How Do We Keep God's Commands?
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. (ESV)
9 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (ESV)
God never expects us to complete His will with our own strength. He gives us His strength and His might.
Ephesians 6 starts, “Finally…
Let’s stop right here for a minute. The use of a single word can change the course of your life. Imagine yourself standing in a courtroom having been accused of a terrible crime. Witnesses have spoken and the jury has deliberated. The seconds drag on. You can feel the pressure of your pulse as it moves from your chest to the tips of your fingers. The verdict is handed to the judge and he begins to read. Time stands still and you hear the word you’ve been longing to hear: “We find the defendant to be NOT...”
What comes after doesn’t matter. A word as simple as “not” has given you relief. It has given you freedom. The rest is just pomp and circumstance.
So, knowing that words can hold this kind of power, how does it affect the reading of Ephesians 6:10? Verse 10 begins the end of Paul’s exhortation to the Ephesians. In the 5 chapters and 9 verses before, he has commanded that they (we):
“Be completely humble and gentle,”
“keep the unity,”
“In your anger do not sin,”
“Steal no longer,”
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth,”
“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit,”
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice,”
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you.”
And that’s not even all of the commands Paul writes!
If you’re like me, some of those commands struck a chord. And it wasn’t a good chord. Let’s face it, we can’t keep all of these commands all of the time. We’re going to mess up. Heck, my pride gets me, so I’m dead in the water before the list really gets started.
But we still haven’t gotten past the word “Finally,” and for good reason. When Paul says, “Finally,” he is telling his readers that everything that came before is going to rest on what he writes next. And how sweet those words are, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.”
We can’t do what Paul is telling us to do without the strength of the Lord that comes from his power. I know this concept isn’t mind-blowing. It wasn’t a new concept when Paul wrote it. The psalmist said it in Psalm 46:10 almost a thousand years before. In fact, the psalms are packed full of reminders that God is our strength, protector, fortress, and the list goes on.
We should take note of how often then bible reminds us that it is through God’s power that we can live the life that he has called us to. Every morning we should get up and say to God, “I can’t do all that you ask of me in my own strength. Let your mighty power be my strength.”