Ephesians 6:10 says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” This verse comes in the context of Paul’s teaching on spiritual warfare and the full armor of God. But what does it mean specifically to “be strong in the Lord”? Let’s explore this important idea.
Be Empowered by God’s Strength
To “be strong in the Lord” first means that we are to rely on and be empowered by God’s strength, not our own. Often when the Bible uses the language of being “strong” it is in reference to God imparting strength to His people. For example, in Ephesians 3:16 Paul prays that believers would be “strengthened with power through His Spirit.” Being strong in the Lord means recognizing that in and of ourselves we have no power or might to stand firm against the spiritual forces of evil. We need the infinite power of God working in and through us to have victory in our spiritual battles.
Trust in His Might and Power
“In the strength of His might” further emphasizes that being strong in the Lord means trusting not in our own feeble power but relying completely on the limitless might and power of God. He is the all-powerful One before whom everything else fades in comparison. To be strong in the Lord means humbly recognizing that victory will only come as we trust in the unmatchable power of God at work on our behalf. It is not about self-reliance but God-reliance.
Put on the Full Armor of God
Being strong in the Lord in Ephesians 6 is directly connected to putting on the full armor of God. The armor – truth, righteousness, gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, sword of the Spirit – is not designed for us to rely on our own strength but rather represents drawing on the strength and might of Christ. As we put on each piece of armor by faith, we are strengthened in Him to stand firm and resist the enemy. It is all about relying on divine power, not self-power.
Live in Holiness and Obedience
Furthermore, the imperative to “be strong in the Lord” comes in the context of living a holy life in obedience to Christ. Right before this verse, Paul commands believers to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called” (Ephesians 4:1). Being strong in the Lord necessitates walking in holiness by the power of the Spirit. Sinful compromise weakens us, but obedience positions us to be strong as we rely on Christ’s enablement.
Stand Firm Against Satan’s Schemes
This call to be strong in Ephesians 6 is set in the midst of a discussion on spiritual warfare against the powers of darkness. Immediately after, Paul describes the “schemes of the devil” and teaches that we must stand firm (6:11-13). Being strong in the Lord is the key to not caving in but resisting the enemy. In our own power we will falter, but in His power we can stand unshakable. Divine strength upholds us.
Rely on Grace to Endure Hardships
As Paul opens this letter, he blesses God who has “blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing” (1:3). Union with Christ is the basis for supernatural strength. Paul later prays that believers would be “strengthened with power through his Spirit” (3:16). God’s grace infuses us with resurrection power to endure hardships and oppositions. Being strong in Jesus means persevering by His grace at work within.
Wait Upon the Lord’s Strength
Human strength is limited and runs out, but God’s strength never fails. Isaiah 40:31 says “they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength.” To be strong ourselves, we must wait on the Lord in dependent prayer for Him to renew our inner man. His strength is made perfect in our weakness as we look to Him. Waiting on Him cultivates divine strength in our souls amidst hardship.
Grow in Spiritual Maturity
Paul’s prayer for believers earlier in Ephesians was that they would grow in spiritual maturity until they “become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (4:13). Spiritual growth happens as we exercise godly disciplines by the Spirit’s help. Being strong in the Lord suggests progressing in Christlike character. Spiritual training in godliness strengthens us in Him.
Be Rooted in Love
After calling believers to “be strong in the Lord”, Paul says to have your feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace (6:15). He mentions earlier that being “rooted and grounded in love” leads to comprehending Christ’s love (3:17-18). Being strong requires having deep roots of love for God and others. His love nurtures spiritual strength.
Participate in Christ’s Resurrection Power
Union with Christ connects believers to His indestructible life. Paul prays that believers would know “the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand” (1:19-20). Being strong in the Lord means participating in Christ’s mighty resurrection power at work within us.
Abide in Christ Through Faith
Jesus said, “apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). But by abiding in Christ through faith, His followers can bear much spiritual fruit. Believers are called to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7) and it is by faith that we are united to Jesus. Being strong in the Lord suggests continually relying on Christ through believing dependence for everything.
Draw Near to God
James 4:8 promises, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” Pursuing close fellowship and intimacy with God through prayer, worship, meditation on Scripture, etc. allows access to divine strength. As we fix our eyes on Jesus, He enables us by His Spirit to serve Him. Abiding close to God is key to being strong in Him.
