God's Work

April 28, 2002 AM
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

If you would, turn in your Bibles with me to the book of Zechariah chapter four. The book of Zechariah chapter four, verse six through verse ten. When you reach there, please signify by saying amen. Praise the Lord. We’re going to all stand together in the house of God today.

Zechariah chapter four, verse six through verse ten. Zechariah’s right before Malachi. And then you get into the New Testament. Praise the Lord. Amen, amen, amen. Yes, our souls are anchored today. Yeah. Anchored in the Lord. Say amen.

In Zechariah chapter four, beginning with verse six, it says,

6. Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

7. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.

8. Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

9. The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you.

10. For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.

The title of today’s message is “God’s Work.” You may be seated in the house of God.

God’s work. (Tongues.) Look at your neighbor and say, “God’s work.”

Many people believe that to survive in this world a person must be tough, strong, unbending and harsh. But God spoke to the prophet Zerubbabel. And he told him, “Not by might, nor my power.” But He said, “By My Spirit shall you accomplish those things that need to be accomplished.”

The key word in that sentence, in that phrase is, “By My Spirit.” It’s through God’s Spirit that anything of lasting value is accomplished. Why? Because it doesn’t stem from then natural. It stems from the supernatural.

The exiles returned to work. They had been exiled to Babylon. But it was time to get back into the work of God. They were harassed by their enemies. They were tired. They were discouraged. And they were pour. But let me tell you something today. God was on their side.

You see, you may feel as if you’re in a place of captivity. You may be pour. You may be tired. The enemy may be surrounding you. But God is on your side.

We must depend on God and work in the power of His Spirit. Listen at this. Sometimes God’s ownership of a project is only recognized after our best efforts have failed. You see, after we’ve tried something and it did not work, then we want to put God in it. Listen. We recognize God after what we’ve tried to do didn’t work. But see, God is not only in it at the end. But God is in it at the beginning. And if I praise Him and worship Him throughout the whole thing, I don’t have to go in my own power. I can go in the power of the Lord.

It’s a dangerous thing to think of God as responsible for the insignificant details, while we take charge of the larger aspects of the project. You see, we want to take charge of the larger picture. And we count the smaller things in the picture to be insignificant. But God wants us to count the whole picture.

You see, I can’t get anything done if I don’t learn to pay attention to detail. Do you hear what I’m saying? Many of us are not detail people. That’s why there are many members in the body. If you’re not detail, God’s going to put somebody with you that’s details.

In order to be able to get the work done (my God, my God), instead it’s not us in control, but it’s God that’s in control. We’re only a minute piece of that most important plan. And

I’m telling you all of this because Zerubbabel had to find this out. You see, when God gives us important jobs to do, it isn’t because He needs our help. And Zerubbabel had to learn this lesson.

The Persian ruler Cyrus (glory to God) allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem, and to rebuild their temple. Zerubbabel led one of the largest groups back, and got them to work.

But when they arrived in Judah, they were given an opportunity to get their living quarters together. How many of you know that you can’t do nothing unless you’re trying to take care of the house too? Oh, my God. You don’t want to hear me today.

They had to get their establishment together. And not only did they have to get their establishment together. Before they started building the project, they had to rebuild the altar.

You see, if we’re going to reestablish a work, we can’t just start building. We’ve got to reestablish the altar. We’ve got to get back to the altar. We’ve got to rebuild and re-plan by the altar.

The most important part of a work for God is where you establish the sacrifice. They had to establish where they were going to do the sacrifice, and where they were going to have the worship.

You see, in order for us to get back on track... Hello, somebody. In order for us to get back into that place that God has for us, we’ve got to reestablish the altar.

It’s the altar where God speaks to His people. It’s the altar where I begin to get spiritual guidance. It’s the altar where I get direction. It’s the altar where I can lay down me and pick up Him. It’s the altar. It’s the altar.

You see, we’re trying to do a work just like Zerubbabel was trying to do a work. But they had to reestablish some things. You see, we got to reestablish some things.

You see, God is looking for somebody that’s willing to reestablish something. He’s looking for somebody that is leaving the past in the past, and ready to press on into the future by rebuilding the altar. He’s looking for somebody that wants to pray. He’s looking for somebody that wants to get before Him and call upon His Name. He’s looking for somebody that wants to hear Him speak to them.

You see, the key to getting out of our dilemmas is at the altar. They key to getting out of your situation and your circumstance is at the altar. I’m trying to get you to hear something today.

You see, we begin to wonder how we’re going to go on. We begin to wonder how we’re going to rebuild. We begin to wonder how we’re going to reestablish. Baby, it’s right here at the altar. It’s the altar. That’s where they started out again.

