Be Strong In The Strength Of The Lord

Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus is a letter about being holy even if you live in a society that is not. God’s passage for is taken from the sixth chapter. And now hear the word of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:10-11)

There are twenty seven specific commands in this letter. Each command has been based upon the lesson of holiness from the first two chapters. The letter begins with a reminder that God has selected us before hand so that we would be holy and blameless by living within the magnificent grace of God.

Everyone who has accepted Jesus as their savior is dwelling in grace and has received complete forgiveness for every sin – and you have been redeemed. This means that holiness has been given to you in Christ.

Since God has given you the holiness of Christ, what kind of people should you be? If God has made you holy than you also must become holy in your daily life. Throughout the Ephesian letter lesson after lesson is given to instruct us in holiness. One of the final commands given to us that we might act out the holiness that God has given us is the command to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.

There are struggles and trials on every side. Some are inside of us and others are outside. From struggling against sin to striving to obey God. Each of us have been and will continue to be tested and tried.

If everyone will be tested and tried – where will you get the strength to endure them? But where will this strength come from? How do we “get” strong in the Lord in order to BE strong in the LORD?

Most of the time we try to be strong in our own flesh. Since most of you have endured many obstacles in life you might be tempted to be strong in your own strength. It goes by many names; everything from self-sufficiency to stubbornness to arrogant pride. But it’s really the same thing: Being strong in your own strength.

But our own strength fails us. We are inadequate for the task of holiness. Every one of us can testify to failing in our prayer life even though we tried. We can all sympathize with the Alcoholic who really tries to stop drinking but his insatiable thirst drives them back for just one small drink (which cascades into another death spiral.) Every one of us has had the experience of “trying to be good” but failing miserably. We need the strength of God.

So how do we get strong in God’s power?

1. At conversion

At the moment of salvation, God works in you the exact same amount of power with which he resurrected Jesus from the dead. (Ephesians 1:18-21) We do not need to go somewhere else to look for it. God has already begun working that power on us.

When Jesus died on the cross – he was completely dead. His body was placed in a tomb where he lay until the third day. But on that third day God raised Jesus back to life. The same power God used to raise Jesus from the dead is the power that is at work in us.

In Ephesians 1:18 Paul prays that that we will understand the greatness of God’s power which he is working in us. It’s a vital prayer because so many people – and I think that includes us – fail to recognize the power of God working in ou lives now.

The power of God is salvation power. The power to raise Christ from the dead is the power to save your soul. Before someone comes to Christ, they might be walking around but they have a dead soul.

Listen to Ephesians 1:18-20. Read Ephesians 1:18-20.

Paul prays that we’ll understand the hope of God’s calling which is salvation. He prays that we’ll understand the riches of God’s glory – which is our inheritance in heaven. He prays that we’ll understand that the resurrection power of Christ is the same power at work in us.

Even if your body is alive – before you accept Jesus your own spirit is dead in sin. But when you accept Jesus God raises you to life in Jesus Christ. That is resurrection power and it is God working in us!

2. Through The indwelling Holy Spirit

The power of God comes from the Holy Spirit working inside of us. Ephesians 3:14-16 (Read it) begins a prayer from Paul. In this prayer he asks that God will strengthen us through the Holy Spirit which is already dwelling inside of us.

This is reflected in Luke 11:13 where Jesus informs us that God will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him. If you are feeling weak in your walk with God – ask him for power to walk with him. If you will ask God and trust him for the Filling of the Holy Spirit he will give you his Spirit in power.

3. Throughout our lives in Christ

The power of God is already at work in those who know Jesus. In Ephesians 3:20 Paul offers praise to God and says also that the power of God is already at work within us.

The command therefore to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might is a double command both to know Jesus personally and after this to walk obedience to God in your salvation.

One of the key reasons then that we often fail at this command to be strong in the Lord is because we are not looking to God for our daily existence. We exist or rather subsist on our own pathetic abilities and as a result end up having a walk with God that falls far short of what he wants us to have.

When you live in obedience to Christ the power of God will be at work in you as the Holy Spirit gives you the ability to obey God and to defeat the enemy.

Let me exhort you today and leave you with this. Do not trust in your own strength to walk in obedience any more than you can trust in your own strength to save you. As sure as trusting yourself will land you in hell – so also trusting yourself to walk in holiness will land you in sin.

Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.