By Bill Hall
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Eph. 6:10).
In our battle against Satan, we cannot be victorious on the basis of our own strength. We must rely on the strength and might of the Lord.
Did we in our own strength confide
Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right One on our side
The Man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth is His name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
– Martin Luther
The reason we cannot win on the basis of our own strength is because of the nature of the foe. “We wrestle not against flesh and blood” (Eph. 6:12). If it were our own strength against another man’s strength, we might be victorious on our own. The foe, however, is a spiritual foe, and a spiritual foe can be overcome only through the power of God’s might.
How To Rely On The Lord’s Might
How do we rely on the Lord’s might? (1) Through taking on the armor which he supplies: salvation as our helmet, righteousness as our breastplate, truth as our girdle, the preparation of the gospel of peace as our footwear, faith as our shield, and the word of God as our sword. There are those who rely on human philosophy, positive thinking, transcendental meditation, monasticism, self-deprivation, etc. for their armor. All such “arms of flesh” will fail.
(2) Through constant prayer to the Lord for help. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit. . . ” (Eph. 6:18). The Lord helps us in so many ways. He shields us from temptation (Matt. 6:13). He tempers temptation when it does come (1 Cor. 10: 13). He brings good influences into our lives (Rom. 1:12). He forgives when we are overcome (1 John 1:7, 9). But he does not want us taking him for granted. We must ask the Lord for help and thank him as he brings us safely through each. struggle.
(3) Through full expectation of victory. Let no one enter this battle with a defeatist attitude. Victory is assured for all who will rely upon the strength of the Lord. The words “that ye may be able” appear three times in the Ephesians 6 passage (vv. 11, 13, 16). It is as though the Lord shows us the enemy and we, impressed with the enemy’s obvious strength, begin to despair; then the Lord says, “You can defeat him; here is your armor, put on every piece; stay close to me, I’ll help you fight; if you suffer a knockdown, I’ll pick you up; just keep fighting; persevere; watch; the victory is yours!”
We must stand, however, if we would win the battle. Stand! Stand! Stand! The word appears three times in the text (vv. 11, 13, 14). The best armor in the world is of little value if there is a coward inside. It is not unusual to find a man who seems to be well equipped for battle. He knows the Scriptures, has studied the meaning of Scripture, has memorized extensively, has all the appearance of a great soldier – but when the first challenge is issued, he breaks into a sweat, wavers, vacillates, and compromises until an observer really can’t tell which side he is on. He doesn’t stand. Such a person faces sure defeat. Victory is assured, but only for those who will stand.
The battle rages. The struggle is great. The enemy is formidable. The stakes are great – eternal in nature, in fact. Thank the Lord -the hope for victory rests not on ours, but upon his strength and might.
Guardian of Truth XXXII: 19, p. 583
October 6, 1988