You see, when a work is in progress, you are going to have warfare. You see, any time you’re trying to establish something for the Kingdom of God, there will be a battle. There will be a struggle. Any time you’re even trying to build something for yourself, there will be a battle. There will be a struggle.

But if I keep myself in prayer, if I stay on my knees, then I know that He that began this good work... My God, my God.

They were in a place of rebuilding. They were in a place of reestablishing. They wanted to build the spiritual foundation all over again. You see, sometimes you’ll have to go back to Bethel. You’ll have to go back to the old landmark. You’ll have to go back to the beginning.

They realized that even though they may have had the materials that they needed to get the job done, it couldn’t be established without something supernatural coming in to the picture first. It’s the altar, a raised place where I get before the Lord, and I get my strength to do what it is that I need to do.

The temple foundation was quickly completed. You see, it doesn’t take a long time to reestablish a foundation when you’re serious about it. You see, it only takes a long time when I’m laxidazical about it. It only takes a long time... Oh, my God. Who am I preaching to today? It doesn’t take a long time to set something (glory to God) that’s fixed and firm and stable in place when I’m serious about it.

But when I’m not serious about it, I’ll never get anything done. I’ll keep talking about it. I’ll keep looking at it. I’ll keep going around it. But nothing’s going to get done. But when I’m totally serious about a thing, come hell or high water. (Tongues.) No matter what the atmosphere looks like (Do you hear what I’m saying?), it’s going to get done.

Come on, give God a handclap of praise today.

They reestablished that foundation in prayer. That’s what they did. But even though they did that, a problem arose. Two of them.

You see, Solomon had built a temple that was so beautiful. It was so... Words could not even describe it. And there were a few old men that began to get discouraged, because the temple they were building didn’t look like the temple that Solomon built.

You see, you can’t worry about the past when you’re doing something for God. You see, you can’t go by nobody else’s work. Do you hear what I’m saying? You care to do what God has placed in your heart. Oh, my God. You have got to do what God has placed in your heart to do.

And if the Spirit of the Lord is there, I don’t care if you’re in a hut. I don’t care if you’re in a tent, if the Spirit of the Lord is there. It makes all the difference in the world.

They were discouraged because it didn’t look like they wanted it to look. You see, you can’t get discouraged because something doesn’t look the way you want it to look, if God is in it.

You see, when God is not in something, He won’t allow His Spirit to be there. He’ll pull the Spirit out. Because He ain’t going to have His Spirit in no... Oh, you don’t hear me. He ain’t going to have His Spirit in no mess. He ain’t going to have His Spirit in no flesh.

You see, some folks come with mess in their heart. But they better watch themselves when they dealing with God’s people. Do you hear what I’m saying? Because He said, “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit.” He said, “All you are are vessels. But it’s My Spirit that’s going to get the job done.”

You see, I can go and I can try to put my hands to something. But until God’s Spirit comes it’s not going to be the way God wants it to be.

There was a problem. People started getting discouraged because of the way it looked like.

We were talking about a physical building. But I’m talking about right now in what we see and don’t understand. See, we begin to look around. And it may not be the way we want it to be. It may not be the way we envisioned it to be. Do you hear what I’m saying? But if God is in it, it doesn’t matter anyway.

Stop looking for something that’s not there. Do you hear what I’m saying today? He remembered how glorious Solomon’s temple was. But this work was much smaller. But God spoke to Zerubbabel. In verse ten he said,

10. For who hath despised the day of small things...

You see, you cannot despise a small thing when God is involved. Because God will take a small thing and make it something that we never imagined before. All He needs is a remnant to work out what He needs to work out.

Fear caused the work to come to a grinding halt. Not only this, but enemies tried to infiltrate the work force, and stop the building with politics. Look at your neighbor and say, “Ain’t no politics up in here.”

You see, too many times churches go through politics. Don’t they? When people come to the house of God, they want to know how do you get into a place to help do something. Well, you got to know so and so. And then so and so got to agree. And then this person over here, after they fill out the ballot form and drop it in the box, then we’re going to take a vote. And if they... Oh, my God. Spare me the politics.

Politics will get in your way and mess a thing up, won’t it? See, you got to belong to this clique. If you don’t belong to this clique then you over here, and you in the outcast. It’s the clique verses the outcasts. Let me tell you something. I want to be in the clique. No, I don’t... My God. Shut up and do the work of God.

It’s not about a clique. It’s about unity. It’s about moving in the Spirit. It’s about getting the work done.

All it takes is for your heart to be right. All it takes is for your heart to be so sincere.

Let me tell you something. God will move you. People can be in your way. He’ll move you here. He’ll move you there. Next thing you know you’re standing in front of them. And they wondering out in the world did you make it where you made it. Hey, I feel Jesus up in this house. You don’t have to worry about the clique.

They allowed fear to grip them. When the warfare came, they got scared. Oh, my God. Who am I preaching to today? I feel the Holy Ghost all over me.

