Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Ephesians 6:10-11 NKJV

We are called to put on the whole armor of God.  Every day we find ourselves in a war zone.  The enemy continually assaults our minds with lies and deceptions and the way that we stand against the enemy is putting on the full armor of God.

Those who put on the full armor of God are those who have an attitude of readiness.  The understand the nature and reality of the enemy they face.  We are not called to live in fear or be intimidated by the enemy.  We are called to stand against the wiles of the enemy.  We are called to be the mighty ones and overcomers.  Because the honest truth is the enemy we face is defeated and we are the ones who have been given authority.

We are called to be strong in the Lord and His mighty power.  When we take time to simply meditate and focus on the power of Almighty God it shows us that His power within us is without limit and because of this it doesn’t matter what we face.  We will overcome anything we face because it will be the Holy Spirit within us that will empower and enable us to overcome.  Let us understand the reality we live in every day and be the warriors and soldiers God has called us to be.

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Ephesians 2:10

10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Ephesians 2:10

God has prepared things in advance for us to do.  We have not been created by accident or by chance.  Everyone of us on this earth who is following and serving Jesus Christ have been put on the earth at such a time as this.

God desires to use our lives to glorify and honor His name.  As we grow in Him and become like Him, we become a light in a very dark world.  We have been created in Him and Jesus has given His life so that we can be free.  May we set aside anything that would hinder our relationship with God and simply pursue Him with our whole heart.

Ephesians 6:11

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  Ephesians 6:11

We are called to put on the full armor of God.  Included in the armor of God is truth, faith, salvation, peace, righteousness, the word of God, and prayer.  Day by day we need to understand that we are in a warzone.

The devil desires to destroy us, but if we are abiding in the Lord daily we walk in victory over every scheme of the enemy.  The only Christians who walk in defeat are those who fail to abide daily in the Lord.  We must remember that our decision to follow Christ is not a one time decision.  It is a daily decision to walk with the Lord in all things.

Through everything we face upon this earth the Lord desires to teach us and grow us in our relationship with Him.  He desires to produce within us the character and nature of who He is.  This only happens as we walk with Him daily.  It is when we walk with Him daily that we truly put on the full armor of God.

Bearing with one another in love

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Ephesians 4:2 NIV

We are called to bear with one another in love.  All of us are broken and being progressively transformed by the Lord.  Because we are all human and the body of Christ is made up of people there are going to be times when people make mistakes and people offend on another.

But for us to truly walk in unity and agreement with one another we must be gentle and humble.  The greatest thing that causes division in the body of Christ is pride and arrogance.  When we walk in pride and arrogance we are blinded to the deceptions of the enemy.  Satan time and again has invaded the body of Christ and brought division.  But God is calling us to be the sons and daughters He has destined us to be.  To be a people filled with His love, grace, and mercy.

An essential component of this is patience.  Again because all of us are human and all of us are broken, mistakes will be made.  Too many times we have this lofty ideal that the body of Christ is some how going to be perfect.  But the body of Christ is filled with people from all different backgrounds and at different places in their spiritual growth.  We must focus our hearts and minds daily upon the Lord and His kingdom if we desire to walk in unity and love.  For when our lives are fixed on Jesus and we are abiding in Him, we will walk in His love and His grace.  We will be able to forgive one another and be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.  May we seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness.  May we be simply willing to love one another.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood

For 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. 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.

Ephesians 6:12-13 NIV

The apostle Paul makes it very clear that our battle is not against flesh and blood.  Many times it is easy to get focused on those who may persecute us or oppose us because of the name of Jesus.  But behind every opposition to the gospel is Satan and his demonic forces.

When Satan rebelled against God’s rule in heaven he deceived a third of the angels to follow after him in his rebellion (Revelation 12:3-4).  These angels that followed Satan during his rebellion has become the demonic spirits that serve him today and carry out his plans and purposes.

