Be Strong

 

How strong are you?  Back in my high school days we worked out just about every day to build up strength and stamina. Even after high school, I found myself pumping that iron to stay in shape and to maintain my strength.  That’s probably the story of many others, but the older I get, I’ve noticed that even with working out, I can be strong, but not like the days of my youth. Physically everyone loses their strength over time, but that doesn’t have to be the case spiritually. The apostle Paul said, “Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.”  Ephesians 6:10. 

We need this encouragement today because of the hostile environments we enter into and the spiritual wrestling required to survive.  Our mistake oftentimes is that we don’t know who our opponent is, so we end up in major conflicts with our spouse, or with our co-worker, or with our neighbors. Our wrestling is with spiritual forces of darkness in heavenly places.  Our wrestling opponent, Paul said, was not on the human level, but the spiritual.  That’s not to say we don’t come into contact with those who come against us, we certainly do, but even then, we must see our battle is not directly with them.
I love watching the Strong Man’s Contest where those massive men show how strong they are by lifting weights, pushing or pulling trucks, and lifting heavy concrete balls.  It’s possible and very likely to be very strong physically, but a weakling spiritually, and that’s why Paul said, “Be strong in the Lord.” To be strong in the Lord means to walk in love and to be full of faith. To be strong in the Lord you have to know the Lord on a very personal level. To be strong in the Lord means you are a person of prayer.  To be strong in the Lord you must be filled with the Holy Spirit.  To be strong in the Lord you must be completely covered with the armor of God.  Let me ask you, what does it matter if you can win physical battles and intellectual debates if you lose every spiritual confrontation?  God has equipped you to win every spiritual wrestling match against your unseen enemy. Spiritually, you are not someone who should be pushed around and knocked down, but it happens, and it has happened to me more times than I want to admit.  So what do you do?  You get back up, and you go again.  You learn the enemy’s strategy and you renew and gain strength in the Lord. You are strong, but your source of strength is not in you, it’s in the Lord. Starting today, be strong in the Lord!