“Did you see what happened? You know, so and so came by here today. And you know what he said? He said that... You know, I don’t know what you all doing over there, but you all need to stop because... Did you know that we have enough finances to do this?”

“Oh, my God, my God. How in the world we going to get what we need to get to get...” Oh, my God. The work is not going to be done by might or power, but, “By My Spirit,” saith the Lord of hosts.

They got into a place where they started out right. And they were having many accomplishments, much success. But when the warfare came, the work came to a stop. I submit to you today, you and I are going to have warfare. But don’t let the work stop. Let the work keep on going.

The Bible said that for sixteen years the work came to a halt. Wait a minute. I got a problem with that. You mean that God was in the midst of them, and they allowed sixteen whole years to go by before they got back... Oh, my God, my God.

Did they really trust God, or was it just a show? Am I really trusting God today, or am I standing here preaching as a show, as entertainment on a Sunday afternoon. Oh, Jesus. Are you really trusting God and telling your children that you’re trusting Him, or is it all a show?

They got discouraged. Remember they ain’t nothing wrong with getting discouraged every now and then. But the thing is, how long are you going to stay there? You may get depressed every now and then, but how long are you going to stay there? You’re going to cry every now and then, but how long... My... How long are you going to stay there?

Sixteen years. Sixteen. Laid the foundation. And then stopped because of the warfare. I’m preaching to somebody in this house today.

You see, we get in our mind that circumstances and situations and people are greater than God. That’s what we... We don’t want to say it, but it’s true.

We think that because the bill collector done said they going to turn off my lights, they greater than God. Because they said they’re going to repossess my car, they greater than God. They said they going to foreclose on my mortgage. They greater than God.

No! God has the last answer. And if I got to move, I got to move. If I got to catch the bus, I’m... Oh, my. Who am I preaching to in this house? What are you afraid of?

See, once we get to a certain level, we’re afraid of things being taken from us. You see, it was alright when we were there. Every now and then you know what we need to do, even though we got these nice cars and vans, and all this stuff? We need to catch the bus every now and then. That’s what we need to do.

You see, because it’ll keep you in touch with reality. It’ll keep you in touch with where some people are and where you used to be. It’ll make you become an effective witness for the Kingdom of God. But when I get out of touch, I can’t minister effectively, the way God needs me to minister.

They were afraid. Fear is a terrible thing. The Bible says fear has torment. And when someone begins to get tormented long enough, they’ll break down. And once they break down, a lot of times, they’ll begin to get into anything and everything.

You see, the Bible says that fear comes suddenly. Fear is not something that’s going to creep up on you. It’s like when somebody... When you think you’re in a place by yourself, and somebody taps you on your shoulder, and you turn around. How did fear come? It came suddenly. But the psalmist said, “What time I am afraid I will trust in Thee.”

You see, you cannot stop yourself from being afraid every now and then. But the times that you are afraid, that’s when you got to find out where your faith is, and who your faith is in.

They were doing a good thing. But they began to be afraid. And when all the people when back to their houses, Zerubbabel got discouraged. He was down for sixteen whole years. The Bible doesn’t tell us what he did in the midst of those sixteen years. But can you not imagine what the man of God was going through?

I’ve been in a place like that, but not for that long, maybe for about a year or two where I didn’t preach, because of something that happened in my life. For one or two years. And I was used to preaching, preaching, preaching here. All over the country. I was traveling. Doing this. Doing that. For a year or two I didn’t preach. I didn’t darken any pulpit.

And I began to get discouraged. But then God sent somebody.

When we look at Zerubbabel, God began to send two prophets. He sent Haggai, and He sent Zechariah to hold up his arms.

You see, when you think you’re in the midst of something that’s going to go down, God is going to bring somebody to lift you back up again. It ain’t over until it’s over. My, God. Who am I talking to in this house today? You thought it was over, but we’ve only just begun.

They said, “Come on here.” I feel the Holy Ghost all over me. They said, “Come on here, man of God. You got a mantle on you. God done placed it on you because there’s a work that’s got to be done. Nobody else can do it, because God has assigned you to do it.”

He’ll send somebody. Yes, He will. He’ll send somebody that’s not afraid of the warfare. He’ll send somebody that’s not afraid of the battle. He’ll send somebody that’ll stand up. He’ll send somebody that’s not just there to spectate. Oh, my God, my God. Hey. He’ll send somebody that’s willing to do the work of the Kingdom.

They held up his arms. And the Bible said that they went, these two prophets. They went and they confronted the people. They said, “Wait a minute.” Let me tell you something. If God is for you, who can be against you?

They went and said, “No weapon formed against you is going to prosper. And every tongue that has arisen up against you in judgment is going to be condemned and proven to be in the wrong.”

