“The people of Zechariah’s day were facing some pretty rough times themselves. We can see a lot of similarities in what they were walking through then and what we are walking through now. ” ~ Pastor Brian Swiggart
Pastor Brian taught on Zechariah, a prophet God gave a message to for His people, return to me and I will return to you. This is story is part of our year-long theme of The Ultimate Rescue Story. If you missed our message this week, you can check it out here.
You can check out our 2020 webpage to find more resources. This year will change everything!
RETURN TO ME AND I WILL RETURN TO YOU…
Zechariah was likely born while the Israelites were in exile. He and Haggai were contemporaries, both prophets telling the message of God to His people. They had returned from exile and were trying to put their homes and lives back together. They had not made it a priority to finish rebuilding the temple.
Zechariah 1:2-6 NIV
1. YOU ARE NOT DEFINED BY YOUR PAST FAMILY LEGACY
Zechariah tells the people God is saying walk with God unlike your fathers. This is a huge word of encouragement for us. You may not have had the right upbringing, may have seen hypocrisy in your home or in the church, but none of that stuff defines you. Don’t use your family’s past as your present reason not to follow God.
2. YOU ARE NOT DEFINED BY YOUR OWN PAST
The people Zechariah was speaking to did not have much of a positive past themselves. Yes, they were God’s people but they had been stripped of their dignity and land, taken captives and forced into exile. Now, they had finally returned to their homeland but they had a lot to overcome. Financial struggles, loss of “glory days,” failing crops, temple had been torn down. They were suffering from spiritual insensitivity. All those struggles were their primary concern and God had been placed on the back burner. God was calling them to switch that, to put God first and everything else after Him.
God was saying when they make Him their priority again, their past won’t hold them back and they will enjoy being the great people of God again. God offers the same thing for us too.
2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
3. YOU ARE NOT DEFINED BY YOU
Often times, we try to do things on our own, take things into our own hands, and we end up removing God out of the equation. Maybe we think we’re supposed to do that, maybe we try to spiritualize it by saying we’re doing for God. But the truth is what your skill is or isn’t, your weaknesses are or aren’t, when we do things without God, we are limited and debilitated. You will never truly succeed with what your life is meant for if you are striving to do it on your own, under your own strength and will.
Zechariah 4:6 NIV
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Where is God speaking to your heart from the message He spoke through Zechariah so long ago?
God is saying, “Hang in there. Don’t give up. Keep your focus on Me. You may feel like 2020 has hit you in the gut. You may feel like your life is heavy with all you’ve been through or are going through. You are not defined by your family’s past, your past, or even by you. Trust Me. Return to me and I will return to you.”
Where are you with God? What would it look like for you to return to God? God says, “Return to me and I will return to you.” Talk to Him about it today.