BE STRONG IN THE LORD

Eph 6:10-13  “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

Paul has admonished the church, husbands, wives, children, parents, servants, and masters that, being filled with the Spirit, they should love and serve each other. Now he is coming to the close of his instruction, and he addresses them all with a familial greeting; he calls them brethren. This is not an indication of being related in the sense of having the same natural parents, but rather that he is addressing those that he considers to be like himself in faith and service to God.

To those that are like Paul in faith and service, this admonishment remains (finally). Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. Trials are going to come; persecution is going to come; men are going to ridicule and hate you for the love of Christ. Your faith is going to be tested. When these things come upon you, don’t lean on the strength of men; be strong in the Lord. He is our shield and guide. We can safely trust in Him to neither leave or forsake us. He is not only strong to withstand, but he is also mighty in power. In Him we can stand against these things and move forward in our service to Him and His people.

We are not defenseless nor or we in any manner unprotected. The whole armor of God is at our disposal. He has perfectly equipped us to be able to withstand the craftiness of our adversary. Our wrestling is not against individual men, but against principalities (defined by Strong’s as a commencement or beginning). In other words, we wrestle with the vanity of man that was a principle in Adam’s fall. We wrestle with powers (defined by Strong’s as freedom or mastery); we battle the notion that we are in control of the world around us. We wrestle against the many false ideas of this age (world) that obscure the truth of God’s sovereignty.

The spiritual wickedness we stand against is not about the governments of men. These are set up and taken down by God according to His good pleasure. In Paul’s day, the spiritual wickedness in high places came from the office of the high priest and the Jew’s religion that denied that Jesus is the Son of God. It came from those self-righteous brethren in Jerusalem that demanded that the Gentiles be circumcised like they had. The high places are those places where people look to for spiritual guidance.

Today we fight against the notion of a God who is portrayed as waiting on us to make up our minds so He can do something to save us. We wrestle against the idea that all we have to do to have our fill of worldly riches, fine cars, and fame is to claim it in Jesus’ name. When it doesn’t happen then it is our lack of faith that is at fault. We need to be proclaiming with power that God is sovereign and mighty to save. He waits on no man, and our treasures in Him are far more valuable than anything the world has to offer us. This is not a battle that can be fought from a distance. We are not making tactical strikes with long range missiles; Paul called it wrestling. It is up close and personal, hand-to-hand, and we are equipped to deal with it by the grace of God. Declare the truth as it is in Christ Jesus, then stand on that truth in the might and power of God.

May we be clothed with the the complete protection of God’s provision and stand fast in His service and love!

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