Saturday, October 20, 2012

Strength in the Lord

UV 554/10,000 Ephesians 6 v 10 Strength in the Lord “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord , and in the power of His might.” The Word repeatedly asks us to be spiritually strong. Scripture warns us that the strength of youth will fail, the strength of horses and chariots will fail but when we avail the strength of the Lord, it will never fail us. We are to be empowered by wearing and carrying the full spiritual armour: the assurance that we have eternal life in Christ, the sword of the Word of God, a righteous lifestyle, willingness and eagerness to share the gospel and steadfastness in holding on to the truth. In addition, we need to pray in the spirit always with supplication for our needs and intercession for others. When we do all this, we are clothed with the power of His might. There is a need to wear the full spiritual armour as we are constantly up against the deception of the enemy of our souls. He rages against us both openly and subtly. He can operate from within us, using our own thoughts and attitudes or from without, by using the ruling powers of darkness of this world. Our faith is our dart and arrow-proof shield. We need to actively use the Word in our conversation, our prayers and our thoughts for it to be a powerful weapon and not just a showpiece on the wall. When we do all this,we will be able to withstand any spiritual assault on us. We need to be first equipped, then we need to be enabled or trained and finally, we are empowered. In our attempt to "spiritualise" everything, we forget that the Lord also promises to strengthen us physically, too. For years on account of my severe injuries, I used to drag myself out of bed feeling weak and tired. But, after I consistently prayed asking the Lord to strengthen me like a “ bull of Bashan”, He even strengthened my hands and legs like the rear feet of a stag. Scripture also exhorts us to be strong in the grace of the Lord. In our weakness is the strength and glory of God revealed. The world is prepared to celebrate and use our strengths but disowns our weaknesses. But, the Lord in His grace turns our weaknesses into strengths. We are strengthened in the inner man by His grace. We should not be afraid or discouraged or disappointed. Instead, we should be courageous, patient and persevering. Our inner conviction is “ I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.” We are to be hopeful that our work for the Lord will be rewarded as He has promised to do so. To be strong in the Lord also implies that “ the joy of the Lord is our strength.” In other words, we delight in the things the Lord delights in and that becomes the source of exceeding power, exceeding the challenges we face in our daily lives. Prateep V Philip

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