Craftsmen Terrifying the Darkness?

A craftsman demonstrating a printing press at Franklin Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
A craftsman demonstrating a printing press at Franklin Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Last week, I talked about how everything we do is holy because God lives inside of us.  This week, I ran across a very interesting passage in Zechariah:

“Then I looked up, and saw four horns (powers)! So I asked the angel who was speaking with me, “What are these?” And he answered me, “These are the horns [the powerful Gentile nations] that have scattered Judah (the Southern Kingdom), Israel (the Northern Kingdom), and Jerusalem (capital city of Judah).” Then the Lord showed me four craftsmen. I asked, “What are these [horns and craftsmen] coming to do?” And he said, “These are the horns (powers) that have scattered Judah so that no man raised up his head [because of the suffering inflicted by the Gentile nations]. But these craftsmen have come to terrify them and make them panic, and throw down the horns of the nations who have lifted up their horns against the land of Judah in order to scatter it.””  Zechariah 1:18-21

A blacksmith at Howell Living History Farm, New Jersey
A blacksmith at Howell Living History Farm, New Jersey

The thing that fascinates me about this passage is that God isn’t sending warriors out to conquer the nations that have scattered His people.  He’s not sending prophets or intercessors or even priests or kings.  He’s sending craftsmen.

A loom at Genesee Country Village, New York
A loom at Genesee Country Village, New York

The craftsmen (which can also be translated “engravers” or “artisans”) aren’t sent out as warriors.  They can somehow make the darkest nations panic and be terrified.  I wonder if it’s through their craft that they do the work that terrifies the nations, or if it’s through other methods.  Either way, God had chosen the artisans – people trained and specialized in a specific craft – to deliver His people from those who oppressed them.

An intricately built wall at Pueblo del Arroyo, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico
An intricately built wall at Pueblo del Arroyo, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

A pastor once wrote, “When we do what the spirit has anointed us to do, we are not just helping people; we are also terrorizing the enemy.  It is so important that we find our place of calling in life, and that we understand that each of us is born to be an instrument of God, filled with the Spirit of God, to do the words of God… There is no such thing as laymen in the Kingdom; there is only a royal priesthood.  All believers are therefore priests.  Repairing cars became spiritual warfare because I was fulfilling the call of God on my life.”

Kelly, an interpreter at Fort Stanwix National Monument, New York
Kelly, an interpreter at Fort Stanwix National Monument, New York

When you do the things that God has called you to do – no matter how mundane or secular – you are actually warring for the Kingdom of Heaven.  You are bringing heaven’s ideas and solutions to earth just by being filled with the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 3:16) and having the Mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

Demonstrating that a simple screw can lift both the millstone and himself at Cooper Mill, Chester, New Jersey
Demonstrating that a simple screw can lift both the millstone and himself at Cooper Mill, Chester, New Jersey

Every person you meet in your daily life is meeting not only you but also the Spirit of God inside of you.  Every problem you face at work has solutions that you can get access to through the Mind of Christ.  You have the ability to bless the people and aspects of your job with the Spirit within you.  For example, I’ve known bank tellers who blessed the finances of the people they assisted, engineers who received creative solutions, HR professionals who blessed the people of the company, grocery checkout people who blessed the health and wholeness of the people who went through their checkout line, assembly line workers who blessed every part they installed, educators who blessed the students, faculty, and learning of the people they interacted with… I could go on and on.

Writing tools on the Mayflower II, Plymouth, Massachusetts
Writing tools on the Mayflower II, Plymouth, Massachusetts

As we live our daily lives, it’s vital that we realize that our jobs and interactions are not just natural, but also supernatural.  Once we realize that and that we have the power of God living in us through the Spirit (“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you” (Romans 8:11)), we can let that power flow through us to bless every single thing that we brush shoulders with in this life – from work, coworkers, and clients to the physical work we do, to family, to the mundane, to the so-called ‘spiritual work,’ to our every breath, word, action, and dream of our hearts.

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