Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Ephesians 6:10 NASB
Strong/Strength/Might – Empowering people is a common expression in today’s management practices. What does it mean? Usually it entails delegation of responsibility and authority. That means the boss gives you the right to make choices, execute them and be responsible for the outcomes. Sometimes the verb used here is translated “empower.” Is that what Paul is suggesting? Let’s take a look.
“Be strong” is the Greek verb endunamoo. The essence of this verb comes from dunamis (strength), a word that stands behind our idea of dynamic (and dynamite). This particular combination of en and dunamoo is only found in biblical and church-related Greek. Paul probably coined the word. It means “to make vigorous, to strengthen, to empower.” It is a verb that describes equipping with power. That sounds a lot like our contemporary management techniques, but there is a very big difference. The big difference is discovered in the relationship between this empowering verb and the two words that follow.
“Strength” is the Greek ischus. It has a lot of implications, from health to moral endowment. It is applied capacity, the ability to perform. “Might” is the Greek word kratos. This is a word about power available for action. It doesn’t imply that the action takes place, only that the power is ready to be used when needed. Now let’s put these together.
Jesus supplies the available power. It is His and only His. All I do is tap into it. That’s what it means to recognize His “might.” That power is available to provide the capacity that I need to perform those actions I am called to do. It’s not my strength. It’s His might available to me so that I can apply it. His might provides the needed capacity. I am the vehicle through which that capacity is activated. It starts with Him. It is delivered by Him. I am simply the channel. This is what it means to be strong in the Lord. In other words, to be equipped by the Lord has little to do with being delegated authority and responsibility. It is not empowerment as we understand it. It is usefulness. I am a means by which the inherent power of God is manifested through me for His purposes. You can think of it like a water pipe. The pipe doesn’t contain the power. The power is in the volume and speed of the water that flows through the pipe. The pipe can’t claim any of the credit for the power that flows through it, nor can it determine what kind of flow goes through it. All the pipe can do is be the most useful instrument possible to handle the flow. Of course, water can go through any size pipe, but the bigger the pipe, the more useful it is for transporting water. God is in charge of the flow. We are in charge of the size of the pipe.
Be a pipe!
Topical Index: empowerment, strength, might, Ephesians 6:10, endunamoo, ischus, kratos