Be Strong in the LORD, Pt. 2

Ephesians 6:10 says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.”
Our enemy is not that person who gossiped about us, the neighbor who keeps blowing his leaves in our yard, the Muslim who despises the Christian faith, the government who only elevates taxes and wastes it, nor everyone that plays against the Kentucky Wildcats. In Paul’s case, it is not those who persecuted him and had him put in prison. Our enemy is definitely not ourselves. Our enemy is Satan himself, along with every demon who has followed him and executes his plan to wreak havoc on America and throughout the world. It is the very reason why we should not take matters in our own hands, seek vengeance or try to “get even” with this Madea theology that since they “got me, got me, got me” I must “get them, get them, get them.” That slandering, vengeful attitude will only result in damaging our own integrity and reputation, as well as wounding others. Flesh and blood is not our enemies, but the devil, and fighting with carnal weapons are not going to put him in his place. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” You cannot get away from the flesh because you are human, and we can try to fight in our carnality all we want to, but it will get us nowhere. I read a Facebook status one time that said, “You cannot cast out your flesh and crucify a demon. Know the difference.” The spiritual bondages and addictions that possesses a person’s whole way of life and thinking need to be destroyed by the weapons we are equipped with in God, and our flesh, when it is tempting us to sin, must be crucified! Galatians 2:20 says, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” We must crucify our flesh so we can spiritually resurrect to new life, as old things are passed away and all things become new!
Regardless of whether it is a demonic possession or the lusts of the flesh, the same weapons of a soldier in God’s mighty army can cast them down. Everything starts with a thought. That thought must be killed and replaced with a heavenly mindset. It is impossible for someone to think two thoughts at the same time. So, when that thought of temptation comes in, we must speak and meditate on the Word. Every time Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by the devil, He responded in authority by declaring the Word because He was the Word made manifest in the form of human flesh to destroy the works of the devil. If you pray, meditate on His Word, speak it and live it in authority, you can put your mind under subjection to your spirit and put the devil right in his place. If you refuse to kill the thought and you continue to meditate on the temptation, the thought transitions into an imagination. You begin to picture in your mind and see yourself committing the act. You begin to take inventory and reason within yourself how it can be done. If you refuse to transition an evil imagination into a vision from the LORD, which provides life and rewards faith, it become a high thing that is acted upon, sufficing your lust and pride. That action when it is first committed produces overwhelming conviction, but after performing that action repetitiously, you become callous or numb to it. Do not become immune to sin when it is only leading you to a toxic setup of defeat and destruction. Stop the action now through the weapons of God’s armor! Finally, once that action turns into a habit, it becomes a stronghold, but by God’s power and spirit, that stronghold can be pulled down. You cannot do it in yourself. If you could, God would not get the glory out of it all, but since it is by His power, He will be exalted. Zechariah 4:6 says, “Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” We cannot accomplish God’s perfect will by our force and capabilities, but His Spirit. It is by His Spirit that we can have strength to overcome in God!
The first command that Paul gives to the church of Ephesus in the text is to “be strong in the LORD and in the power of His might.” Our strength is not in ourselves, but in God. We will forever be weak if we only rely upon our own physical and mental strengths and abilities. A spirit of depression, oppression and struggle will continuously hold us down and back if we allow it to. We are to not be carnally minded, for it is death, but we are to be spiritually minded and have life. It is only when we have God on our side that we can overcome. 2 Corinthians 12:10 says, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” Undoubtedly, Paul, after facing much adversity, complications and persecutions experienced moments where he felt weak and worn out, but since his focus was set on Jesus Christ, he had an unbelievable strength to continue to press forward and preach the gospel. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Nothing is impossible with our God, and if we are obedient to Him and His Word, we will be victorious time and time again. We may fall, but as long as we get back up and continue fighting by His strength and power, we will overcome!