Once you are branded as a Christian, the forces of evil charge you, trying to extinguish your desire to live for God.
Paul began his summary of important concepts with “Finally” to introduce the beginning of the end. MacArthur tells us, “If we are walking worthy of our calling: in humility rather than pride, in unity rather than divisiveness, in the new self rather than the old, in love rather than lust, in light rather than darkness, in wisdom rather than foolishness, in the fullness of the Spirit rather than the drunkenness of wine, and in mutual submission rather than self–serving independence, then we can be absolutely certain we will have opposition and conflict” (MacArthur, Ephesians, p. 331).
Jesus demonstrated the power of prayer to strengthen Him in the garden of Gethsemane. He urged His disciples to do the same. Nonpraying believers will either compromise or hide.
The command is to “be [continually] strengthened in the Lord,” which means “to be made capable.” We gain our strength “in the Lord,” not by human strength. Paul prayed that believers would know God’s “incomparably great power for us who believe” (Eph 1:19). This power was used to raise Jesus from the dead (1:20), and this same power flows in us.
Next, Paul adds, “in the strength of His power”—-that is, “in the manifested power of His inherent might,” a description of majesty and insurmountable strength. This power is sufficient to help us stand true to Christ despite any threatening opposition, as we see in the church of Philadelphia: “because you have a little power, and have kept My Word, and have not denied My name” (Rev 3:8). They stayed faithful even with “a little power.”
Paul’s final words to Timothy were, “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord . . . be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim 1:8; 2:1). Being saturated with His presence brings inevitable power, but it flows as we obey Him and stand up for Him.
“I praise You, Father, that Your power is made evident through our weakness. I need to cling to You in prayer, saturate my mind with Your teachings, and continually learn to obey You so that, when the trials and opposition come, You will be glorified in my words and actions.”