Ephesians 6:10 – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
Having carefully established our place in Jesus and the basics of our Christian faith, Paul now says, finally, my brethren.
Paul has established the facts of what God has done for us, and so our standing with God. The fact that Christ has made you and me a part of His great plan of the ages. Paul has also established the conduct that is expected of every believer to live by and the fact that we are to walk each day by the filling of the Holy Spirit. And now Paul comes to the fact that every Christian has a battle to fight.
Every Christian is engaged in spiritual warfare where they have to stand against the devil and face the forces of evil and darkness. For that Paul says there are two essential parts. first is to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might and the second to put on the full armour of God. Often the first part is neglected.
Before soldiers are given weapons training, they are put through rigorous physical training to develop their stamina. Even if the best armour is given to a person who can barely stand, they will still be an ineffective soldier who is easily beaten. So also, equipping for Christian combat must begin with strengthening them , strength that comes from the Lord alone. David is an example of one who strengthened himself in the Lord (1 Samuel 30:6).
How does one get this strength? In the power of His might. Might is inherent power or force. God has vast reservoirs of might that can be realized as power in our Christian life. For us to utilise this power, we are to rely on it and step out and do the work. Just as relying on His power and doing no work makes no sense, so also doing work without relying on Him and His power, falls short. His might does not work in me if I sit passively. His might works in me as I rely on it and step out and do the work.
In his great series of sermons on this text, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones listed many ways he thought sapped the strength of the Christian.
- Committing to too many spiritual works or things
- Too much conversation
- Arguments, debates, wrangling
- Too much time in the wrong company
- Too much foolish talk and joking
- Love of money and career
- A desire for respectability and image
- An unequal yoking with an unbeliever
- Ungodly entertainment
- A wrong attitude toward or doubting the Word of God
“We have to walk on a knife-edge in these matters; you must not become extreme on one side or the other. But you have to be watchful. And, of course, you can always tell by examining yourself whether your strength is increasing or declining.” (Lloyd-Jones).
What are the areas in your life that are sapping your spiritual strength?
As you face the challenges of life are you relying on your own strength or people around you, or _______? What are you really relying on? Would you choose to rely on Him and His power instead?
Lord would you help me rely on you increasingly and so grow stronger in you, I pray.