Be Strong in the Lord ~ Pst. Segun Esho
Topic: BE STRONG IN THE LORD
Text: Ephesian 6:10-18 [Amp]
Preacher: Pastor Segun Esho
Ephesians 6:10-18 [Amplified]
10 In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might.
11Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil.
12. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places.
13 Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious].
14 So stand firm and hold your ground, having tightened the wide band of truth (personal integrity, moral courage) around your waist and having put on the breastplate of righteousness (an upright heart),
15 and having strapped on your feet the gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news].
16 Above all, lift up the [protective] shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
18 With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all God’s people.
One of the things I believe we need now as believers is strength and boldness. That is why the scripture we read says: “finally be strong”. Deut. 31:6 [Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee]. I believe that God is with us here in Nigeria, and that is a guarantee. Therefore we need to be strong.
WHY WE MUST NOT FEAR BUT BE STRONG?
1. God himself is with us: Joshua 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” This was the third time God was talking to Joshua in this scripture, God having discovered the fearful state of Joshua; had to emphasize on the need for Joshua to be courageous because he was with him. Likewise, we must be assured that God is with us.
2. God has a plan us: Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end“. God’s plan is to give us a hope and a future. Our hope should not be broken.
3. We are the Lord’s brethren: John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”. God is telling us here that; he is in charge, having over come the world. We should have it in our mind that God is a loving Father and nothing can separate us from His love Rom. 8:35. We can really attest the love of God in the times we are in, because no matter how evil man seem to have become God’s love and mercy has prevailed.
4. God wants to strength us: This period will pass away, and it will end in praise. Romans 8:18 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us”. Glorious days are ahead of us. Psalms 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Despite the state of the pandemic, the scriptures has made us understand that Joy comes in the morning. We will be strengthened and settled in Jesus name.
I believe that in as much as God has His part to play, we also have our part to play; which is to be strong in the Lord, as our anchor text says. The question now is, how can we be strong in the Lord? For us to be strong in the Lord, we must be dressed properly by putting on the whole amour of God. As believers, God has given us weapons which we need to pass through this pandemic. We will treat but a few:
WEAPONS (KITS) WE NEED TO PUT ON AS BELIEVERS
i. The Belt of truth: this talks about alertness and readiness of times. We must guard ourselves with the truth. John 17:17 “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.“
ii. The Breastplate of righteousness: this spiritually signifies a place that covers your heart.We must protect our hearts and mind. Our heart talks about our will, intellect and emotions. Proverbs 4:23″ Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life”. It is important that we guard our heart in every situation in righteousness.Hebrews 1:9 “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows”.
iii. The shoe of the Gospel of peace: we need to kit ourselves with the gospel of peace. Hebrews 12:14 “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” we need peace and it must start from us. It is a time to exercise ourselves in the peace of the Lord and also express the same to those around us. Phil. 4:7, Isaiah 23:3.
iv. The shield of faith: the shield of faith helps you to put away all the fiery darts. Faith is an important tool that we cannot afford not to have. Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him”. 2 Corinthians 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:). This is why we must be very careful where we go and what we hear and listen to, so that our faith does not dwindle.
v. Helmet of salvation: the helmet covers your ear, eyes and your mouth. These are the organs that affect your success as a warrior. What you see and hear is very important in holding on to God. That is why we must be vigilant.
vi. The sword of the spirit: while other amour is for defense, the word of God is for attack. You must be full of the word of God to survive the times of battle. You must read the word, meditate on the word, quote the word Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord”. The devil is not necessarily afraid of your fasting but the word of God you have in you. What David used in defeating goliath was the word of God.
CONCLUSION Having done all these as stated, you must pray in the spirit. This is known as the believers advantage. Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with