What does it mean to be strong? That depends on the place and the need, right?
If you’re a goalkeeper on the pitch, it is defending against that ball - no matter what it takes - to make sure that black and white ball doesn’t go into the net on your watch. Strong.
If you’re in the gym, it means cardio training or successfully commanding a stack of weights, commensurate with your fitness needs. Strong.
If you’re fighting cancer or fighting to come back from something else, it’s courage in the face of your foe, not living defeatedly and missing your life. Strong.
I’m struck by how many times the Bible tells us to “be strong”; I didn’t count, but I read that the command is given 365 times. Hmmm. Isn’t that interesting?
We’ve been emboldened by Joshua’s passion telling those going into possess the Promised Land: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1.9). I can picture myself as a face in the crowd saying, ‘yes, that’s right Sir . . . let’s goooo! God said it is our land and he will go before us.’
To stand strong implies a stance of readiness and preparedness.
[note Dylan's positioning in the goal - above]
Spiritually and emotionally speaking,
it means training regularly by storing up truth,
allowing the power of God to strengthen us.
Remember, Christian: ‘the same power that raised Jesus
from the dead lives in you.’ Romans 8.11.
It was about 62 A.D., Rome in a prison cell where Paul wrote:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
14 Stand firm then….
How are you standing, Friend? Are your knees shaking? Are you wobbling?
Depends on how you answer this: Who is your Commander-in-Chief?
When the Bible says to ‘be strong’, it is under the command of the Mighty King!
The word translated ‘be strong’ is endunamoo, from a combination of the word en, which is a preposition meaning in, by, or with, and dunamoo, which is a form of dunamis, ‘inherent power’ ~ yes, the same power Jesus used to perform miracles.
However, there is a catch.
Let’s go back to Paul’s prison cell and consider his carefully chosen words:
Be strong IN THE LORD. Are you in the Lord?
Because if you aren’t in relationship with him, all bets are off.
In the last week, there has seemed to be a seismic shift in our world. But please . . . do not be deceived! This is coming straight from the pit of hell. Bigotry, murder--there is no other description for what happened to George Floyd, followed by hate-speak, thievery, thuggery and destruction, the co-opting of all of it for politics is straight out of the devil’s playbook. As Paul said: our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Are you standing strong? Or are your knees knocking as you see what is happening?
Depends on what you are standing, Who you believe and yes, What you believe.
You and I must be walking in truth.
Let’s start with this truth and the next Morning Briefing will have more:
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14.14
Remembering that as we trust in the Lord with all our heart, in all of our ways acknowledging him, he will show us the way. Proverbs 3.5-6
And one more truth with an action plan: Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4.6-7
These are truths on which you can stand - ready position. Four times in those few verses to the Ephesians about putting on the armor of God, Paul said it was so we can STAND. God is trustworthy, Friend. STAND STRONG in him.
Standing with you,