The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
When I read this, I kept coming back to vs. 10. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
“Be strong”…this is repeated throughout the Bible. I’ve been reading through the Bible and that’s always the encouragement given to new leaders. Joshua, Solomon, the Israelites and many others were encouraged to ‘be strong’, ‘be very strong’, ‘be strong and courageous”. It was used to encourage, to build up, and to prepare for battle.
We assume we know what strength is. I looked it up, and it encompasses more than we usually think of.
Strong: sure, firm, not feeble or faint, immune to attack, incapable of being tampered with, secure, of good quality and condition, solidly built, having or wielding force or authority, potent
Strength: endurance, durability, potency, effectiveness, persuasiveness, specialty, forcefulness
To be strong in the Lord means to make him our refuge, to rely on Him through the calm and through the storm. It means to hold on and endure all kinds of battles, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Being strong in the Lord gives us authority, how else do you think the apostles and prophets were able to perform miracles? It gives us a potency that cannot be reckoned with.
The verses about the “full armor of God” give us the ground work, the foundation for being strong in the Lord.
As a dancer, this really clicked with me. Dancers spend hours upon hours training. We have to be physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared. We batter ourselves and push our bodies to do things that are often not natural, though it is possible. Only rarely do we have “good days” when most, not all, of our movements were almost up to par. It wears you down. And it doesn’t pay a lot. You spend months preparing for a show, and you’re only on stage for 15-30 minutes. Then, you start all over again! Only the strong – strong of heart, mind, soul, and body – survive this routine years in the training. Why, would you torture yourself like this?? For me, It’s because I love dance. It’s my language, it’s how I pray, it’s how I worship, it’s how I de-stress.
So, why would you be strong in the Lord? Why would you suffer through spiritual battles struggling against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms? Because of love. Because you love the One who made you and died for you. And because He tells us that we don’t have to be strong, He’s strong for us and he lets us use that “mighty power.” Being strong in the Lord is what it is to be faithful to Him.
My question for you is this: how strong is your foundation? Have you gotten your armor together and put it on? Righteousness? Truth? Faith? Salvation? The Gospel of peace? The Word? Have you set your strength with the strongest One there is? I pray that you have for nothing is impossible with God.