Be Strong in the Lord.
” Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil”
There is nothing that is more urgently important for all of us who claim to be called by God and those of us who say that we have been born again to understand the importance of the teaching of the particular section of the Word of God.
I say to those who say that we are Christians, because the Apostle Paul’s words are addressed to Christian people, and Christian people only. There is no message here for those who are not Christians. The world today ridicules this kind of statement. They refer to Christanity as old foggyism. The world does not believe in the spiritual realm at all. The world is even doubtful to whether there is a God at all. The world has no faith in Jesus Christ and therefore does not believe that there are “principalities and powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high nor even in low places.
But to those of us who say that we have been saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost these words should mean something to us. It is full of help and real encouragement. No matter what you and I are going through right now, Paul tells us don’t give up, don’t give in, but to be strong in the Lord.
There is no theme that is more urgently important to all Christians at the present time than for us to learn to be strong in the Lord. When we look at the world, and we look at life and to all the difficulties of living, especially in these confused times in which we find ourselves. Where nation is against nation and kingdom is against kingdom and mother’s are against daughters and father’s are against sons, and husband’s are against wives and wives are against husbands, we must learn how to be strong in the Lord.
I’m not suggesting that life has ever been easy in this world for the Christian. But the battle is more so as of now. There was a time when at least a man’s home was more or less shut off from the world. Where a man’s home was his castle. But now the world comes into the home in many different ways. It comes into the home in newspapers, magazines, radio, television, internet and other kinds of media. And because of the world infiltrating the home, the fight of faith becomes difficult and strenuous for the Christian at such a time as this.
And because of the circumstances of the world and because of the difficulties of this life, we are called to a battle. We are not called to a life of ease, but we are called to a battle of warfare, to a wrestle and to a struggle.
Sometimes are struggles and our warfare and our wrestling seems hopeless. Paul says that we are wrestling with spiritual wickedness in high places.
But thank God there is hope in Jesus. What is offered us as we find ourselves facing all this, this wrestling, this struggling, this combat. Paul tells us first, “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might”, second, he tells us to “Put on the whole armor of God.”
We must notice that both of these are necessary if we are going to win the struggle. We can’t take one without the other. We can’t be strong without the whole armor of God. It doesn’t do us any good to put on the whole armor and not be strong.
Notice that Paul does not tell you to put the armor on first, and then be strong in the Lord. No, it is the other way around. First we must “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might”; then, “Take on the whole armor of God.
So often people just take one or the other of these factors. There are some folk who say, “All you need to do is to hand it over to the Lord and rely on His strength.” They never say anything about the whole armor of God. But Paul tells us to girt our loins with truth. Put on the breastplate of righteousness. Shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Take the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation.
There are others who say put on the whole armor of God as if they can fight the battle on their own strength. Did you not know that without God you could do nothing. Without God you would fail. Without God your life would be rugged, like a ship without a sail?
Paul says, “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.” Here is a great order issued by the mighty Apostle Paul. Here is a word sent out to the Christian army gathered together, with the enemy on the other side. This particular passage of scripture is telling us to stand up to temptation when we are in the street, when we are in our home. Stand up to temptation when you are on your job. Stand up to temptation when you are on the school yard. You ought to stand up and say for God I’ll live and for God I’ll surely die.
Paul tells us to be strong because of the power of the devil. Did you not know that the devil is powerful. He is not all powerful, but he is powerful. Never underestimate the power of the devil. The bible tells us that he is “as a roaring lion, going to and fro, seeking whom he may devour.” The devil is powerful. The bible says that he can even “transform himself into an angel of light”.
We need the power of God, so that we might be able to stand in these evil days. Notice that even though the Christian life is always the same kind of life. Some days are worse than others. JIBS that we are living in evil days. Evil and sin are so powerfully organized. Everywhere you go, there is trouble. Good has become bad and bad has become good. There is confusion all over the land and country. There is confusion even in the Church. It is not easy to be a Christian in a time like this. Satan is unusually busy, because he knows that his time is not long. We need to stand in times like these. There is only one way that you and I will be able to stand and that is with the power and the whole armor of God. Though the confusion is terrible those who believe the truth can still stand. Those we are wrestling with spiritual wickedness in high places, those who believe the truth can still stand. Though the world is being turned upside down, those who believe the truth can still stand. IJSB don’t be discouraged. Don’t be disheartened, do not be misled. You may be standing alone, but you can still stand. Friends may turn their backs on you, but you can still stand. Family may not understand you, but you can still stand.
Then once you stand, then Paul tells us to “Be strong in the Lord, and the power of his might.” We ought to be strong, not only for ourselves, but because we are people in the plan of salvation. We are members of the body of Christ. We belong to Him. We belong to the family of God. We represent our Father which is in Heaven. That’s why he tells us to let our light so shine so that men may see our good works and glorify the father which is in Heaven.
Hebrews 2:11 says he is “not ashamed to call us brethren”. In Hebrews 11:16 it says that “God is not ashamed to be called God”. We ought to be strong, not only for our sakes but for His sakes. We must remember today that the reputation of Almighty God is in our hands. His Son and the Holy Spirit is in our hands. The only bible that some folk will ever read is you and I. We must let the world know that there is a reality is serving a true and living God. We represent a true and living God. We represent a God that can pick people up and turn them around. We represent a God that can deliver. We represent a God that can make a way out of no way. We represent a God that has the whole world in his hands.
We are all being watched at the present time. The world is most unhappy. Men and women, girls and boys don’t know what to do. They don’t know where to turn. But when you and I stand for right and righteousness. Somebody is gonna want to know what’s your secret. How can you smile when everything is upside down. You can tell them… That this joy that I have, the world didn’t give it to me. You can tell them that I sing, because I’m happy. I sing because I’m free. You can tell them that I serve a living savior. Tell them, that because of Calvary, we have victory. Tell them that he will open doors that are closed in your face. Tell them, that he will open up windows and pour out blessing. It doesn’t matter what the terrorist do, it doesn’t matter what President Obama does, it doesn’t matter what Martha Stuart does. It doesn’t matter what Osoma Bin Ladden does. Tell them that only, only what you do for Christ will last…
Tell them that Just the name of Jesus is worthy to be praide. Tell them that there is Joy in his name.
There is Power in his Name.
There is Completion in his name.
There is healing in his name.
There is understanding in his name.
There is achievement in his name.
There is salvation in his name.