Be Strong in the LORD!, Pt. 1

Ephesians 6:10 says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.”
Even though Paul was in prison, he wanted the church of Ephesus to not be concerned with the “present-day” struggles, but instead set their minds on eternity. He wanted them to possess the mindset of, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38, 39). They were not to walk around like they were defeated, but know where their strength came from and who they Creator was!
Oftentimes, it seems like people are carrying a “spirit of struggle”, especially in these Appalachian mountains, and that they are unaware of who their enemy is. What do I mean by a spirit of struggle? People are walking around with their head hung low, as though they have been and forever will be defeated. In the church, they always want to be petted on, when God is calling us to fight and war against our adversary. We walk around with this, “Woe is me” attitude, as if our world is falling apart, when Paul said, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:37). We need to be covered in the anointing of the oil of gladness because we are blessed as King’s kids, clothed in royalty! We should not be consistently depressed and filled with anxiety and fear, for if we delight ourselves in the LORD, He will gives us the desires of our heart. Our joy and blessings should be wrapped around the goodness of Almighty God. Are you going to go through struggles? Will there be moments in life when the enemy seems like he is attacking you on every side? Absolutely, but why let the devil who hates you manipulate you, back you up into a corner through intimidation, and dictate every move you make. God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7), and we should function in that authority.
It seems like in so many assemblies of believers, you can hear the same songs, none of which ultimately give God praise and worship. They glorify the valley as all of the focus is on trying to “survive” when God has called us to be “champions” over the Goliath’s that stand in our paths. We are all quite familiar with great white sharks, especially from the movie “Jaws”. They are definitely the champions of the ocean, and the fact of the matter is that they are born that way. Have you ever heard what goes on in the belly of a great white shark in its pregnancy? The baby sharks in its mother’s womb will eat each other, meaning that the champions of the womb will be born to live out its destiny, becoming one of the most feared creatures of the ocean. It is more than surviving; it is becoming a champion. Some people cannot even be born into their purpose and walk as a champion in their lives because they get eat up by pride, lust, depression and defeat in the womb. If you want to be conceived as a champion, you have to overcome in the womb of development and growth.
Just as I believe there is an old-time, praying anointing that has soaked these mountains for decades from people who depended on God for everything , I believe there is a spirit of “struggle” that is the result of a negative and faithless attitude which causes people to spiritually die because they have no vision! Without a vision, we perish, and until we get God out of the box and understand that He is truly great and nothing is impossible with Him, we will be limited in the destiny that God has commissioned us to walk in!
The reason a spirit of struggle has come upon these country, mountain churches is because they cannot define who they are in Christ and exactly who their enemy is. Do not get me wrong. You will have moments where you “struggle” in life, rather that be domestically, financially, spiritually, etc., but it is different when your expression and mentality expresses that “defeated, hopeless” state every single day of your life. We will battle, but we have victory in Jesus Christ through faith. Once we allow our troubles to overwhelm our faith, the devil has us right where he wants us. As children of God, we are champions through the blood of Jesus Christ. It is up to us to live in that!