In His Strength
Are you tired? I get tired so easily. Yes, Lord, I have been doing things in my own strength!! Ephesians 6:10 tells us, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” I had to ask the Lord, “what does this mean? And, “how do I do that?” How do I turn from doing things in my own strength to being strong in the Lord?
In verse 11 he begins to show us how. “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” He then describes for us in detail the pieces of our armor that we are to use by faith. And Paul concludes with an exhortation to be praying at all times in the Spirit.
He makes it very clear that we are fighting a war every day, and we must be equipped in order to fight. The enemy is doing everything he can to keep us from fighting, to keep us from standing, and to keep us from the Lord.
There is also another enemy who fights against us, one who dwells within each one of us. The sin of pride. Charles Spurgeon’s Evening devotion from August 2 was very eye opening to me. It was on Ruth 2:17, “So she gleaned in the field until evening.” He writes, “Proud minds criticize and object, but humble minds glean and receive and benefit. A lowly heart is the key to profitably hearing the Gospel. The soul saving word is not received except with meekness. A stiff back makes for a bad gleaner. Pride is a vile robber and must not be tolerated for a moment.”
In so many ways it is my pride that keeps me doing things in my own strength, in my own way. I saw it again this morning.
What adjustments do you need to make in your prayer life?
One of my adjustments was getting back to picking certain days to pray for others. This morning I began to pray for the ministry using Ephesians 3:14-21. It begins “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father….” Well, I was sitting in my chair when I began and was moved to kneel as I read these words. So I did. But then I heard my husband coming and could immediately feel my flesh tense up. I was embarrassed. I honestly wanted to hide. I wanted to get up. I didn’t want him to see me. When my family is home I must confess I don’t typically pray on my knees because I am embarrassed for them to see me. Again, this is all pride.
I continued to pray and he came in and asked me what I was doing. I looked up and explained I was praying for the ministry through Ephesians and showed him the verse. He left the room and I continued, still feeling so incredibly awkward & struggling even to concentrate. Within another minute he came back and leaned down closely to me and whispered sweetly and said, “by the grace and glory of God you are such a godly woman.” Tears flooded my eyes as I thanked the Lord. I thanked Him because my husband and I both know that apart from Christ I am an ungodly woman. Praise be to the Lord - “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5:6).
Because of Christ’s sacrificial death, we have been brought to life. His shed blood has paid the debt we owe. The old has gone and the new has come! Christ in us, the hope of glory!!!!
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind” (Eph. 2:1-3).
“BUT GOD, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:4-6).
Later in the morning I was tempted to worry about some of the things I had prayed about earlier. But then I remembered that I had given it to the Lord. He is all powerful. He is the One who is strong. He is our burden bearer. He is fully trustworthy. He is faithful. Humbly placing my faith in Christ alone, I can “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might” (Eph. 6:10).
So we continue the WAR in His strength and by His grace through faith for His glory.
W alking wisely in wisdom, knowledge, and understanding
A dorning and arming ourselves with who we are in Christ
R emembering His banner over us is LOVE, and so walking in that love
By Susan Sampson