He’ll send... Oh, my God. I don’t know about you, but I’m preaching myself happy today. He’ll send somebody. It ain’t over. We’ve only just begun. Is that alright? Is that alright?

Sixteen years... Hey. Thank You, Holy Ghost. Sixteen years went by. But then He sent two prophets. The Bible says one will put a thousand, but two will put ten thousand to flight. Devil, you better get out of my way. I got somebody with me. Greater... Oh, my God. Who am I preaching to today?

They said, “Come on here, Zerubbabel. We going to get this work together.” They confronted those people. They got that fear and torment out of their minds. And the Bible said in four years the temple was completed.

You see, when you’re working in the midst of the Spirit of God, it don’t take forever. It’ll take (oh, my God) but a split moment to get the work done. When God is in it, and you got people that are willing, there’s nothing that cannot be accomplished.

God is holding up your arms today. You’ve been tired. You’ve been discouraged. You’ve been thinking about leaving God. You’ve been saying God ain’t fair; God ain’t right.

No, you ain’t say it out your mouth, but God looketh at the heart. That’s what the heart been saying. The heart is crying out like Jesus cried out on the cross, “Eli, Eli. My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” You haven’t said it with your mouth, but it’s coming out of your heart.

He said, “I’ll never leave you.” Hey, I feel You, Jesus. See, the devil come to play games. But I don’t play games with the devil. I can laugh and joke and kid with the best of them. But I don’t play games with no devil.

Four years. Four years, and the work was done. Look at your neighbor and say, “It’s finished.” You see, when God finishes a thing, it’s finished. When God finishes a thing, it’s done. When God begins to do a thing that’s done, it’s complete. It’s over. Do you hear what I’m saying today?

And the Spirit of God moved by revelation through the man of God. God is moving in this house. Don’t you think in your mind, sweet child, that it’s over. As long as he got breath in him... My God, my God. As long as He can breathe the breath of life into us, it ain’t over. As long as He can give you strength in your limbs, as long as He can regulate your mind, it ain’t over.

See, your problem is not as big as your God is. Your problem doesn’t even fit in the same category. You know how on a test they can ask you to categorize something? Problem wouldn’t even be on the level where God is. God is a God of solutions. And every problem that comes up in your life is only an opportunity for God to get glory.

So why, oh downcast, oh my soul? Put your trust in God. Put your hope in God. Get rid of that hopelessness. Because Jesus poured hope.

True Vine Ministries, I submit to you today, friends, guests, I submit to you today that God is doing a new thing.

You see, when we look at that Scripture and it says God is doing a new thing, it doesn’t always mean that what He’s doing is going to feel good. You don’t hear me today.

You see, we begin to associate a new thing with something that’s spectacular, that’s going to tickle our flesh. But when God begins a new thing, He’ll put out the old thing, a lot of times. And when God pulls out the old thing, sometimes it hurts. And then He will replant what it is He’s planting.

Saints of God, the title of today’s message is, “God’s Work.”

Paul said, “Be steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding...” Do you know what it means to abound? “Abounding in the work of the Lord. Forasmuch as you know...” Wait a minute. Knowledge is going to come into play here. “Forasmuch as you know...” It’s not something that I don’t know. But it’s forasmuch as I know my labor is not in vain in the Lord.

So gird up your loins today. Make a commitment to faithfulness. Don’t look at me like, “Pastor...” Oh, my. Get busy. We got work to do. Roll up your sleeves. Get a little sweat going on. Because you can’t do nothing really until you really start sweating. Once you start sweating, that’s when you start getting loose.

It’s time to get busy. Get your mind regulated. Get peace in your mind.

End of side 1

If you don’t get yourself in shape, it’ll knock you down, and you won’t get back up. But see, when you get yourself well-rounded, you may get knocked down every now and then. But let me tell you something, baby doll. You coming back up.

God’s work. Not man’s work, but God’s work. You see, if we can get in our mind all the time, it’s God’s work, then we won’t stop. But see, when we start thinking it’s man’s work, we’ll put the plow down for a little while. We’ll begin to sit down and take a water break. I’m tired. I can’t go on no more. But when it’s God’s work, I’m going to work from daybreak to sunset, and get back up again in the morning.

God’s work, it must be done. I’m not trying to do it in my own strength. Because I can’t. I’ve come to the point where I realize that it’s too big for me. It’s too heavy for me. It’s too much of a load for me. Do you hear what I’m saying today?

You see, what you’re going through may be too much for you. It may be too heavy for you. But if you just go ahead and cast your burdens on Jesus... He said, “Cast your cares on me, because I care for you.” He said, “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me.”

Saints of God, I told you before, don’t let me have to come looking for you, but come looking for me.

Come on, give God a handclap of praise today. God’s work must be done. Give God a handclap today.

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