“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” Ephesians 6:10
What does it mean to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might? This was the question I was asking myself the other day when I was reading this passage of Scripture. So often we read a passage of Scripture without really grasping the significance of what is being said, and for me this passage was one of them.
The real battle taking place here on planet earth is the battle between God and Satan, good versus evil. To me this is one of the first things we need to recognize – this is God’s battle; His reputation, His honor and glory are at stake, and because of that He will not lose.
We must realize that He and He alone is the head, He is the brains, He is the originator, He is the one who is above all. But because this is God’s battle we do not say, like some would say, “Let go and let God,” as if we have no responsibility, nothing to do. No, this is not the case. We are fighting in this battle, but it is not a personal battle as we so often make it. Sometimes it sounds like ‘us against them.’ We are here in this conflict and have been given a sphere that we are to work in and this is where we fight using the weapons and armor that God has provided for us.
Like King Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20) we come to see that the battle is the Lord’s and not ours. We understand that the Christian life is not something that we have ‘to do.’ It doesn’t mean that we don’t have anything to do, but it is God working in us and through us and we are to work along with Him. We are not to go ahead of Him, or lag behind, but to go with Him.
We are never to forget that we are individual units in a great army. We are not fighting some personal, private war. That is not our position at all. We are simply individual soldiers in a great army fighting in a great campaign. In other words, the real, the ultimate issue is not so much my fight with the devil, as God’s fight with the devil. That is the way to look at it.
Looking at the matter in this way immediately gives you great strength. So it is very important for us to understand this truth. We see the conflict and we forget that it is God’s battle and beginning to feel sorry for ourselves, pity ourselves, beginning to think that we are alone in this great conflict. And we forget that God is constantly planning and working things out for His purpose and for His plan.
Secondly, God created angels to be ministering spirits to those who are heirs of salvation. Scripture is filled with instances where angels were at work on behalf of God’s people in carrying out the will of God. I am afraid that most of our angels are unemployed.
Some years ago I was preaching in Finland and while preaching I sensed a presence. After the service, a man came to me and said that while I was preaching he saw standing on each side of me two gigantic angels. “The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.” (Psalms 34:7) We see that angels are ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. They are here to minister to us because of who we are to God. It is for this that we must realize that the almighty power of God is working for us. The angels of the Lord are around us and this is part of being strong in the Lord.
To be strong in the Lord and the power of His might we need to understand the church as to what this means. In his letter to the believers at Ephesus Paul tells us that the church is the body of Christ. It is not a building or a denomination, but the Body of Christ. In Ephesians 1 we are told that the Body of Christ is high and lifted up above all principalities, powers, etc. “But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:15-16
We encourage one another to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. How does this work out in practice? Sometimes we find that we have a desire to pray over a situation that just came into our mind, or to visit someone. Often my wife will be grocery shopping and she senses within her a need to go and speak to someone in the store. When I am having my quiet time many times I have a desire to write a letter to someone. In any case, when this desire comes – I respond. It is God working in us.
Sometimes we might be reading the Word and a particular verse (Rhema word) jumps out at you. This is God speaking and bringing His Word home to you. This is part of us learning that we do not live on bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
REMEMBER: THE BATTLE IS THE LORD’S AND HE WILL WIN – THE VICTORY IS HIS!