|"Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,"
says the Lord Almighty.(Zechariah 4:6)
The U.S.A. has muscle. There is no nation on earth that can
match it for military might, economic muscle, or political clout. Yet all this
muscle counted for nothing when faced with a ruthless enemy, as on September
11th 2001. Muscle alone is powerless. The twin towers that stood as monuments
to world trade, were in fact very fragile when faced with the enemy. All that
muscle was reduced to rubble within minutes.
Yet a powerful symbol arose out of Ground Zero, as the
fire-fighters erected two crossbeams in the form of a cross. Ground Zero is
the place of the cross, and we all need to take a visit to Ground Zero -
to the place of the cross.
The problem with man is his strength or rather, the
strength of his pride. Proverbs 16:18 says "pride goes before destruction, a
haughty spirit before a fall."
The pride of man's intellect; we have a philosophy for
everything under the sun. We have systems and frameworks - 'isms', 'ologys' and
'osophys'. We hide securely behind these towers of intellect, until man's sin
and lawlessness breaks out in some unforeseen way. Then our political systems
The tower of man's intellect has to take a visit to
Ground Zero to see that his answers are futile - they cannot save him.
With his last breath he can only shout 'mercy.'
The pride of life, "the cravings of sinful man, the lust of
his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does" (1John 2:16) cannot save him
either. We may work out at the gym and get body beautiful; we may have a big
fat salary and a coming pension to match; we may have every materialistic
comfort going; but at the end of the day the tower of man's insatiable appetite
- the love of himself, needs to take a visit to Ground Zero, to see that
it is not going to gain him eternal life.
The enemy is bigger than all our protective gear and more
ruthless than this generation has ever realised.
In Habakkuk 1:11 we read of "guilty men whose own
strength is their God." We really don't know our own strength. Some would
rather die in the strength of their own intellect or their pride of life, than
go to Ground Zero and confess their sins and their utter weakness.
Our own strength has to be broken and it gets broken at
Ground Zero - the place of the cross, where we cry for mercy,
recognising that their is nothing we can do to save ourselves.
Ground Zero is where the power of God can
begin to operate in and through our lives. The apostle Paul hit Ground
Zero when he encountered the risen Lord, on the road to Damascus. He was
hurled off his donkey (Acts 9) and fell to the ground and was blinded for 3
days. His intellect was undone; his religiosity was undone; his pride of life
was undone; his own strength was broken. Then the power of God
began to work in his life, and he became the great apostle to the Gentiles. But
he never forgot the lesson of that day. The Lord said to him "My grace is
sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness". The
apostle could say "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my
weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why for
Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in
persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Cor
Ground Zero is where you realise your own strength
is totally inadequate to defend you against a ruthless enemy, (ultimately, you
own death), and therefore you cry 'mercy'.
Jesus literally felt the impact of Ground Zero in
his own body on the cross and committed his spirit to his Father.
Then the power of God began to work and Jesus was raised from the
dead - for you!
Have you visited Ground Zero yet - the place of the