But we are not called to fear the enemy nor live in fear.  We are called to put on the armor of God and take our stand.  We are called to stand against the wickedness of the enemy and use the weapons God has given us to advance His kingdom.

Our weapons are not physical but spiritual weapons (2 Corinthians 10:3-6).  Through prayer and the truth of God’s word we have the ability to advance God’s kingdom anywhere upon the earth.  But it requires prayer and the truth of God’s word to advance God’s kingdom, without them it is impossible.

When we understand that we are at war and we are a soldier in God’s army it changes the way we live on a daily basis.  Through Christ we have been given authority and must use that authority in the place of prayer.

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.  Ephesians 4:1-6

The apostle Paul calls us to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.  Our lives should be lived with one purpose and that is to simply glorify and honor the name of Jesus.  We are called to be holy because the Lord is holy.  Holiness is simply living in the character and nature of Jesus Christ.  This only happens as we abide in the Lord daily and grow in our relationship with Him.

We are called to be completely humble and gentle.  When we examine what the apostle Paul is writing we see he is simply writing about the character and nature of Christ.  The character of Christ is contrary to the way the world works.  Those who seek after the pleasures and emptiness of the world are filled with the darkness of the world.  But those who seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness will have a life filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

We are called to do all things to keep the unity we have in the body of Christ.  It is pride and arrogance that bring division and strife to the body of Christ.  But when our focus is upon Christ alone and His kingdom we will be filled with the grace and love of God which will lead naturally to unity and peace.

It is amazing toward the end of this passage how many times the apostle Paul uses the word one.  In Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile.  There is neither black nor white.  For in Christ we are one body.  One of the main issues the apostle Paul is confronting is the division that existed between Jew and Gentile in the body of Christ.

For when we view one another through the eyes of Christ we will see the beauty of every brother and sister that exist in the body of Christ.  We must be led by the Spirit and walk according to the Spirit.  For when we walk according to the Spirit we will have unity and love filling our hearts.  We will be one family and army in Christ.  There is incredible power that is released into the earth when God’s sons and daughters simply walk in unity and do all things in unity.  May our eyes be focused upon the Lord always and may we simply seek Him with our whole heart.

Ephesians 3:20-21: Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.  Ephesians 3:20-21

There are no limits with the Lord.  The more we come to understand God and His kingdom through the study of His word, the more it truly shapes the way we pray.  We come to fully understand the authority we have through Jesus Christ.  We understand that we have the honor and privilege to be able to impact nations for His kingdom.  There are no limits because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Through Jesus death and resurrection He has overcome death and the grave.  He holds all authority in His hands and has given us authority through our faith and trust in Him.  He has given us authority that whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever we loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.  He is calling us to pray forth His will in the earth and see His kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

So many limit God because they don’t know Him.  They claim to follow Christ but are ignorant of God’s word and His promises.  May we diligently study the scriptures each day and seek the Holy Spirit for greater wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and revelation.  Every time we go to the Lord in prayer and seek His face there are things that are released into our lives that we don’t fully understand.  May we simply pray and seek His face daily and continue to grow in our relationship with Him.

Ephesians 3:14-19:  For this reason I kneel before the Father

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Ephesians 3:14-19

It is God who has created all things.  It is God who has created all of humanity.  The apostle Paul knows the God he serves and understands the authority he has in Christ.  He is a man of deep humility who bows before the creator of all things.  It is an awesome honor and privilege to be able to draw near and seek the Lord in prayer.  So many simply take it for granted and so many ignore the awesome opportunity they have in the place of prayer.

The apostle Paul also understood that the power of God is released through faithful intercession.  He prays that the believers in Ephesus would be empowered and strengthened by the Holy Spirit.  This not only something we should pray for ourselves, but it is something that we should pray for one for another on a daily basis.  We have been given examples of prayers in the bible that men and women of God have prayed throughout the course of humanity.  It is not by accident God has included these prayers in His word.  They are actually a pattern we are called to follow.  Since we are called to pray according to His will.  His will is made known through coming to know the depths of His word.

