Power Up!

© E. E. Perry 2001
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power" Ephesians 6:10.

When a soldier enlists in the army, he knows he might face dangerous situations, sleep out in the woods, or endure many of the other hardships related to the military life. To think otherwise is foolish.

A foolish Christian might think that because he has given his life to Christ his troubles and trials will vanish. He still sins, and he still lives in a sinful world. The Apostle Peter warned the early Christians that they would face trials because their faith in Christ: "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed" (1 Peter 4:12-13). Trials are a part of life. Now that he is a Christian and has joined the Lord's army, he marches headlong into the spiritual battle between God and Satan.

Once a soldier enlists in the army, he remains a soldier. He will not stop being a soldier, even when he makes mistakes or breaks the rules. In the same manner, once he puts his faith in Jesus, he is a Christian. Mistakes do not stop him from being a Christian, though he struggles with sin and temptation. He battles not for salvation. Jesus won the battle for salvation on the cross. The battle is in Christian service.

We have all heard the expression, "What doesn't kill me can only make me stronger." The Apostle James tells us that our trials will make us stronger. "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance" (James 1:2-3). James tells us to rejoice in our trials, because trials make us stronger Christians.

A soldier rarely goes into battle alone. Every infantryman has up to ten soldiers which support him. Other soldiers provide his food, ammunition, and equipment. He rarely marches into battle without other soldiers beside him. He is usually a member of a patrol, squad, or platoon. He faces the conflict with others soldiers.

Christians do not march alone. They have the power and presence of God with them. Look at a promise of God, "..for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you" (Deuteronomy 31:7). Christians have the promise that God is always there with them. They can call on Him in times of trial, and He will answer them.

The call to fight the spiritual battle is given to us. God does not ask us to fight in our own power but to "be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power." We gain strength in our union with Christ. He makes us strong through His Spirit and His word. Along with Paul, we can make the claim, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13).

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission.

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