To the Ephesian church, Paul wrapped up his letter with powerful words. Contradicting the situation in which he found himself, Paul proclaims a strength that allows us to withstand any evil and wickedness that may come our way. From his prison cell, Paul wrote to the congregation of believers who may have questioned their faith a bit upon hearing of Pastor Paul’s condition. “If this God Paul proclaimed to us is so powerful and mighty, how is it that He allowed His servant to be captured and imprisoned”, the Ephesian faithful may have wondered to themselves.
Anticipating their questions and concern, Paul cuts them off at the pass and explains it all to them. “If you are looking for strength and power as the world around you defines it, you are quite right to question my situation. But God’s power is made perfect in weakness. Thus, God is using this situation for the sake of the lost and the strengthening of you, the faithful! I’m not afraid for my life. I have no fear of death. I do not fear these men who have captured and imprisoned me. And neither should you!”
Instead, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might! That’s what Paul did! As his life was in danger countless times, Paul was strong in the Lord. Paul realized he had no strength in himself upon which to stand. But there is an infinite source of strength upon whom when we stand we shall never fall! You and I would do well to learn at the feet of imprisoned Pastor Paul.
Do not attempt to stand in your own strength. As Paul will tell us shortly, your enemies are not other people or nations. Your enemies are forces you cannot even begin to comprehend, let alone engage successfully in battle. But you most certainly can stand strong (if you are a Christian) because you stand in the strength of the source of all strength! You stand in the strength of the Lord’s might.
Therefore, come what may, stand strong in the Lord. This is true strength – a strength that comes from outside of you and holds you up in ever circumstance!
“And take they our life, goods, fame, child, and wife. Though these all be gone, our vict’ry has been won; the Kingdom ours remaineth.” – A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, Martin Luther