10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. (NIV)
Paul has expounded and articulated the mysteries of God’s way of living in the home and church. However, he reminds us that we must allow ourselves to be empowered by these things. The strength of God will not flow into our life automatically. We must allow His power to fill us. His point is that we can know a great deal about God. We can know what to do. We may understand salvation, grace, power, and faith. Nevertheless, after all this, we must give permission for the Lord to fill us with His strength, and we must choose to take it up, grasp His strength, and walk in it.
Our knowledge of the Lord and His ways have one purpose: to keep us in communion with God and the Holy Spirit. When the relationship is strained or broken, we lose all that God is. He is our strength. He is our power. He is our peace. He is our wisdom. When we are in spiritual communion with Him, we have Him, and with Him, we also receive all that He is. To be strong, we must walk in the ways of God, and follow His commandments. When we don’t, our communion is stressed and pulled. There is tension and distance.
However, understanding that obedience serves only to make possible a spiritual communion, we must then enter this communion. It is possible to do everything necessary for spiritual communion but never enter it.
Seeking spiritual communion through prayer, meditation, and worship opens us to His strength. We must be strong. The belt of truth is to follow His ways as truth. The breastplate of righteousness is to follow this way in a love that frees others from their shame and guilt. To fit our feet with the Gospel of peace is to evangelize. All of these involve obedience. Then after obedience, we take up the shield of faith. We take up the helmet of salvation to meditate on all God has done for us. The Sword of the Spirit is to let the Word of God circumcise our hearts. Each of these occurs in the interior of our spirit.
After you have sought to follow God’s ways, enter a spiritual communion with God that exists outside of time. Then, you will be strong.
Prayer: Let me remember that obedience is the means, not the end. It works to create a space where communion can happen. Let me not fall short, but seek Your face. Amen.