Put Christ First In All Things
Colossians 1:15-20 explains that Jesus deserves first place in everything. Making Christ preeminent in every sphere of life positions us to thrive in Him. Putting relationships with people before Christ weakens us. But making Him primary strengthens us as all else flows out of intimacy with Jesus. He must have the supreme place in our hearts.
Seek the Holy Spirit’s Help
The Holy Spirit indwells believers and furnishes divine help in our weakness and infirmities (Romans 8:26-27). We are commanded to “be filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:18). Being strong in the Lord involves continually seeking the Spirit’s aid to strengthen our faith, illuminate Scripture, empower obedience, and grant victory amidst trials. Life in the Spirit fortifies us.
Train Yourself for Godliness
1 Timothy 4:7 instructs believers to “train yourself for godliness.” This includes Bible study, Scripture memory, fasting, accountability, practicing spiritual disciplines, etc. Being strong in the Lord requires we exercise diligence in cultivating personal holiness through tried and true spiritual habits. They augment our spiritual strength in Christ.
Put Off Sins, Put On Christlikeness
Paul says we are to “put off” sinful ways and “put on” godly virtues that reflect Christ’s character (Eph 4:22-24). Sin corrupts and weakens us. But pursuing Christlike righteousness by enabling grace strengthens and matures us. Being strong in the Lord means putting away vice and putting on virtue by cooperating with God’s Spirit.
Submit to Christ’s Lordship
Luke 6:46 asks, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” Submitting to Jesus’ authority in all aspects of life allows us to walk fully in His will and gain strength from obedience. Holding back part of ourselves weakens us but following Christ’s lead builds spiritual muscle. Bowing to His Lordship brings strength.
Put God’s Word Into Practice
James 1:22 warns believers to be “doers of the word, and not hearers only.” Applying Scripture in practical ways protects us from sin (Psalm 119:11) and transforms our minds (Romans 12:2). Hearing without doing leaves us weak. But practicing and obeying God’s Word hidden in our hearts strengthens us in Him.
Die to Self Daily
Jesus said taking up our cross of self-denial is required daily to follow Him (Luke 9:23). Dying to selfish desires that hinder loving God and others is crucial. Self on the throne makes us weak, but enthroning Christ strengthens us. Being strong spiritually requires regularly dethroning self to enthrone the Savior.
Walk in God’s Grace
2 Corinthians 9:8 assures believers that “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” Accessing abundant grace by faith empowers obedience that strengthens. Cooperating with grace enables supernatural virtues that bolster godliness in Christ.
Don’t Depend on Self
The heart is deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9) and human strength can fail. Leaning on self is unstable. Putting confidence in our wisdom or ability to overcome ultimately disappoints. Being strong in the Lord means never depending on our own puny power or corrupt nature. We must exclusively rely on Christ in us.
Walk in the Spirit
Galatians 5:16 urges believers to “walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” Being filled with and guided by the Holy Spirit liberates from sinful deeds that weaken us. Responding to the Spirit’s promptings and relying on His power cultivates spiritual strength to obey Christ.
Pray in Faith
Prayer connects us to God’s inexhaustible power and resources. Jesus said in Mark 11:24, “whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Praying in faith unleashes heavenly help in times of need. Believing prayer fortifies and undergirds believers to walk strong in God’s will.
Renew Your Mind
Romans 12:2 commands us, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” Refusing to let our thinking be molded by ungodly cultural influences and instead having it renewed by God’s truth strengthens us greatly. Being strong in the Lord requires letting Him transform our thought patterns.
Set Your Mind on Things Above
Colossians 3:2 urges believers to, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Focusing on heavenly realities like Jesus’ constant presence, our identity in Christ, our glorious eternal future, etc. lifts us above discouraging earthly circumstances. Fixing our thoughts on the eternal strengthens us here and now.
In summary, being strong in the Lord as urged in Ephesians 6:10 means relying fully on God’s mighty power and grace at work within us instead of trying to live the Christian life in our own feeble strength. It involves trusting in Christ’s resurrection power, obeying His Word, praying in faith, walking in the Spirit, renewing our minds, pursuing intimacy with God, training in righteousness and growing to maturity in Christ. God has called believers to depend on His unlimited divine might and ability so we can victoriously withstand every temptation and trial. Only in the infinite strength of Jesus living within can we walk as overcomers in this fallen world. He infuses our souls with divine strength as we look to Him. When we are weak, then we are strong. In Christ’s power, nothing can defeat us. All glory goes to God for granting spiritual vigor and vitality to His saints.