How can I be strong in the Lord? What’s this mean? This verse comes before the famous passage we call The Armor of God. The letter to The Ephesians is coming to an end so it closes with essential and rich teaching, a powerful analogy on how I can be strong in the Lord.
Most days I don’t feel strong at all. Most days I’m surviving and addressing things too quickly so I can get to the next thing. My armor might not be fastened on properly or maybe I’m only wearing half of it?
The armor consists of truth, righteousness, faith, salvation, peace and the sword of the Spirit. All of these are self explanatory but what’s a sword of the Spirit? It’s the only offensive weapon. The sword of the Spirit is the Bible, God’s words and messages to us.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
All these things, the armor of God can be put on by living a life of what we call the spiritual disciplines. Here’s a list of them: Bible reading, Study, Worship, Prayer, Fellowship, Service, Reflection, Community, Self-Denial, Solitude, Submission, Silence, Fasting, Sabbath and Secrecy. Some have written entire books on these and how to do them. You can learn more about these if you search about them. Dallas Willard wrote about them and many others too.
Followers of Jesus who are putting on their armor properly are engaging in all of these things. They give me what I need to be strong. I can evaluate myself by asking which ones of these I’m better at than others and then challenge myself to grow in another area.
Just like anything else in life, growing spiritually requires a plan too. Failing to plan is planning to fail. We’ve all heard that saying right?
Exercising the spiritual disciplines, putting on the armor of God is essential for my survival. Without these things I’d be a great mess! I’m thankful for guidance and direction. The question is, what will I do with it?