By Dave Breese
There is a simple admonition of Scripture which applies to every believer in Jesus Christ. If practiced, it would lead to remarkable Christian capability on the part of every child of God. It is contained in two simple words and constitutes a call for all who know Christ.
The two simple words are, Be Strong. As we read the Bible, (which we should do every day), we find these words repeated. In fact, they are found so frequently in Scripture that one begins to suspect that God really means it when He tells us that we are to be strong. Let us, therefore, suggest just a few areas in which the Bible specifically tells us that we are to exercise strength, force, purpose, and determination.
First of all, we are to be strong for the Lord. We are never to be afraid of the opposition, but we are always to operate in the strength of the Lord. Whatever may be the form of opposition which we face, we are not to fear, but rather we are to be resolute Christians. Virtually every writer of the entire Bible brought up the subject of strength by which to operate for God. At the same time, virtually every writer confessed to his own human weakness, and therefore, the impossibility of accomplishing a great work by depending on his own strength and wisdom. Each one of these writers of the Word of God then reported that they were empowered with unusual strength because they had not depended upon themselves but upon the Lord. Therefore, the Scripture reports that in their weakness, they were made strong. For instance, the Apostle Paul was able to write about how we can possess the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power (Eph. 1:19).
When we are empowered by God, strengthened with His own courage, we find that the Lord is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us (Eph. 3:20). There is no doubt that each one of us faces impossible problems, frightening difficulties, perplexity which is beyond our capability to solve. In the midst of all of this, however, if we determine to be strong in the Lord with His help, we will experience divine enablement far beyond our poor little powers. The Lord turns our weakness into strength! We know this because of hundreds of applicable promises in the Word of God.
Then we are admonished to be strong against the Devil. The Scripture tells us, we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph. 6:12). What then are we to do? Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand (Eph. 6:13).
The Devil is in serious confrontation before all of us. He wants to ruin your life, destroy the work of God, and defeat the Church. So the Scripture seriously says, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world (I Peter 5:8-9).
So, we as members of the army of the Lord, are in the contingent of resistance against His Infernal Majesty the Devil. The Devil should be seriously worried every day about the prospect of facing resolute Christians who are determined to be good soldiers for Christ.
The Scripture also indicates that there is coming a time when Satan will know his time is short and will go forth with great wrath (Rev. 12:12). We can, therefore, expect that pressure from the satanic side will increase. The battle, therefore, will grow stronger, the battle between Satan and the believers. This is not the time to run and hide. O indeed, it is the time to check our armor, strengthen our resolve, and be ready when the trumpet sounds.
We are also called upon to be strong in the Word. There are many Christians in todays world who do aspire to live a life of capability and consequence. They are seeking the strength by which they can be soldiers for Christ. Unfortunately, many are looking in the wrong direction. They are seekers of the great experience, pursuers of the secret, analysts of the mystery, and these pursuits do not seem to work. Many are in this state of spiritual frustration because their aspirations to Christian capability are not based on real knowledge.
Do you want to be a good soldier of Christ? Then notice that the Bible says, For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb. 4:12). Here we are reminded that the major weapon in the battle for truth in todays world is the Word of God which is living and powerful. We have a spiritual resource in the Bible that pierces even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit. The resource is not argument, coercion, endless reasoning, or any of that. It is the Bible. Therefore, we are admonished to be strong in the Word!
A person who pursues their capability will find strength growing in his life which is truly inexplicable. A powerful knowledge of the Bible, the ability to compare Scripture with Scripture is truly taking unto ourselves the whole armor of God. It is this pursuit that will make it possible for us to stand in the evil day and having done all, to stand (Eph. 6:13). According to the Word, the helmet of salvation is the Word of God, which Word is also presented to us as being sharper than any two-edged sword.
Therefore, put it down and never forget it, that the greatest asset in the life of a Christian is a knowledge of Holy Scripture and the ability to readily use this knowledge in every circumstance of life. The believing Christian, filled with a careful and exact knowledge of the Bible is the greatest threat against the Devil in the world today. A simple, careful study of the Bible is the believers most worthy pursuit. We do not have to travel to some mountain in India, look for a strange light in the sky, listen for midnight noises, or any of this kind of thing. In fact, until we have a disciplined group of articulate Christians who cannot be withstood, we will seek to do great things but in vain.
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