August 2021 | Resurrection Hope

Be Strong in the Lord
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Be Strong in the Lord

Dr. Valson Abraham

How many times have you seriously tried to engage with God, and you suddenly have had lustful or bitter thoughts?  A telephone call?  A sudden compulsion to attend to “urgent” business?  Afterwards you feel deep pangs of guilt and wonder why you got so easily sidetracked.

How many times have you been tempted to abandon hope because of chronic problems with your spouse?  A child who has gone wrong in spite of your best efforts and many prayers?  Unjust accusations from an employer or neighbor?  Betrayals from people whom you thought you could trust?  An untimely death or unexpected illness, accident or other mishap?

These kinds of things happen without number, and at some time, they happen to all of us.  Let’s face it: this earthly life is not fair, and whether we are Christians or not, we all face life’s injustices.  

At such times, we are most likely to face Satan’s most vicious and convincing lies.  At the heart of these lies is the same basic message:  abandon God, you are without hope.  Just wither up and die.  Tragically, many people—even Christians--believe these lies and give up on God and life.

All these things remind us that we are constantly at warfare with Satan and his mobs of demons.  

For many of us, this is an unwelcome message, because we all yearn for peace and quiet.  We don’t like to be disturbed.  Unfortunately, the enemy doesn’t see it that way.  The enemy is at war with us whether we like it or not.  We’d better engage the enemy, or we will surely lose.

We have plenty of examples from history that show what happens when we don’t take these threats seriously.  Before he fired a shot, Adolf Hitler was at war with western civilization.  Neville Chamberlain did not like this reality and fancied he could come to terms with Hitler.  We all know now what a terrible blunder that was.  As a result, tens of millions of people perished in World War II.

In the same way, we can never compromise or make peace with Satan.  He is out to destroy us, and we either fight him, or become his victims.  There are no other choices.

We are blessed that God does not leave us defenseless in this life-and-death war.  In Ephesians 6, Paul tells us that our warfare is spiritual, and we need spiritual weapons with which to fight Satan, to keep vigilant and to gain the ultimate victory.  That is why Paul tells us to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10).

Some of these weapons are defensive in nature.  They include the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel of peace, the helmet of salvation.

But God also gives us an offensive weapon—the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.  He also gives us the weapon of prayer.  All these weapons are amazingly powerful and effective—if we know how to use them.

That’s why Satan works tirelessly to keep us ignorant of these powerful spiritual weapons.  He will use any tactic necessary to convince us that these wondrous weapons are powerless and useless.  The powerless lives of many Christians are testimony that Satan’s strategy has succeeded too well and too often.  This is tragic—and unnecessary.

As in any battle, learning how to use our weapons well is not an option but a necessity.  Make it your highest priority to learn how to use well the weapons that God has already given you.  Study the book of Ephesians, especially Ephesians 6:10-20.  Seek fellowship with people whose ambition is to live in the power of the Spirit.  Preach regularly from the pulpit biblically-based sermons that help the children of God learn how to use their spiritual weapons.

Before they ever go to evangelize and plant churches, our graduates learn how to use their spiritual weapons because they know they are invading Satan’s territory.  They know they will be under constant assault by a merciless enemy.  Thank God they are daily experiencing victories in places once thought “impossible” for the spread of the Good News.  

May you, like Paul, also “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” and take upon yourself the power He has already given you in the weapons He provides for all His children.

Father God, thank you for the glorious weapons you give to your children to defeat the demonic forces around us.  Teach me to use these weapons effectively that I may know what it means to be strong in You and in the power of Your might.  In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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