Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Ephesians 6:10 (ESV)
Near the end of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he admonishes them to be strong in the Lord or in other words, be empowered by the strength that God’s mighty power provides. The reason for this admonishment is found in the following verse; they needed to be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Their need for strength was not only to ward off their temptation to sin but also to fight the devil in the service of the gospel.
If we are serious about growing in our Christian faith and in doing the work God has called us to do we can expect opposition. Never are we to think that just because we are more mature in our faith now than we were in the past things are going to get easier. We should not think that temptation will decrease or that God’s work will go unhindered (1Thessalonians 2:18). In fact right the opposite is most likely to occur. The longer we walk with God the more intense the warfare. If we achieve victory in one area of our lives or ministry the enemy will find another area in which to attack.
Our only source of strength to battle the enemy comes from the Lord’s strength and he is strong. The psalmists wrote that God is abundant in power and that by his power his enemies come cringing to him (Psalm 147:5; 66:3). For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. (Colossians 1:16 ESV) God is the Almighty (Revelation 1:8).
Our ability to fight is not so much dependent on our strength, but on the source of our strength. David wrote, For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. (Psalm 18:29 ESV) Paul said that he could do “all things through Christ” who strengthened him (Philippians 4:13). Peter exhorted those who serve to do so in the “strength that God supplies” (1 Peter 4:11). It is God’s strength or power that is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
Defeat is imminent if we fight in our own strength. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1 ESV) It is God who equips us with strength and makes our way blameless (Psalm 18:32). It is God who gives power and strength to his people (Psalm 68:35). Though God supplies his strength to us by grace (2 Timothy 2:1) we tap into that strength through worship, prayer, obedience to his word and faith in his promises.
We do not have to fear losing this battle because ultimately it has already been won. Jesus attained that victory through his death and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:56-57; Hebrews 2:14-15). Paul wrote that God disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame by triumphing over them in Christ (Colossians 2:15). We partake in that victory to the extent that we are strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. And it is God who gets the glory when he supplies the strength (1 Peter 4:11).
Are you walking in the strength that God supplies?
Scriptures for meditation:
Psalm 33:16; 73:26; 105:4
1 Timothy 1:12