Strong in the Lord
This morning we’re going to be talking about how to be “Strong in the Lord.” Why do we need to be strong in the Lord? We need to be strong, because we are engaged in a daily battle.
Last week, we talked about the warfare between light and darkness. Between God’s kingdom of light and Satan’s domain of darkness. If you’re weak in the battle, you’re going to be defeated, because the enemy is strong.
In fact the enemy, Satan is stronger than you on your own. So, we need to be, not just strong, but strong in the Lord. We need to learn how to be strong in the power of His might.
Now what is Satan’s goal, what does he desire to do to people? Satan’s main goal is to take as many people as possible with him to hell for eternity. How does Satan achieve that goal? Simply by keeping people from believing in Jesus throughout their lives.
If you’re a believer and you keep on believing, Satan can not achieve his main goal of taking you to hell with him. So, Satan’s secondary goal for believers is to make you an ineffective soldier for God’s kingdom. If Satan can keep you from being a powerful witness and getting people saved, it helps him in his main goal. That’s why, as believers, we need to be strong in the Lord.
Let’s look an example from the apostle Paul’s ministry at Ephesus on why we need to be strong in the Lord. Paul, arguably, the greatest apostle who has ever lived, planted the church at Ephesus. He taught for three years, day and night there. He showed people by example how to move in the gifts of the Spirit and work supernatural miracles. The church at Ephesus had a firm foundation and was a strong church.
But Paul had to leave the church he had planted and go to minister in Jerusalem. As he left, he warned the church leaders about the coming battle.
Acts 20:29 (ESV) I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;
Jesus warned of false prophets, who would come disguised as sheep, but are really vicious wolves. These are teachers, prophets and even pastors what profess to preach God’s Word, but teach a ungodly message, often for personal gain. Paul is warning the people to be on guard against such people.
Acts 20:30-31 (ESV) and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert,
The wolves come from outside the church, but there is danger from within as well. Unfortunately, people who have been walking with God, sometimes fall away. They cause divisions within a church with their ungodly speech. We need to be alert for attacks, either from within or without, that seek to destroy what God is doing in His church.
As believers, we must also be on guard in our own lives from attacks. Attacks coming from other people and attacks coming from temptations within. That is why we must be strong in the Lord. As you grow stronger in the Lord, you will win victories for God’s kingdom through the power of the Spirit. So, let’s turn to the final chapter in Ephesians, chapter 6, to learn how to be strong in the Lord.