Psalms 31:24 “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”
In this spiritual warfare God is calling us to be “strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” and we have been asking ourselves the question: What does this mean and how can we put this truth into action?
We can be strong in the Lord by knowing what is waiting for us – known as the “blessed hope.” We realize that this life is passing away; we are on a journey and the real thing is yet to come. This life is only the shadow of the reality to come.
The patriarchs of old are examples for us. Abraham went out not knowing where he was going, but he knew Who he was going with. And like Moses, they were seeking a city whose builder and maker is God. In other words, they had their eye on the glory to come.
1 John 3:2-3 tells us: “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
Hope is a powerful emotion and we have something to have hope in. It is this “blessed hope” that keeps us strong in the Lord and also wanting to live a life of purity, to be more like Jesus. We will see Jesus face to face when we stand before Him. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8
To be able to put this into practice is to realize that when we became born-again a seed was planted in us for a new life. To see this new life grow we must feed it and this is where the Word of the Lord comes in. We must maintain our physical body and so it is with our spiritual life. Just like we should eat healthy foods, not junk food, we want to feed our spirit on the Word of God and not the junk that we see and hear and are bombarded with every day.
We know from John 6:53-60 that Jesus is our food and we also know from John 1 that He is the Word and this is what we must spend time with. Moses say that we should live on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. The Bible gives us knowledge and true understanding that builds us up and makes us strong in the Lord and the power of His might.
Timothy was to remain strong by remembering the things that he was taught by Paul and others. This too is something that we must have and remember. We forget too easily, especially when things are not going our way.
The situation was pretty bad for Nehemiah and his team as they were building the wall around Jerusalem. In some ways it was a super-human undertaking with many obstacles and enemies trying to stop them. What did Nehemiah do? “And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, ‘Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.’” Nehemiah 4:14
Like us, they had a rich inheritance that they could look back to: Moses leading the children of Israel out of Egypt; Joshua and the battles fought in taking over the Promised land; King David and the victories that came about because God was with him. So Nehemiah says: “Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.”
With Nehemiah talking to the builders of the wall, and Paul speaking to Timothy, and to us as well – we are be challenged to always remember the Lord. He is the King of kings and this battle is between God and Satan, and God will win!
Part of remembering is the power of prayer. Prayer is not just petitions to God, it is our communication with the living God. When I am driving in the car I do not like to listen to the radio, but instead I choose to communicate with God. What a privilege we have!
Didn’t Jesus offer us an invitation in Revelation 3:20? “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” This is not an evangelistic message, but reminding us to have communion with the living God.
The greatest saints have always been men of prayer, spending a lot of time in prayer.