Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.

Ephesians 6: 10

 

The possession of strength is a popular idea. Most of us want it. Very few people actually seek to avoid it for themselves. Nations spend fortunes on the tools of war in order to achieve a form of strength that gives them superiority over their neighbors. Advertising and image building are generally designed so that companies and their products can gain an upper hand on the competition. It seems that this world even enters into a form of real worship around the altar of strength, power, domination, and control. Those bulging muscles and that powerful grip, whether seen on people or figuratively in other places, are the ideal that people aspire toward having. Strength, in the sense of control and might, is frequently the true goal for our lives.

 

Yet Christ did things differently during those years with us, and His Spirit speaks about a different sort of strength when He inspires people such as Paul to write down His words of life. This is a form of power that runs deep into the core of the person. It doesn’t need to be physically or visually demonstrated in order to exist. Instead, this Godly strength operates behind the manner and the way that people conduct themselves and engage in life. This is the way that Jesus lived. He was certainly strong and mighty; yet, His approach to most people was humble and open to hearing their stories and to engaging with their needs on both the practical, physical level and on the spiritual one. His strength came from that place deep within where the Spirit of God resided in Him and where He resides in His followers.

 

This same strength is what empowered Jesus to face into the terror of the final inquisition and its cross of torture with the peace of certainty and the resolve of God’s calling for Him. This was one of the pinnacle moments of the expression of God’s strength in this world. It came after that monumental outpouring of strength that was seen as He spoke the entire world into existence, and it stands in the middle of a continuum of the Lord’s narrative of ruling within the lives of people that is our current age. Then there will be that final great high peak when Christ returns and Creation id fully redeemed. So now, as we live in that ultimate middle time, Christ gives to His people the gift of strength. It is in the same form as that which took Christ to the cross. This is a humble and yielded form of power that enables self-sacrifice and that leads to denial of personal desire in order to love others with the same all-encompassing openness that Christ possesses. The strength that we require for life resides within, and all that we need of it is provided through and by Christ.

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