Let’s be clear from the start.
We all hate losing. Jimmy Connors, the tennis player, once said, “I hate losing more than I love winning.” He is not alone. Many of us in different walks of life all have the same struggle. We hate losing more than we love winning.
In economics, they refer to this as loss aversion. Loss aversion is this bias inside us that is so powerful it makes us afraid to make good decisions. It has a way of holding us back from moving forward where we hate losing and struggle to cope with the loss.
I heard it explained very simply to me how this plays out in our day to day life. Let’s say you are going for a drive and you park your car. As you get out of the vehicle, you notice a £50 note on the ground, and you pick it up. It’s just there; no one else is about; it’s yours to do with what you want. You go for your walk and have a great time because you are £50 up, life is good. As you come back to your car, you notice something on your windscreen. It’s a fine – £50. Now your day is not so good after all. You are more annoyed about the fine of £50 than you are the £50 you just found earlier.
This fear of loss has a way of weaving itself into the fabric of our society and culture. It has become the norm for so many of us. It causes us to no longer take a risk and play it safe. It causes us to take the easy option for an easy win.
Coming off the back of Covid-19 and the pandemic we are going through, this fear is even more palpable. For some, it could mean the fear of losing a job, the fear of losing our health, the fear of change that brings loss. It’s enough to send a shiver down our backs.
So what do we do?
That’s where this verse comes in. If you want to overcome the fear of loss, you will need to know this verse – Zechariah 4:6.
So he answered and said to me:
“This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel:
Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit
Says the Lord of hosts
It may not appear obvious, but there is a play on words being used by the Lord. He gives this word to Zerubbabel, the governor of Judea, that the temple would be restored or built not by might but by My Spirit says the Lord of hosts.
The word might is used 230 times in the scriptures, and it is this picture of an advancing army. It is like a military show of strength or force. God says to Zerubbabel this won’t be achieved through any earthly army or power, but My Spirit says the Lord of hosts.
That word host doesn’t mean that the Lord loves hosting people and guests. It is the Hebrew word Sabaoth that means armies. It is a mighty name for a powerful God. There is no earthly army that can compare to his heavenly army. He is the God of angel armies, innumerable and all-powerful. God says to Zerubbabel, that’s who is going to do this. No amount of earthly power of horsepower can stop or get the way of His power.
This name God uses here in Zechariah 4:6 is dotted all over scripture. It is recorded nearly 270 times. Maybe God is trying to tell us something or get a message across, and we can be slow on the pick-up. Those times we try to fight our own battles. Those moments when fear sets in, and we don’t step forward but instead step back. Those junctures in life, we take the safe option because we couldn’t accept the loss. Loss of face, failure, rejection.
I believe God sets in a reminder to us with His name – Lord of hosts, that he has won the battle. We don’t need to pick God up off the canvas. He is undefeated. We don’t need to disturb Him because he is sleeping. He never slumbers nor sleeps (Psalms 121:4). We don’t need to shout at him. He is not deaf to our cries (Isaiah 59:1). He is the Lord of hosts, the Lord Almighty, ruler of the universe; all power and authority is His. Jehovah Sabaoth, the LORD of hosts, is the one that is in charge of all the powers and all the people on earth, there is not one power, one principality, one authority on this earth that he is not Lord over all of them.
Whatever it is that perplexes you, is muddying the waters for you or causing fear in your life. It’s time to get alone with God, and as Elisha prayed for his servant (2 Kings 6), let Him open your eyes to His mighty host. As the song says, it may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by you.
I get that we hate losing, and we hate it more than we love winning for some of us. However, how can we lose if the LORD SABABOTH is fighting for us?
You might be looking out, seeing no change, seeing defeat all around and wonder if God is still working in your life. In those moments, remember and put your name in place of Zerubbabel.
“This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel/Darren: ‘Not by strength or by might, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord of Armies.”