ARMOUR OF GOD – To be Strong
Our passage in Ephesians has three specific commands (imperatives) to inform our ability to withstand the opposition that comes from the devil:
- ‘Be Strong’ (v10)
- ‘Put on’ (v11)
- ‘Stand’ (v14)
Today we’ll look at that first imperative:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.”Ephesians 6:10
This is a peculiar command: ‘Be strong’! How do you just make yourself stronger? It’s not like you can just take a supplement, head to the gym, and come back strong!
A better way of expressing this imperative is: ‘Be Strengthened’
Immediately what this tells us is that the strength to succeed is not in us. It’s in God, and we have to actively draw on that strength. Constantly!
In fact if you think about it, the victorious Christian life is a life spent drawing strength from God.
This is quite simply because He has lots of it!Thats what ‘the strength of his might’ means. Gods might is His ability to assert His authority. He is very capable of asserting His authority! And we are not. So we draw on His capability all through our Christian journey.
In fact this has been one of the themes of the book of Ephesians: the abundance of power at our disposal.
“that you may know…what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe”
“that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being”
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us”
Do you get the message?
We’re not powerful.
We have access to God.
And His power.
In 1 Samuel we read the story of David coming back from an expedition against the Philistines. As he returns to his fortress of Ziklag, he finds the Amelekites have attacked while the men are away and taken all the women & children.
Imagine the distress! The men are off fighting when they should have been at home protecting own! Imagine the:
Guilt. Failure. Deep depression.
David’s loyal men even spoke of stoning him because of his failure!
In this compromised mental and emotional situation David is in enemy territory.
Forget Philistines and Amelekites, Satan himself is going to use events like this to devastate your will and push you to give up.
David recognises this, and this is how he responds:
“And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”1 Samuel 30:6
This is a great example of how to ‘strengthen yourself’, especially at times when you’re compromised. May God strengthen you daily as you actively draw on His strength
Activity for kids
1. Do a homework session:
Do a workout with your child at home, focussing on the exercises that make us strong. Discuss how we can do our best to be strong, but in the end, our power and own effort is not enough. Discuss how we need to rely on God’s strength – and his strength is invincible!
2. The Lord is my Strength:
Let your child make a poster and write the words of Psalm 28:7a on it:
‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me’.
Discuss, write or draw all the ways that God helps us. Put it somewhere in the house as an encouragement and reminder to rely on God and be strong in him.