What comes to mind when you think of a soldier in the army?
What comes to mind when you think of a warrior?
I think of individuals who have been specially trained, who know how to handle themselves in combat.
Paul writes to the Ephesians and instructs:
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:10-11)
When Paul gave this direction, he would have been thinking about the Roman regiment. And that’s where he got the idea to use these soldiers and their armour to illustrate the child of God in spiritual warfare, with spiritual weapons, engaging in spiritual combat.
The first thing we are commanded to do, is to be strong. Not wishy washy. Not crumbling at the first sign of confrontation, disappointment, or opposition. We are to be strong.
What does that mean – to be strong?
It means we are to be resilient. To be hardy. To be able to bear up under pressure. To have mental, emotional and spiritual stability. But we are not expected to be strong in and of ourselves (thank God!).
We are commanded to be strong in the Lord. Did you get that? Be strong IN the Lord. To be in the Lord means we are enclosed. It means we are covered. It means we are inside him. We are not on him, under him, beside him, behind him, but in him!
Yet life happens and life is not usually packaged in a neat pretty bow. Life does not offer us an even plane with idyllic circumstances. It offers curved balls. It serves us conundrums. It delivers mountain top experiences along with valleys of adversity and mind-boggling dilemmas.
Our heavenly father knows this. After all he is omniscient. So when he demands that we be strong, does this mean we should only show the “stiff upper lip” as the Brits used to say? Does this mean, never show emotion? Does this mean we should not be susceptible to tears, or discouragement, or fear?
Absolutely not! Jesus was our role model when he was on this earth. He wept over Lazarus. He grieved for Jerusalem. He was fearful of the agony of a cruel death and separation from his beloved Father. And I doubt anyone would describe him as weak!
And that’s why we cannot depend upon our own strength—since that strength can obviously be diminished by discouragement and difficulties. That is why Paul admonishes us to be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.
What does it mean to be “in the Lord”? It means the Lord is the container and we are inside. It means the Lord is our fortress and we are within that fortress.
So dear child of God, do you understand what is being asked of you? Are you taking heed?
Be strong in the Lord!
Think of it another way. Think of it as abiding. Abiding in the vine. Abiding in God’s Word. Abiding in God’s presence. Living in such a way that you are vitally connected to the source of divine might and strength.
Be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might!
Spiritual strength is important. A soldier who falls to pieces mentally and emotionally is no good on the battlefield. A soldier who does not have physical stamina, is no good to his comrades or superiors. In fact he could become a liability.
Strength is required to withstand the Enemy. Strength is required to withstand the internal voices that assail you as you go about your daily living (Can I do this? Suppose I fail? Am I good enough?), or as you take your place on the battlefield of prayer (Has God heard my petition? Will God grant this request?).
Let me illustrate how Paul’s challenge to the Body of Christ, plays out in a real life scenario. I presume you are familiar with the Bible story of David and Goliath.
Do you recall the response of Saul and members of his army? These men were seasoned soldiers. These men were fighting veterans. And yet they were afraid. They were afraid because they approached the prospect of facing their enemy, in their own strength and might. And when it came to measuring their strength and their might against this gigantic Philistine, they believed they were no match for this enemy – and of course they were right!
However, David, an unseasoned, and untested and unorthodox warrior, saw himself as strong in the power of God’s might. He saw not the bigness of this giant foe but the greatness of his covenant-keeping God.
How did he come by such spiritual strength? How did he gain such supernatural confidence? Through regular fellowship with God. Through a committed ongoing relationship. And through experiences gained during his every-day life as a shepherd, as a worshipper.
In Daniel 11:32b, we are told: …the people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits.
Dear warrior of God,
Dear WoW follower or visitor,
How is your relationship with God?
Do you have spiritual strength?
Without spiritual strength you cannot resist the Enemy. Without spiritual strength you cannot stand your ground.
Don’t waste time, don’t expend your energy fighting against people. It’s tempting yes, to use carnal weapons such as put-downs, arguments, hostility, withdrawal of love, etc.
It may even feel temporarily satisfying but use of such weapons will only dissipate your spiritual strength. Use of such weapons will only put you at odds with the Commander of our faith. Even worse, use of such weapons puts us in the same territory (i.e. on the same side) as our deadly Enemy.
Want to succeed this year?
Want this year to be better than those gone before?
Want to walk as a victorious over-comer?
Want to reign in your circumstances, instead of your circumstances ruling you?
Then develop your spiritual strength. Aim to be strong and let that supernatural strength, that sense of stability, that emotional and internal resilience be a product of God’s power and might. Let that strength permeate your life through your ongoing relationship with him.
And remember dear one, regardless of any negative circumstance you may face—you are more than a conqueror. So believe it, declare it, and walk confidently in this truth – today!
This Week’s Prayer Focus:
In accordance with Ephesians 6:18, let’s pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ (particularly those who’ve been imprisoned for their faith). Pray that we will be empowered by our relationship with God and will stand firm in the face of any attack by the Enemy.
Remember to protect yourself by putting on your spiritual armour before entering the battlefield of prayer!
Father God in heaven, thank you for making us a partaker of your divine nature. Thank you for granting us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Christ. Thank you for equipping the body of Christ with supernatural weapons of warfare and with an armour that protects us from the onslaught of the Enemy. Help us to be vigilant, to be aware that Satan prowls around seeking to devour our faith and our confidence in you and seeking to prey on our weaknesses.
Lord Jesus, you are the high priest of our confession. We therefore declare with boldness that this year we will not be intimidated by, or slothful about the Enemy’s attacks against us and our loved ones. We declare that we are not ignorant of Satan’s devices and we determine in our hearts not to indulge in the use of carnal weapons but to submit our thoughts, attitudes and actions to the obedience of Christ. We apply the protective power of the blood of Jesus over our minds and over our lives, against which Satan and his cohorts have no immunity.
Lord, we pray for those brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering persecution for their faith. We ask that you strengthen them with might by your Holy Spirit in their inner being. Cause them to hope in you and may that hope act as an anchor for their soul. Deliver them from evil. Let not the plans of the Enemy prevail against them or their families. Grant them the inner peace that transcends natural understanding.
Thank you Father-God for your goodness and mercy. Thank you for your unfailing compassion. Whether at liberty or imprisoned, we proclaim your sovereignty in the lives of your people and we declare your miraculous power is at work within our lives.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
© Carol Hind
***** ***** *****
Sunday’s Supplications invites you to not only read the posts but also participate in the prayers. Each fortnight, I hope to introduce a new theme and prayer focus. You are welcome to print off and use each prayer provided, either verbatim or adapted for your particular circumstance. Even better, you can construct your own prayer and share with others by linking to this post. Please note, you do not have to be a blogger to participate.
***** ***** *****
Women of Warfare followers and visitors be blessed and have a wonderful week!
CREDIT: The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com