does in the sense that the battle is being fought in our hearts, over our spirits.  We must give Jesus control of them.  We must forgo our own will over His, and in a sense the victory won in our hearts over Satan is really not much different than Jerusalem’s enemies being vanquished.  In a way, our hearts are Jerusalem, and Satan is the enemy of Israel.

“Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused Himself from His heavenly dwelling…(2:13)”

What a difficult thing, to be still before the Lord.  I don’t know about anyone but myself, but I’m uncomfortable with silence, and inevitably will do what I can to fill it.  And when I’m making noise, I can’t hear.

But He “roused Himself from His heavenly dwelling.”

And He came here.  “righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey…”

For me.

And it doesn’t matter if I like it, or if I’m comfortable with it, I need to surrender my will.  I need to supplicate, to prostrate myself before Him, if I am to have any prayer of finding my way at all.

That’s tough as hell.  Maybe it’s a man thing.  I don’t know.  I’ll finish my rambling with a line from Romeo & Juliet, and hope that it’s something I can say myself when I really need direction, and leadership, and guidance (in more ways than one)

“He that hath the steerage of my course, direct my sail…”