When I was in Physics class in high school, the teacher had us build a bridge out of popsicle sticks. We were going to suspend the bridge between two tables and add weights until it collapsed to see whose was the strongest. I built a truss bridge thinking it would look good and be strong. When I went to test it, it wasn’t as strong as I thought it was or needed to be. A friend suggested I could strengthen it by adding eyelets and string turning it into a suspension bridge. He was right. By adding to my existing structure, I was able to strengthen the bridge to hold a lot more weight than it ever could have on its own.
In Ephesians 6, Paul was giving some final instructions to the Christians at Ephesus. In verse 10 he wrote, “Finally, build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of his mighty power” (GNT). He was telling us that we’re not strong enough to handle a lot of what comes at us, so we need to add things in order to increase our spiritual strength. Those things he mentioned that we need to add are: the belt of truth to help you stand in victory, the breastplate of righteousness to protect your heart, the Gospel of peace on your feet to give you stability, the shield of faith to protect you from the enemy’s attacks, the helmet of salvation to guard your thoughts and the sword of the spirit, which is the spoken Word of God, to help you advance.
We need to be adding and doing these things daily in order to build up our spiritual strength. A weightlifter doesn’t get strong by going to the gym once or by going every once in a while. They go daily, and so we must have these spiritual disciplines in order to build up our strength. Take time each day to speak the truth in love, trust in Jesus’ righteousness instead of our own, read the Bible to put it in our heart, take steps of faith often, ask God to guard your thoughts and pray the Bible verses out loud. When we do these things, we become a lot stronger than we ever could be on our own. We become infused with God’s strength and will be able to stand up to any attack the enemy brings against us. Strength building isn’t passive. It requires action, time and discipline.