The verse above is from the NIV.
I have a confession.
I don’t like sappy nonfiction books and blogs that are always telling us that we are “going to be okay” or that we are “enough” or something like that. Don’t get me wrong. I know we need those messages.
I know that I’m enough, but I also know that I’m not enough.
And that is why I got excited when I dug into Ephesians 6:10 the other day.
When I read it in the NiV and the majority of Bible translations, (like the scripture image above) it tells me to be strong.
Be strong in the Lord.
Now, I already told you that I know I’m not enough. I know I can’t be strong enough. I can be strong for a little bit, but eventually my muscles both spiritual and physical fail. Some days there is a lot of fight in me, but other days I just want to crawl up in my bed, get under the covers, and take a nap. I want to escape.
But the truth is, Paul didn’t write “be strong,” he wrote the word Endynamoo. Look at its definition from the Key Word:
- To make strong or vigorous or fortify. To strengthen.
Paul wrote, “Be strengthened in the Lord and His mighty power.” The Greek words under “mighty” and “power” back up this meaning–they reveal how we are strengthened.
- Mighty- the Greek word means “physical or mental strength as an endowment.”
This “might” is not conjured up but endowed or given. I don’t have to hold my breath and tighten my muscles trying to be something I’m not. I just simply receive His “might”.
- Power- the Greek word denotes “the presence and significance of force or strength rather than its exercise.”
The power is present. It’s simply there. Always.
My family loves superhero movies. As I wrote the definitions above I just pictured myself like Super-girl with a cape and tall boots. It wasn’t my power that gave me the ability to fight the bad guys, it was the supernatural power endowed to me by the One who is Life and love and Power Himself.
Sometimes this super-girl in her cape and boots struggles with being a people pleaser. I am a recovering one. I’m getting better at it the older I get, but it’s still there. I get weak kneed and say “yes” when I should say “no” or I sit completely tongue tied when I’m listening to an angry person frustrated with God. I’m afraid to tell them the truth.
I need to be strengthened in the Lord and His mighty power. How do I do this? I think this paragraph from Jesus Calling is our answer:
When you are with other people, you often lose sight of My Presence. Your fear of displeasing people puts you in bondage to them, and they become your primary focus. When you realize this has happened, whisper My Name (Jesus); this tiny act of trust brings Me to the forefront of your consciousness, where I belong. Ask you bask in the blessing of My nearness, My life can flow through you to others. This is abundant life!”
This is strength.
This is how we get His strength. Focused on Him and fully aware of His presence. I feel a prayer coming on. Grab my hand.
“Jesus! We whisper your name. We cry out the name that is above all names–the name that can strengthen us because you come when we call– your Presence is our strength. Make us strong as we walk with you. Thank you that we don’t have to be enough or strong or mighty. We just have to be. with. you. Amen and amen.
When do you fight fear and need to be strengthened? How does the Lord strengthen you?
Finding Purpose in His Strength,