August 24, 2009
“Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of
his might.” – Ephesians 6:10
Christianity is a matter of balance. On the one hand, we are to
rely on God’s power. On the other hand, we are to give life
our 100%. On the one hand, we are to hate sin. On the other hand,
we are to love the sinner.
And here is another one: On the one hand, we are to recognize
our weakness and that we always stand in need of God’s grace.
But on the other hand, as Ephesians 6 reminds us, we are to be
strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might, standing firm
against the devil and all his minions.
I think we have perhaps allowed the pendulum to swing a bit far
in the direction of the former – emphasizing to such an extent
that we are in need of God’s grace to accomplish anything
of worth that we aren’t teaching people to stand on their
own two feet and get the job done. We are so concerned with humbly
admitting our neediness that we have forgotten God’s unbelievable
provision that makes us strong enough to withstand the onslaught
of Satan himself.
The point is not to allow the pendulum to swing too far in the
other direction, so that we forget our need and our weakness and
our inadequacy. The urgency is to come back to the center point,
the balance point, where we recognize our own inadequacy and our
sufficiency in Christ; that we practice humility and courage; that
we spend time on our knees and standing firm in the battle.
Certainly, we should never forget that in ourselves we are weak.
But don’t let that stop you from standing strong.
- Do you
have a good balance in your belief system between recognizing your
personal weakness and understanding your strength in Christ? Or
do you emphasize one more than the other? What effect does your
belief system have as it is played out in your life?
- Do you find it easy or hard to affirm that you personally
can grow in faith so that you are strong in the Lord, able to
stand firm against all the schemes of the devil? Why?
- Can you say honestly
that you are strong in the Lord? If not, do you truly want to
be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might? Remember,
it takes a life of discipline, effort, and often pain to achieve!