Sword of the Spirit
Do you ever struggle to find the right words? A situation arises and an appropriate response is required.If the perfect comment arrives, it’s too late … hours too late?
Join the club.
However, when we’re adopted into the family of God, we become beneficiaries of countless gifts and blessings. One in particular is the Sword of the Spirit; the Word of God. And not only that. The One who breathed it into existence, supplies the right words, at the right time, from our own mouth!
Sound too good to be true? Well, read on.
Going around in circles
Piece by piece we’ve clothed ourselves in the full armour of God, each item critical for defence against spiritual attack. And now, we take the “sword of the Spirit” which is the word of God.
We started this journey putting on the belt of truth which functions as an ID card. As God’s children, we identify in God’s truth; both His character and Person. And now the set is complete with the Sword of the Spirit; the Word of God, which is … truth; in word and form.
The word of the Lord
This term appears 347 times in Scripture and generally follows a formula; a message is given to God’s prophet or representative, who in turn, passes the message on to the intended audience. Most often the message can be divided into two groups:
- Good news: the law, blessings and encouragement
- Bad news: consequences, curses and judgement.
In Ephesians 6:17, Paul is referring to the Gladius: a short, double-edged sword used in the thick of battle; when there was no time to think, only act on reflex born from hours of training.
Some believe the sword of the Spirit is for offensive manoeuvres; strategically advancing into enemy territory to engage close-range battle. Or, in other words, actively connecting with those who don’t know God’s word and sharing the gospel.
But the Sword of the Spirit is double-edged; it’s also useful for defensive manoeuvres. The word of God is our chief weapon of defence against Satan’s lies. And who better to teach us how to do this, than Christ.
When Jesus started his ministry, filled with the Holy Spirit He was led into the wilderness to meet with His Father. It was here He also met the Adversary.
When tempted by Satan, instead of smiting him with the full force of Heaven’s blazing guns, Christ unsheathed the Sword of the Spirit, and crossed Satan’s lies with the truth of God’s word.
1: Know the Word
The best way to identify a fake is to know the genuine article intimately. When training for warfare, we don’t need to study Satan – the father of lies, we need to immerse ourselves in the Word. Then, when a lie is waved like a carrot (or a particularly juicy apple) to tempt us to doubt the truth, we will identify it for what it is.
2: Memorise the Word
Unfortunately, Satan does not wait for us to be ready before he strikes. We won’t always have our bible, commentaries or apps (for rapid-fire verse search) on hand. So, we need to keep the word in our head.
31 The law of their God is in their hearts; their feet do not slip.Psalm 37:31
3: Meditate on the Word
It is not enough to be able to quote scripture; spiritual warfare is not a memory contest. We need to digest the Word allowing it to sink into our soul, transform our minds, and affect our heart.
103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!Psalm 119:103
4: Use the Word
Once we’re saturated in the Word we have a formidable weapon ready to use in the heat of battle when there’s no time to think. But we can’t act on reflex born from hours of training if we haven’t done the training. And the Holy Spirit can’t remind us of something we don’t know.
26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.John 14:26
Whether we’re wielding the Word in offence or defence, one thing is certain. We want our sword sharp and ready to use as a part of the full armour of God–all day, every day. Our God has clothed us in His …
- Belt of truth – our identity is in Him
- Breastplate of righteousness – His righteousness covers us
- Boots of peace – Jesus is our peace
- Faithfulness to shield – our faith is grounded in His faithfulness
- Helmet of salvation – He restored us to right relationship in Him.
- How do you keep the sword of the Spirit sharp?
- How does it compliment the full armour of God?