Be strong in the Lord

And in His mighty power.

The night before, the author had fellowship with the small group he’s part of. They talked about Ephesians 6:10–18.

Now, one might say… whether after reading the verses or having familiar knowledge about it, that this whole ‘armor of God’ thing is really a popular verse and is pretty much easy to follow.

If that’s the case, let me share a deeper understanding of the concluding verses of the book of Ephesians.

When someone is in a dire situation, it is easy to say, “God will not give you a situation that you can’t handle”. However, the opposite is true. The Lord will put you in situations beyond your ability precisely because He wants you to learn how to depend on Him, who can do all things.

The world’s perspective when tough times come is to have a spirit of self-reliance and ‘I can do it’ aura. But His word says, “Be strong in the Lord”.

Being strong in the Lord doesn’t mean doing church activities, religious rituals, or even memorizing a couple of Bible verses. It does not depend on you.

It’s a passive action. This means we are to be strengthened by the Lord, and not by doing good works. We only need a humble heart willing to rely in His mighty power. He is omnipotent, after all.

Putting on the armor of God, however, is in active form. We are the doers. And the action seems to indicate that there is a war ongoing. And it’s true.

Before Paul goes to elaboration, he reminds the Ephesians regarding who the real enemy is. Not fellow believers nor unbelievers. And certainly not even the false teachers in the congregation.

Truth be told, we are up against an organized group of rulers, authorities, powers, and spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, there is no moment of complacency and guarding down, because the enemy is clever and waiting for someone to devour.

Seems like the ball is not on our side, then? Think again. Let me remind you to whom the armor belongs to. It is His. And we are privileged to wear it, so that when the day of evil comes, we may be able to withstand. Truth be told, we are utterly useless without it.

Belt of truth. The purpose of the belt is to hold the body’s armor altogether. It represents the truths in our Christian faith. We are to buckle it around our waist, reminding ourselves of the Gospel and God’s Word.. without which everything will fall apart.

Breastplate of Righteousness. A warrior needs something to protect his heart. After being reminded of the positional righteousness we have through the cross, it is the practical righteousness which will keep us from having our hearts damaged by wickedness. We are now able to be righteous not because of our works, but Christ’ blood.

Shoes of Readiness. As we walk through the battlefield, it is inevitable that we will step on dangers that will hurt our feet, preventing us from going on. That’s precisely why we have peace from the Gospel… whatever thorns of life we encounter, we can receive the peace of Christ which transcends all understanding.

Shield of Faith. Now this is where the real fight begins. The enemy will throw all kinds of lies and temptations to defeat us, but we ought to defend with the shield which can extinguish all the flaming darts: faith.

Helmet of Salvation. The mind is meant to be protected, too. It is ultimately our salvation in Christ which needs to be the center of our thoughts as we stand on the battlefield.

Sword of the Spirit. The single and greatest offensive weapon that we have is the Word of God. It is a sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Lastly, we are to be praying at all times in the Spirit. Not just ‘pray’, but ‘pray in the Spirit’. This is because it is the Holy Spirit who aligns our heart so that our prayers are not in vain.

When someone comes to you seeking help in the midst of life’s trials, you now know what to say. “Be strong in the Lord, and in His mighty power.”

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