Leaning on Jesus’ Strength

Ephesians 6:10-12 ESV

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

As a dear friend just talked about today, we are going to have good days and bad days. She gave the example of Joseph whose brothers sold him into slavery, but then he got out of slavery, but then he was falsely accused of something he did not do, so he was thrown into prison, but then he got out of prison when he was able, by God’s grace, to interpret Pharaoh’s dream. And Pharaoh then put Joseph over all his house, and he set him over all the land of Egypt (Genesis 41).

And the point of what my friend was saying is that God was with Joseph when he was in slavery, and when he was not, and when he was in prison, and when Pharaoh set him over all the land of Egypt. And Joseph was a faithful servant of the Lord, and so he sets for us an example of someone who followed the Lord faithfully even when he was in slavery, and even when he was falsely put in prison. And the Lord was with Joseph through it all. And what I just shared with you is to the best of my recollection.

Now, as followers of Jesus Christ, we have a main enemy who is the devil (Satan), and he will falsely accuse us of things we did not do, and he will come against us in many ways in order to try to take us out and to destroy our lives, and in order to get us to be afraid and to doubt God and to retreat and to stop serving the Lord Jesus. But no matter what we go through, if we are the Lord’s true followers, he is with us, and so we need to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might no matter our circumstances.

For God has given us his armor to put on with which we are to fight off the devil’s schemes against us. And the devil uses other humans to carry out his evil schemes, too, and they can be people we know or people we don’t know. For, even though our struggle is really a spiritual battle, and not a physical one, the devil and his demons are not our only enemies. We do have human enemies who will plot evil against us. But we are still to fight this battle with the armor of God and spiritual weapons, not physical ones.

Ephesians 6:13-17 ESV

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God..”

Now the armor of God is spiritual, not physical armor, and to put on this armor is to daily apply these truths to our lives, in practice. And so we practice truth and righteousness. And we share the gospel of our salvation, and we refute the lies of the enemy, in practice. And we put our faith into practice in our daily lives by walking in obedience to our Lord and by living holy and godly lives, pleasing the Lord, in his power and strength. And we walk in our salvation, no longer as slaves to sin, but now as slaves to God and to his righteousness. And we obey the word of the Lord, in practice.

For when we do this, we are standing against the devil’s schemes. For in the process of all of this we are still going to have enemies fighting against us trying to take us down, and trying to get us to give up the fight. But if we aren’t living this way, and so we wait for the battle before we try to put on the armor of God, we mostly will not be successful, because we are not spiritually prepared to fight off the enemy when his attacks come. So we have to be armored up all the time so that when the attacks come we have the strength and wisdom of God to fight them off.

Ephesians 6:18-20 ESV

“..praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”

Now when this says, “praying at all times in the Spirit,” this goes along with other Scriptures which speak of us praying continually or without ceasing. And if we think of prayer as only designated times each day where we sit down and pray through some prayer requests and then we finish with “Amen,” and then we go about our business, then this can be confusing. For prayer really is a continual state of mind to where the Lord can speak to us via his Spirit at any time of the day and night and to where we can talk with the Lord about anything and everything that is on our minds and hearts.

And we don’t always have to have a prayer list written down, although that is certainly helpful, for we can ask the Holy Spirit to put people’s names into our minds throughout the day, no matter what we are doing, so that we can be reminded to pray for them. And this can be while we are driving or riding in a car, or when we are working on a project, or while washing dishes or doing laundry or even while we are eating a meal. For prayers do not always have to be voiced out loud with our eyes closed and our heads bowed.

And we should be praying for the truth of the gospel to spread throughout the world, but make sure it is the truth, and not the lies. For much of what is called “the gospel” today is not the gospel that Jesus and his New Testament apostles taught, not in whole, anyway. For they taught Christ crucified for our sins so that we can now die with Christ to sin daily and walk in obedience to his commands in walks of holiness and righteousness. And they taught that if sin is our practice, and if obedience to our Lord is not what we practice, that we will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

Lyrics by Elisha A. Hoffman, 1887
Music by A. J. Showalter, 1887

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Oh, how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
Oh, how bright the path grows from day to day,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the everlasting arms?
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.

Caution: This link may contain ads

2 thoughts on “Leaning on Jesus’ Strength

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s