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Be Strong

In John 10:10, Jesus told us that the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. Then James 4:7 tells us that we can resist him and he will flee. We don’t have to be overpowered by the enemy in whatever way he comes against us. We have the power of the Holy Spirit that makes us strong enough to resist, push back and overcome our enemy. Over and over we are told to be strong throughout the Bible. We have a choice in whether or not we rely on God’s power that resides in us. He gives us the strength to resist the enemy and to receive all that God has for us. Don’t be a pushover. Stand up and be strong trusting in Him!

Here are some Bible verses on being strong.

1. May you be made strong with all the strength which comes from his glorious power, so that you may be able to endure everything with patience. And with joy give thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to have your share of what God has reserved for his people in the kingdom of light.

Colossians 1:11-12 GNT

2. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do.

Joshua 1:7 NLT

3. Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.

Deuteronomy 31:6 MSG

4. In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might.

Ephesians 6:10 AMP

5. Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.”

Isaiah 35:4 NLT

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Strength Training

I’m not a person who goes to the gym a lot, but I’ve got plenty of friends who do. I know some people who enter into body building competitions as well. It turns out that there’s a difference between muscle building and strength training. I always assumed very muscular people were super strong, but strength isn’t what they’re going for. Muscle building works to induce bulging muscles and increase muscle size. However, in strength training you’re trying to increase the functionality of your muscles. I love the idea of that. It’s not just about looks, but ability. Many people who go to the gym hope to get toned, but what they need to be doing is strength training instead.

Consider that understanding as we look at Ephesians 6:10. Paul wrote, “Finally, build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of his mighty power” (GNT). Paul didn’t ask us to build up our spiritual muscles so we look good. He told us to build up our strength so we can have endurance and increased functionality in the Body of Christ. So many of us spend so much effort trying to look good by doing things that get noticed, but that’s the equivalent of body building. We need to be in strength training instead ready to fight spiritual battles, to carry other believers who need help and to endure hardships. Spiritual strength is what we need most.

Just like someone who is in physical strength training, spiritual strength training requires consistency. You must consistently pray, read the Bible and apply God’s principles to your life. Stepping out in faith in areas where God leads you is another way. You gain strength when you keep trusting in God during difficult times when your mind and others tell you that you should be cursing Him instead. You must push yourself beyond your current abilities and situations to the point it challenges you. Until you do that consistently, you’re not building your strength. If we’re not willing to stretch our faith through application of God’s principles, it’s no different than going to the gym, sitting on the equipment and never using it. You can know how to do it, but you only build your strength when you actually apply what you know.

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Strength Building

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.

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