Our text from Ephesians chapter 6 verse 10 first of all comes as a call. In the next verse, verse 11, we have the purpose for the call.
'Put on the whole armour of GOD,'
and then, in verse 12, the reason:
'For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood.'
The call; the purpose; the reason. The call in verse 10; the purpose in verse 11; the reason in verse 12.
Let's look first of all at the call.
'Be strong in the LORD and in the power of His might.' All our strength is to be found in GOD, and it is our happiness if we know this, and if we act on this, and if we proceed on this.
'I can do all things,' said Shaul,
'through Messiah, Who strengthens me.' We have to recognize that we are helpless, that we have no strength of our own; and then it is that we are strong, because as Shaul said,
'When I am weak, I am strong.'
Others derive strength, as we are strong. As we are strong, we are not only strong for ourselves, but for others. When you and I are strong in the LORD, others who are struggling, will get strength from us when they see us, how strong we can stay in GOD. They'll get encouragement; they'll get comfort. When they see your serenity; when they see your steadfast faith, they will be encouraged, and they look at you, and you provide solid ground for their slipping feet.
'Be strong in the LORD.' We have no strength of our own.
Let's go back to 2nd Chronicles, Chapter 20 for an example of this. 2nd Chronicles, Chapter 20. I'll read from verse 1:
'It happened after this, that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon and others with them, besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat. Then some came and told Jehoshaphat saying, 'A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria, and they are in Hazazon Tamar (which is En Gedi). And Jehoshaphat feared and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.'
Why was he afraid? He had an army of over half a million men. GOD had been with him and blessed him; he was a mighty king. But he realized he needed GOD's help. We read on; verse 12:
'O our GOD,'he is praying to GOD in the Temple;
'O our GOD, will you not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us, nor do we know what to do. But our eyes are upon You.' Amazing! He realized that he couldn't conquer his enemies by military power. It had to be GOD's power. It had to be GOD's help. And as a result, they didn't even have to fight in that battle. GOD did it all for them! 'You shall not need to fight at all in this battle,' said GOD through a prophet of His. 'Just praise the LORD!' And so they did.
When they came to the place of battle, the enemies had all destroyed each other! When you and I can do no more for ourselves, that's when GOD steps in. That's what happened; so
'Be strong in the LORD, and in the power of His might.' Why are these two words used,
'the power of His might?' Well, 'might' refers to the resource; the 'power' is the exhibition of it. It's like wisdom and knowledge. Knowledge is the resource; wisdom is the right use of knowledge.
So we are strong in the power of His might. And that power has been described to us earlier on in Chapter 1. If we go back to Chapter 1 of this Letter, Chapter 1, verse 19 through 21. Shaul is praying for these Believers and he is praying that they
'May know what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Messiah when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come.'
What Shaul is saying is, 'You are wrestling with principalities and powers. We want you to know that the power that dwells in you, is the same power that raised Messiah from the dead, and set Him above all these principalities and powers.' And that same power is available to you! But when you come, you bring an empty vessel.
If someone has something to give you, and they say you can have as much as you can carry away, you don't bring a bag that is half-full, do you? Suppose someone, at this time of year, says, 'The apples are ripening, or the plums, or the apricots, or the cherries, you can come and pick as much as you want.' Wouldn't I be all sorts of an idiot if I came with a bag half-full of other things? Tip everything out; bring an empty bag, and GOD says, 'Come to Me, empty.'
In one country, in Africa, the children can't ask for a thing by stretching out one hand. They get nothing. They have to stretch out both their hands. Then they get what they want; as much as they want, or as much as they need. GOD says, 'Come to Me with your empty hands. Let Me see your empty hands. Come to Me empty, and I will fill you. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill you.'
'Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the LORD of Hosts. May GOD bless His Word to our hearts!