Scripture: Ephesians 6:10-18
Remember wrestling? Remember playing as kids and yielding when someone was too strong? What was the exclamation? It was “I give.” We said it when we were feeling as though we had had enough.
These days, because of all that is going on in the world, with all of the wickedness in high places, many of us are feeling that something has gotta give; something has gotta shift; something has gotta break loose. Many of us are angry, worried and battling depression because of the hatefulness, hypocrisy and hell that we see on our screens everyday.
Let’s make a choice beloved. Let’s choose to believe that we are not on the edge of disaster or a further fall from our proud past, but that we are the edge of a positive breakthrough, something that will remind us that God does exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we can ask or think.
Look at the scripture passage and see if it looks to you that the Apostle Paul is writing with a “Something has gotta give” perspective. In the early portion of chapter 6, he writes about family matters and workplace matters and in verse 10, he says, “Finally brothers and sisters be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.”
He instructs the listeners to get prepared for the battle against spiritual forces and then he says beautifully in verse 13, “Put on the whole armor of God so that you can stand in the evil day and having done all to stand, stand therefore.” He sounds like someone who understands when something has gotta give.
Read the verses 10-to-18 and perhaps you will find some help for your situation. Here’s what I see. The first thing we should do is develop of strength in the Lord. Look at verse 10. “Be strong in the Lord.” These days many of us are trying to get healthier and one of the effective strategies includes strength training. We know how it works – add weight to our movements and over time, we are stronger.
Not only do we need to develop strength, but also we need to develop endurance. Notice how Paul says “having done all to stand, stand.” Now is not the time to give up; it is the time to develop that “I’m gonna wait to my change comes” spirit.
Two weeks ago, we saw history made in Georgia. The leadership and strategizing efforts of the brilliant sister, Stacy Abrams, paid off and the people of Georgia overcame voter suppression efforts to elect to Congress a Black HBCU educated pastor and a young Jewish man. Hallelujah! Blessings delayed are not necessarily blessings denied. Let’s develop endurance and not give up when we are feeling “something has gotta give.”
Lastly, let’s develop our faith in God. Paul’s instruction for us to put on the whole armor of God is a reminder that we are in a battle and that there are no demilitarized zones. We need strong faith in God for the battle against the spiritual forces that highly influence us all.
I found that I need some “bounce back faith.” Your faith will develop when you remember all of the times when you got hit with the ugliness of life, yet with God’s strength you bounced back. You bounced back when sickness hit, when injustice hit, when manifestations of White supremacy hit, when economic hardship it, when family problems hit.
The same God who brought you, caused you, to bounce back from those hits, is available to help you now. Trust him and thank him and declare “victory shall be mine.”
The Rev. James McKnight is the pastor of the Congregational Church of Christian Fellowship in Los Angeles.