These next couple days i will be going through Ephesians 6:10-18. This morning i was reading through the last chapter of Ephesians. Paul is writing from a jail cell from somewhere we do not know (as Paul was in jail many times for faith in Christ). Paul starts off in verse 10 saying, ” Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” In the next verses, Paul will tell us how we can stand firm against the schemes of the enemy and the evil of this world. But before he gets into the juice of the full armor of God, he says, ” Be strong in the Lord”. This is a radical statement that we need to just sit in for a bit.
Notice here how Paul is not saying be strong in and of ourselves, or to pick ourselves up by the bootstraps and just be strong. This is something that Paul always pinned on. In 2 Corinthians 12:7 he says he has a thorn in the flesh. This could have been the pain of all that he has endured, (i.e. several floggings, jailing’s, beatings, etc.), it could have been that he was loosing his sight, or anything really that made him weak. The Lord had given this thorn in the flesh to Paul to keep him from becoming conceited. As he pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away, Jesus responded, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Paul continues saying, ” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
This is crazy. It is the upside-down kingdom. The last shall be first, and the first shall be last (Matt 19:30; Matt 20:16), he who looses his life will find it, he who seeks his life will loose it (Matt. 6:25; Luke 17:33), the King of all Kings trades His crown of glory in exchange for a crown of thorns (Matt 27:29; John 19:2 Heb 2:9) etc. This is the one we hone in on right now though. The weak will be made strong (1 Cor 1:27). “God chooses the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” God is fulfilling His Kingdom the exact opposite way that we ever do it. Now back to Ephesians. Paul knows weakness. he understands what it is like, and i am sure that the people of Ephesus knew it as well. i can guarantee that the Ephesians were getting persecuted for their faith in Christ as Paul was. Not only that hardship but the spiritual opposition as well. All throughout Ephesians Paul gives this Church encouragement, rebuke, and duties that they must perform; knowing that they need Christ’s strength to perform them.
Be strong in THE LORD, and in the STRENGTH of HIS MIGHT. Nothing of ourselves is strong. Jesus says apart from Me, you can do nothing (John 15:5). we may be weak, but we can produce fruit from being weak, and relying solely on Christ.
Rely on Him. Trust in Him. Surrender to Him. He won’t fail.