The Source of Our Power
By Dr. Tom Walker
Ephesians 6:10 tells us, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”
We are beginning a series on Battling Through Life. It is sure that we are engaged in warfare since we have been saved. We have an internal enemy called the flesh, an external enemy we call the world (evil system around us), and an infernal enemy called the Devil. All three attempt to defeat us every day of our lives but we cannot allow them to defeat us.
They are all three formidable foes, but we are well able to overcome them, not in ourselves, but in the assistance the Lord will give to us.
Because of the flesh, our fallen Adamic nature, we are weak, but through the Lord we can be strong, facing our enemies victoriously. Our enemies are three-fold: the world (the evil system around us), the flesh (our fallen natures), and Satan himself.
The Christian life is not an easy life; however, it is the way of the transgressor that is hard and difficult. Proverbs 13:15 says, “The way of the transgressor is hard.” Who is the transgressor? A transgressor is someone who violates a law or a command. When people go against the commands of God given in His Holy Word, they become transgressors. We are told that way is a very hard one to endure.
The Christian life is warfare, a battle between the new nature one receives at conversion and the old nature with which a person is born with at the time of physical birth. There is a battle between the two. It is evident in the life of the Apostle Paul when he wrote in Romans 7:15-25, “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
We will either follow the law of God or the flesh (the old Adamic nature). That choice will result in success or failure, in life or death, or victory or defeat. How we fare in the spiritual battle we face in life will be determined by whether we cater to the flesh (the old nature) or the new nature. We partook of and received a new spiritual nature when we were saved (2 Peter 1:4).
The three foes we face are the evil world system around us, the flesh or old nature within us, and the Devil, who is our external foe. They are all formidable opponents but they are enemies that can be defeated through the power of God within us.
We need some brave Christian soldiers who will stand up and be counted in these days of compromise and apostasy. It is no time to retreat in this spiritual battle!
How extremely important our companions, our fellow saints, and soldiers are in the
spiritual battle that is fiercely raging. Can you imagine going to war and fighting a major battle all alone? The enemy has many warriors, thus it gives us comfort to know that some want to stand for the Lord and serve Him as we do. We have Christian friends who help us as we seek to war good warfare for our Lord.
As a brother in Christ, we are to do several things regarding our brethren and fellow soldiers. Let’s think about a few of those responsibilities.
We are to exhort. Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Since we sense the near second coming of our Lord, we should be exhorting one another. The word for exhort is the Greek N.T. word is parakalew originates from two words. The word para and kalew. The first-word para means nigh unto or near to, while kalew means to call nigh or by your side.
We are called upon to be by each other’s side as we travel through this world that is unfriendly to the dedicated, devoted saints of God. The local church should be a haven for the people of God. “Exhorting” is a present participle that indicates it is an action that is to be continuing going on; it suggests continuing action.
We are to encourage. In Deuteronomy 3:28, the children of Israel were told to encourage their leaders, “encourage thou him.” So many people are discouraged because of the direction our nation has taken. Since that is true of so many people, we need to assemble to encourage one another. Webster says to encourage is, “To give courage to; to give or increase the confidence of success; to inspire with courage, spirit, or strength of mind; to embolden; to animate; to incite; to inspire. How long has it been since you gave some words of encouragement to your pastor, family members, co-workers, neighbors, and others? Someone needs the encouragement you can give to them.
We are to be examples. Those who are in the local church should be a proper example for others to follow in the matter of godly living. Titus 2:7 says, “Showing thyself a pattern of good works…” Younger believers should be able to live as an older saint of God and as a result, have the approval of God. I am grateful for every older, godly example the Lord has placed in my pathway through my lifetime.
“Be strong in the Lord”
Human strength will fail us in giving an all-out effort to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Jesus states in Mark 14:38, “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.” Our Lord said, “the flesh is weak.” We must look beyond ourselves to find stamina and strength for the battle.
His strength is an unrivaled strength. The Lord is referred to in the Bible as the Almighty. Fifty-seven times in the Scriptures the Lord is called “the Almighty.” That simply means the Lord has all power. God said to Jacob, “I am God Almighty.” There is no doubt in my mind that nothing is too difficult for Him to solve. Since He is Almighty we do not have to worry about anything as long as our trust and confidence is in Him. There is an Old Testament verse that says, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?” (Jer.32:27).
His strength is an undergirding strength. Deuteronomy 33:27 reminds us that, “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.” When the arms that are beneath, holding up God’s children are described, they are called “everlasting arms.” You can do whatever you are called upon by God to do because of the strength of God’s arms durable, lasting, powerful arms.
His strength is an undeniable strength. Since the Lord divided the Red Sea, making a way for Israel to cross on dry ground (Ex.14:16), it is obvious we cannot rightly deny the strength the Lord possesses. There are so many feats of what God’s strength has accomplished, you cannot deny after observing the clear evidence of God’s ability as revealed in the Scriptures.
“In the power of His might”
Our might alone is insignificant, but it is a different story when it comes to the power and might of God. The only way we can conquer is through the “power of His might.” The word “might” (iscuz) is used of force. “Power” is the Greek New Testament word (kratei). It is translated in other places in the King James Version as dominion, might, and strength.
His might enables us to serve. The Apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil.4:13). Through Christ, we can do what we never thought was possible for us to do. In my early years, I would never have thought I would have been a preacher of the Gospel, a Bible College president, a pastor, a radio preacher, and a writer. But, it is amazing what God can do with little when He is in it. I have done what I have done through the power of Christ that has enabled me to honor Him in many ways.
His might enables us to sing. In Psalms 59:16 the Psalmist wrote: “I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.” Because of God’s power and might that continually works on our behalf, we can sing when others wonder how it could be possible in our circumstances. We are not to worry because we have an Almighty God who can handle whatever would quench our song.
His might enables us to suffer. Moses made an important decision in his life when he chose—” to suffer affliction with the people of God, rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” What moved Moses to make that choice? He was not worried about suffering because he believed God would enable Him to suffer for Him. If the Apostle Paul could suffer all he did gracefully (2 Corinthians 11:24-28), then God can surely enable us to do the same.