I’d like to think I’m strong. I try to be. I was raised to keep a stiff upper lip, to stand on my own two feet, to develop strength of character and will. Still, in my now (gulp) 41 years of life I’ve discovered something: The call to be a strong disciple has nothing to do with stiff lips. The writer of Ephesians exhorts us this week to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power” (6:10). There’s talk of armor, swords, arrows and the forces of evil. Clearly, standing on my own two feet will not be enough. Will I ever be strong enough to save myself and others from such devastating threats? Perhaps God is calling me to sign up for a boot-camp-style fitness regimen (Lord, help me). Or, maybe I just need to read through verse 20.
With all of the talk of battle in this passage, it’s fascinating and quite Kingdom-of-God-like to recognize where we end up in Ephesians 6:10-20. We’re not left with a victorious disciple, waving the flag of God’s vengeance on a battlefield strewn with fallen warriors. In the last three verses, we’re told to do one thing over and over again: PRAY. “Pray, pray, pray” God’s Word exclaims (Ephesians 6:18, 19, 20)! Pray in the Spirit, pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ, and pray that we can keep on praying come what may!
What we hear this week is incredibly counter-intuitive and exceedingly Christ-like: When we feel the need to be strong, God calls us to fall to our knees.
A timely Word, don’t you think? Might we, as beloved, flawed and forgiven children of God, be called to a demonstration of strength in the Lord right about now?
See you Sunday…