A political observer today might think that bullying equals strength.

Whether it’s the American presidential campaign or the Russian takeover of the Crimea, bullying seems to work.  At least, up to a point.

But Christ had a different view of strength.

Some of his followers wanted him to make “Israel great again” by stirring up a revolt and overthrowing the Romans by force.

Instead, Jesus chose to go to the cross to die for the sins of billions of people.

It wasn’t easy – he sweat drops of blood in agony the night before the crucifixion.  He knew that the Father would turn his face from him the moment he gave up his life because of the dark sin he had voluntarily taken upon himself.

But Jesus embraced the will of God and died for us.  In the end, it was the world’s greatest victory and the Father placed the world at Christ’s feet.

Jesus’ strength came from obedience and the power of God.

I know myself that this approach to life doesn’t come naturally.  I tend to rebel against the thought of sacrificing my comfortable, pleasant life to follow the path that Jesus walked.

But there is an inner dissatisfaction within me when I wander away from what Jesus is asking me to do.  He knows – and I know – that inner peace only comes with obeying and relying on God.

The apostle Paul points me in the right direction in Ephesians 6:10: “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”

Paul says I can’t do it on my own.  I need God and the spiritual armour he has given me to fight the dark forces that try to pull me away from Jesus.

In Ephesians 6, the apostle lists those pieces of armour.  To cap it all, Paul says I am to pray constantly, calling on God for his help.

Down through the centuries, people who have followed the example of Jesus have changed the course of history.

They appeared weak but, inside, they were strong.

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