The apostle Paul’s desire and prayer is that the believers would be filled with the knowledge of how high, deep, and long is the love of Christ.  We will not understand who we are in Christ and all we have in Christ until we come to know the depths of His love.  Great revelation is released when prayers are prayed.  We must remember that the kingdom of God is advanced on the earth through the hearts of men and women.  When we pray that eyes would be open, that minds would be open, that hearts would be open, the Holy Spirit begins to do a very deep work.

God desires to work mightily on the earth today and to fulfill His will for the church age.  His desire is that His sons and daughters would come to know the depths of His love.  We as a people must be a people of prayer and intercession.  We must dedicate our lives to the place of prayer and simply make it the priority.  As we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, He will teach us how to pray and how to pray according to the will of our Father in Heaven.  If we desire to know God in a greater way it simply comes as a result of coming to know the depths of His word.  Day by day He reveals Himself unto us as we pour over the scriptures and meditate upon His word.

 

Ephesians 1:18

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,

Ephesians 1:18 NIV

This is something that the apostle Paul prayed over all the believers and churches that he impacted for the gospel.  It is something that we should pray over our own lives and the lives of one another.  It is the Holy Spirit who gives us eyes to see and a heart to understanding.  When we seek the Lord for wisdom and understanding, we will never be disappointed.

We live in a world filled with great darkness and deception.  To be able to see through the deception of our day requires that we diligently seek the Lord in prayer daily and spend time reading and studying His word.  When we spend time reading and studying God’s word, we spend time meditating upon His word and that is where true revelation is released.

The Lord has set a table before us daily and is drawing us to dine at His table.  He desires for us to draw near to His presence and be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.  The more we invest in our relationship with Jesus Christ, the more we are transformed by His power and His love.  He is calling us today to remove anything from our lives that would hinder our relationship with Him.  May we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.

Ephesians 2:8-10: For by grace you have been saved through faith

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:8-10

We are simply saved by grace through faith.  The moment a person places their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, asking forgiveness for their sins and acknowledging their need for a savior is the moment they are born again.  We are not saved based upon any works we have done.

Many have fallen into the deception of legalism in which they believe that they somehow earn God’s love and favor through their works.  Or some how they keep themselves saved by the works that they do.  This is simply a deception of Satan and when we come to understand the truth that we are simply saved by faith, we learn to rest in Christ finish work and we come to enjoy and experience the freedom we have through Him.

But God has created us for works to do.  The works that are created for us to do were established before the foundations of the earth.  The Lord knows every heart that will turn to Him and has chosen every heart that will turn to Him before anything was created.  Salvation is a work of the Holy Spirit.  It is the Holy Spirit who draws us to the place of salvation and it is the Holy Spirit who opens our eyes to the truth of who Jesus Christ is and our need for a savior.

The works God has created for us to do fit within His sovereign plan and purposes.  He has so designed us and gifted us to be equipped to fulfill every plan and purpose He has for us.  Nothing happens by accident and nothing is random with the Lord.  But the purpose that God saves us and brings us into relationship with Him is to glorify His name through us.

We have been called to be vessels of His glory.  This happens as we draw near and are transformed by the power and might of the Holy Spirit.  As our lives are transformed, He opens every door that is according to His will.  Every door that is open is opened and we are equipped for it.  When we understand that God has chosen us and that His love for us is eternal and unconditional, we learn to rest in Him and enjoy the freedom we have in Him.  We stop striving and we simply start living and existing in Him.

The difference between a true relationship with Jesus Christ and simply religion is religion is based on man’s efforts to some how reach God in his own strength and wisdom and is an endless cycle of disappointment and condemnation as we never live up to perceived demands we believe are placed on us because we are living in our own strength.  But a relationship with Jesus Christ is one in which it is no longer we who live, but Christ who lives through us.  That it is the Lord who lives within us and empowers us for all things.  Every battle is placed in His hands and we simply walk in victory in all things.  This is the abundant life that Jesus spoke of.