“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” – Ephesians 6:10
When people ask us to be strong, sometimes it’s very funny and foolish in our ears. How can we stay strong amidst a weakening situation? How can we stay strong amidst all of the things happening around? Sometimes, a shallow cheer is foolish to hear. Cheering someone to stay strong in a weakening situation is just like telling someone who is drowning that they can do it if they just do their best not to drown. It doesn’t change the situation. However, a cheer to be strong with encouragement that God is always in control is the best one.
Our verse today is like the end and conclusion of a thought but Paul actually put this first before talking about the full armor of God. This is also a cheer but with a promise and with a hope that we will really definitely get past in any situation. Paul wants to remind us that we should always be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. The reason why Paul put this verse first before stating all the analogies of a soldier’s full armor is because he wants to remind us that everything still comes from the Lord.
We should always be reminded that our strength, our true strength can only be found in God. We can never find true strength in our own or from anything because we will really fail. Again, a shallow cheer is foolish to hear. A cheer to be strong, a cheer that says we can do it is foolish because we know that we can never succeed or be strong on our own, we are always dependent on God. We always need His mighty power and His strength to help us pass our situation.
So, Paul wrote this first to remind us before he lists all the things we need, that our strength should always come from God who makes everyone strong and new. He is cheering us but not a shallow cheer but it is meaningful cheer that really guarantees us the success and the comfort that we need. Indeed, our strength should always come from the Lord, who is the maker of heaven and earth.
This kind of cheer asking us to be strong is the cheer we need. Also, with prayer, we can then be strong in the Lord. However, why do we need to be strong in Him? Why can’t we just be strong for ourselves? Or just be strong on our own? Why do we have to base everything on God? Well, Paul also knew that we will ask this kind of question so he also answered this question in the succeeding verse that can really open our eyes.
We need to be strong in the Lord and trust His mighty power instead of ours because we are incapable of winning in the first place. We can never win and we can never uplift ourselves. Also, our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12). All our struggles came from one source, and that is from our enemy. He will always try to take us away from God and he is always trying to weaken us by attacking us in our most vulnerable self.
We should always remember that spiritual battle is far more real than our earthly battles. As Christians who are already following Christ, we already died with Christ on the cross and He has given us a new self already. So, our sinful nature is already gone but it will always try to resurface and that is where our enemy’s target. His goal is to hit us directly in our sinful cravings so we will once again fall down together with him. After all, all he wants is to steal, kill and destroy.
Therefore, God knows this struggle and He perfectly knows that this ongoing between the enemy’s scheme and us is real, He knows that it will really weaken us. It will affect us in every aspect and it will try to hit us either through real-life situations or spiritually concerned situations. So, God used Paul to remind us that we should always be strong but this is not a shallow reminder just like people telling us “you can do it” but this is a reminder to be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. We should always take note of the whole sentence “Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power,” for this denotes our reliance on God and not on our own.
Just like how we depend on Christ for our salvation, let us all put everything in Him. Let us be strong in Him and His mighty power. We have to understand that He even defeated sin and death, so how much more if we put our reliance and our need for strength in Him? We will definitely win and we will definitely have our victory over the enemy’s scheme. Jesus Christ will always be there to stand in our stead everytime we feel weak and heavy burdened. He will always be there to replenish our strength everyday, we just only have to pray and ask Him for help.
Again, we should not cheer someone to be strong shallowly for it is foolish, but instead, we should cheer someone to be strong meaningfully by telling them that their strength can only be found in Christ so pray. We should also pray for each other so that we will have the upperhand and the enemy will never be able to penetrate our defense for God is our frontliner of defense. We should always remember to be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. For only if we recognize weakness, we will then be opening our hearts for Christ who strengthens us.
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