Zechariah 4:6 (New Living Translation)
6 Then he said to me, “This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
The cranberry cloth was spread on the sturdy pine table.
In the warm glow of lamp light, 8 year old Victoria, my faithful assistant, surveyed the room with practiced eye and air of competence, adding condiments and cutlery to the table.
From the kitchen wafted the nutty fragrance of basmati rice mingled with the spicy aroma of simmering butter chicken and a fresh pot of was coffee perking, adding to the olfactory delight.
Friends began to arrive. Three weeks we had been apart--and we all looked forward to being back together again at cell group.
Over dinner Victoria told a story that included her friend Joshua at school. Someone teased her, "Is he your boyfriend?"
"No!" said Victoria, "That's Jacob!"
And Tiffany-Amber, both hands over her mouth to smother giggles, eyes sparkling with merriment, said, "I can't believe you said that."
After dinner; replete, we sank into comfortable chairs and caught up on weeks of hopes, battles and victories in each other's lives.
We read a devotion that challenged us to lay down trust in our own competence and strengths, and trust God completely; only picking them up again, as Moses picked up his shepherd's staff, as tools in God's hands, for his power to flow through.
Surrender and submission; trusting that God loves us and his plans for us are good.
We prayed before parting, and the Holy Spirit hovered over this small band of disciples, challenging us to love him so much that his pleasure would be more to us than anything else--more even than life itself.
2 Chronicles 20:15 (New Living Translation)
15 He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.