Joyce Meyer - Ephesians 6 Bible Study
All right now, I'm getting ready to read verse 10, but I wanna do a little synopsis first. Paul wrote this letter. He's coming to the end of it. We've only got 14 verses left and you're going to have studied the entire Book of Ephesians with me since Thursday night. And boy, we have had so many instructions in this book. By now, a person could just be totally exhausted. It's a good thing we got to get some sleep at night, right? I mean, we've been told to behave right, to talk right, to think right, to know who we are in Christ, to understand our righteousness. I mean, we've learned so many things, and I love this part.
Here's what Paul says. This is so good. "In conclusion, be strong in the Lord." In other words, you're not gonna do any of this if you don't stay strong in the Lord. "Be empowered through your union with Him; draw your strength from Him that strength which His boundless might provides." Let me tell you something, it is so super foolish to get out of bed and just try to behave. Let me tell you something. I can lay in bed and make all my plans for holiness, and they last until I put my feet on the floor and that's the end of it. So, even though your heart is right or my heart is right, you still have to have a boatload of help from God and you have to have it every single day of your life.
I mean, I'm sure sometimes I sound like I've got something wrong with me. There's no telling how many times everyday I say, "God, help me. Help me, God. Help me." And I'm not even real sure what I need help with at that moment. It could be putting my contact lens in, it could be combing my hair, it could be getting up to preach. All I know is I am useless without Him, I can do nothing apart from Him, and I need God's help in everything that I do. Amen?
Now, you see, this is what keeps a lot of people from entering into a real full-on relationship with God, because they don't want to depend on God that much. They wanna have enough of God to stay out of hell. But not enough to walk in victory. And if you want to really have the kind of relationship with God that Jesus died for you to have, then you've got to let Him into every room in your life. No blocked off rooms. I mean, He gets to get in everything. He gets in your thoughts, He gets in your words, He gets in your sex life, He gets in how you dress, He gets in your money, He gets in your choices, He gets in your friends.
But I tell you, the trade off is amazing. Yeah, it's a little hard in the beginning, but I'll tell you, it's not really that hard anymore. Once you understand that you're just not gonna be happy if you don't do what God tells you to, that things are just not gonna work out right if you don't do what God tells you to. Has anybody learned that yet? You are not going to be happy if you don't do what God tells you to do. And you know what? To be honest, I'm pretty good at reading people at this point, and I can see, I can see, I still got some people out there, man, you got your arms crossed. And you have dug in. Well, I get it.
You know what? There's so many things that God has taught me over the years, and a lot of them are just little things. He used little examples to teach me how to depend on Him in everything. I mean, I remember the first time I was bowling and wasn't bowling very good, and it was after I had really gotten a more serious relationship with God and He was teaching me this thing about leaning on Him all the time. And I felt like the Lord said, "Well, if you want to bowl better, why don't you ask Me to help you?" And I thought, "Well, that's stupid. Nobody's gonna askGod to help 'em bowl." Not being able to get my hair to do what I want it to. "Well, why don't you ask Me to help you?" I am a grown woman. I am not gonna ask You to help me comb my hair.
You see, our problem is we've got this independent, "I do it myself," attitude. Come on, if you've got kids, you know how it is. They get to be about 2. "I do it myself. I do it myself. I do it myself." And sometimes, now, listen, the only thing you can do is just let them go try to do it themselves. And then they'll come back. And that's the way we are with the Lord. Let Him into every room in your life. Is anybody understanding what I'm saying? "In conclusion." Don't you love it? I never really understood the importance of those two words, "In conclusion," until I taught this whole thing. And then I get here and he says, "In conclusion, be strong in the Lord," and I'm like, "Well, for crying out loud, I guess we need strength if we're gonna pull all that off," amen?
Ephesians 3:16, "May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the Holy Spirit Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality." Paul said, "I pray that you would be strengthened with all might and power in the inner man so you can get out there and have a Spirit-filled personality and behave the way that you ought to behave out in the world." You can't do it without God's strength. And then, Isaiah 40:31, "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and they shall not faint." We can't do it without help from God.
Well, then the very next thing that happens here is he starts telling us, "Get ready for a war." Ha ha ha. Yeah, get ready for a war. Here's how much God loves you, here's how I want you to behave, you're gonna need to be strong in the Lord to do it, now get ready for a fight. This is so good. It just leaves the whole thing out and shows us the whole plan, and we have better understanding. We have "Put on God's whole armor." Get ready for a fight. You know, on Thursday night, I think it was Thursday night, we had about 85% of the people in here stand up saying they wanted a deeper, full on relationship with God and they were willing to turn away from things that were separating them from God.
Well, you think the devil just rolled out a red carpet and just said, "Oh, yay!" "Yay! Yay! Let me help you!" No, opposition. You have to be willing to fight the good fight of faith and say, "Devil, I don't care what you do. I made a commitment to God, and with His help, I'm gonna go all the way through with God. All the way through with God." I'm not gonna tell you it's gonna be easy. I will tell you that it will get easier. But there's a fight in the beginning. Any time that you're gonna make progress, the enemy is going to oppose you. Amen?
"Put on God's whole armor the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies." Thank God He gives us everything we need to fight the fight. "That you might be able successfully to stand up against all the strategies and the deceits of the devil. For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood contending only with physical opponents, but we are wrestling with powers, master spirits who are world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere." In other words, there are little demons filling the atmosphere that we can't see, and they hate Christians. They hate everything that's good and they oppose it and come against it. But guess what? We have more power than they do. Jesus stripped satan of his authority. The devil still has power, but he really doesn't have any authority unless we give it to him, doing things like getting angry and staying angry, which the Bible says opens a door for the devil.
Remember Ephesians 4, "Don't go to bed mad"? Come on, behavior. Don't go to bed mad. We can't fight the devil if we're gonna throw doors wide open for him and invite him in. So we start by doing our best to do what we believe God has asked us to do, knowing He's gonna forgive us for our mistakes, knowing He's gonna help us, leaning and relying on Him, but we just keep it up, and keep it up, and keep it up, until we finally wear him out.