Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. – Eph. 6:10 KJV
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The biblical book of Ephesians is a letter written by the Apostle Paul to the Christians in Ephesus. With the main focus on the need for Christians to live in unity, he also dwelt on the need for Christians to live as children of light – Eph. 4:17-32. To dwell in unity as far as Paul was concerned will not only be to consider all who have been called and have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, as one in Christ, whether Jew or Gentile – Eph. 3:1-13, but to also see the various ministries to which each individual has been called into, as a part of a whole, with each to be accorded the appropriate recognition it deserves – Eph. 4:1-16. Still going further on the need to dwell in unity, the Apostle Paul stretches the need for unity in family units stressing the importance of unity between husbands, wives, children, slaves and masters – Eph. 5:22 – 6:9. Today’s scripture is opening verse of his conclusion of this important letter which strongly focused on the huge advantage and strength that is inherent in unity – Eph. 6:10.
In this scripture, he advises Christians to;
1. Remain strong in the Lord which means that they should ensure that their relationship with the Lord remains strong irrespective of the life challenge they may be facing .
2. Remain strong in the power of the Lord, implying that they should continue to depend on the Lord for ability to bring positive changes to their situation.
The use of the conjunctive word “and”, implies a separation of both as it indicates that being strong in both remains important for Christians. He believes strength in these two areas are very important because the Christian is not struggling against flesh and blood but against rulers, authorities, powers of a dark world and against evil spiritual forces in heavenly places – Eph. 6:12. What a great revelation for any serious minded Christian who intends to make a success of his life as a Christian.
Very often, we are made aware of the obvious fact that the world seems to be a theatre of battle. It seems nothing in this world is ever achieved without some level of struggle or the other, but despite this supposed general awareness, only very few people are actually prepared for the battles of life. No wonder, the level of failed lives that is witnessed in the world as a whole and particularly amongst Christians. It is likely that the frequency or the impact of the effect of the sudden appearance of life challenges, that come on Christians will be reduced if Christians are made to understand and possess this knowledge as provided by the Apostle Paul.
The Apostle Paul states that the challenges of life are not caused by flesh and blood, a phrase which was also used by Jesus Christ, whilst trying to commend Simon Peter on his conclusion about who Christ was – Matt. 16:17. Jesus had in his response on that occasion, told Peter that, flesh and blood was not the source of the revelation that he expressed in that opinion. The Apostle Paul in this scripture was making it known to the Christian that man as represented by that friend, family member, neighbour, etc., should not be the target of our battles. If Christians knew or believed this, they will not be wasting time seeking for enemies amongst these group of creations, and will be more successful in their life battles, because defeating that individual in that battle will not translate to that expected positive change. Paul says they have to see the enemies from the following perspectives:
1. Rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world – Eph. 6:12b. This reveals the spiritual state of the world that we live in and the fact that there are creatures who exercise ultimate power and are so authorised to exercise such powers probably by the Almighty God. Recognition of this salient fact will help the Christian know what kind of battle he/she is involved with.
2. Evil spiritual forces in heavenly places – Eph. 6:12c. This reveals that, just as the Christian looks up to the heavens for spiritual support, there are also spiritual beings in that environment whose activities are aimed at truncating all such support that may be available from such sources.
Obviously, these are spiritual beings which physical weapons are ineffective against. Acquisition of spiritual weapons is therefore key to successfully challenge this spiritual enemies. Where these spiritual weapons are acquired, directing them at the real enemies is also important as many direct these spiritual weapons at human targets. They may succeed in affecting these supposed enemies but their battle is never over, as the target is just a host to the real spiritual enemy, who just simply relocates to another host to continue with its negative acts.
Acquire the right weapons and aim at the right enemies and you are assured of total victory over all those life battles in Jesus name. Amen.