What would you do if you wanted to become stronger physically? You might commit to a daily workout with some weights. You could learn and do some exercises from an online source. Perhaps you would employ a personal trainer. You know that becoming physically stronger takes some effort, don’t you?
It's good to be physically strong, but being spiritually healthy is even more essential. Paul told Timothy: For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come (1 Timothy 4:8). Faith leaders need to be spiritually strong. Paul told the Ephesians, finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might (Ephesians 6:10). The word strong in Ephesians 6:10 is endunamoo in the Greek. It means to be empowered, enabled, and to increase in the Lord – the highest authority. You don’t have to rely on your natural, human strength. You can enable Jesus’ ministry in your life to increase in you so that you are empowered to do and accomplish all He has called you to do. But just as becoming physically stronger takes some effort, so does becoming spiritually strong.
Knowledge is Strength
Christians sometimes operate under the assumption that the power of God is mysterious. “Some have it, and some don't," they say. But you might be surprised to know that every believer can become strong in God’s power. It comes by the knowledge of God. Knowledge is not inspiration. An awful lot of time is spent inspiring folks in churches today. Inspiration has its place in the body of Christ, but inspiration without knowledge is defeat. Inspiration is usually imparted through preaching, but knowledge comes from teaching the Word of God. The purpose of preaching is to encourage believers to do what they’ve been taught, but if they haven’t been taught much, the enemy will defeat them even though they go to church and love God. Satan will take them out prematurely, or they will be hampered by sickness, disease, fear, and poverty. Preaching can get a crowd excited, but if they don't know what they're passionate about, the power is pointless.
The Job of the Local Church
Proverbs 24:5 says, A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength. The job of the local church, and particularly the pastor, is not to inspire, but to teach. Paul ended his letter to the Ephesians in chapter six, telling them to be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. He began his message, praying that they would have the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God. He wrote: Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. (Ephesians 1:16-17) Paul put first things first. He knew that the church would need knowledge and revelation before they could be strong in the Lord.
How to Get the Knowledge of God
Where do we get the knowledge of God? First, it comes from the meditation of the Word, as the psalmist described in Psalm 1.
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (Psalm 1:1-3)
The second way to gain knowledge is by receiving from teaching from the Word of God. The Bible tells us that in Jesus' ministry, He taught first, and then He healed. If you are a pastor or minister, you should hear yourself teach the Word, but you should also listen to others teach it. Continue to grow in the knowledge of the Word, and you will be strong in the Lord!