Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
~ Ephesians 6.10-12, ESV
Welcome to mile-marker 19 of our #encourage marathon. (If you missed yesterday’s post, you can read it here.)
Someone out there is weak. It might even be you.
We can be strong in all the wrong ways, making us weak in the struggles that matter most. One may be strong in knowledge, but have no clue as to how to apply it. One can be a strong drinker, corroding their liver and slowly killing themselves. One can be strong in body, but unable to control their temper, making them a bully.
We must be strong in the right way.
Strong-willed against evil. Strong against our foolish desires. Strong against temptation. Strong in the LORD.
We are running our race of life in a battle zone. War is going on all around us. If we trust in our own strength—relying on our wealth, position, brawn, knowledge, etc—the enemy will inevitably overpower us. It’s not a matter of if, but when. Our enemy is cunning; it is foolishness to underestimate him.
How do we stand strong in the Lord?
To be strong in the Lord, we must suit up in His armor and face the enemy prepared. Notice that Paul says, we must “put on the whole armor” not just some of it. Every single piece is critical to our survival.
I was told a true story about a police officer who survived a fight on the side of the road with a deadly felon. The day of the incident, he was scheduled to work an overtime detail. As he suited up, he momentarily considered leaving his backup pistol behind. It was, after all, just an overtime detail. In the course of the day, he spotted a vehicle that had been identified as having two felons. He pulled them over and a fight ensued between one man while the other felon ran. He fought this huge, burly man on the side of the road. It was a fight for his very life. They struggled on the ground and the felon grabbed hold of his gun. The officer managed to get it away from the felon and grabbed his backup pistol. Still wrestling on the ground, the felon strong-armed the officer and turned the pistol (still in the officer’s hand) toward the officer. The officer and the felon both had their hands in the trigger guard area. The officer’s trigger finger was behind the the trigger so that it could not be pulled back to fire. They struggled for ageless minutes in this way until finally the officer was able to turn the gun around and eliminate his enemy. The officer lost his trigger finger, but saved his own life. What would have happened if he hadn’t brought his full gear? He would likely have perished completely.
We must wear every piece of the Lord’s armor or we will leave ourselves vulnerable to destruction. If we approach any situation with the attitude “I can manage without this piece of gear this go-around,” our enemy will notice what we lack and attack. If we are going to be strong in the Lord and stand against the devil, we need it all, every moment. None of us can rely on our own strength to win this fight.
Be strong in the Lord and HIS might, not your own. Keep on fighting. Keep on advancing.
Please continue to join me on Facebook, Twitter and here at Elihu’s Corner for this marathon. Share the image or verse reference on your Twitter feed or Facebook page with the hash tag (#encourage). Take time today to copy down this verse for yourself. Send an email or text to someone you know who would benefit from this encouragement.
Make some time to copy down these verses. Some of them are a bit long, but it only takes a few minutes. Ask your kids to do it with you. Don’t just be encouraged, but encourage others in the race!
Here is my own copywork from yesterday: