Our Offensive Weapon – the Sword of the Spirit
Are we prepared to meet the challenges of our generation with the sword of the spirit? The apostle Paul knew from personal experience the need to resist and stand your ground in the evil day. Whether dealing with rioters or facing incarceration based on false charges, Paul was prepared for spiritual battle. He advised the brethren to put on the armour that God provided. God’s armour would help them meet their daily challenges.
It was daunting at times to live as followers of Christ in a pagan society. They were constantly in conflict with the cultural norms of their time. They understood that there is a spiritual battle to be fought daily. So besides the defensive armour of breastplate, helmet, and shield, God provides our one offensive weapon. Are we making a daily effort to take the sword of the spirit that God is offering us?
Jesus Used The Word as a Sword
The sword of the spirit is the word of God. And God’s word is enduring, anchoring our hope in the reality of God’s promises. When Jesus faced his time of testing with Satan, it was the sword of the spirit, God’s word that helped him fend off Satan’s attacks. When Satan tried to use scripture to tempt Christ and cast doubt on his Messiahship, Jesus countered with scripture.
Yes, Jesus could have turned stones to bread, he was the Messiah. But knowing the scripture and Satan’s intent Christ had the perfect response from God’s word. “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” Satan tried to tempt Christ offering him rulership of the world, if Jesus would worship Satan. But, Jesus quickly responded with God’s word, “You shall worship the Lord God, and him alone.” Challenged by Satan to throw himself off the cliff, Jesus quoted from God’s word and applied it correctly, “Do not put the Lord God to the test!” Jesus put Satan to flight by using the sword of God’s word effectively. He parried Satan’s misapplication or misuse of scripture by properly apply the word of God to each situation.
Paul Faces His Enemies
Are we prepared to wield the sword of God’s word to drive off the evil thoughts, doubts, or deceits that Satan hurls our way? Paul understood the nature of our spiritual battle and the need to bring every thought into captivity to obey Christ, the Word of God. He had experience with enemies whose objective was to subvert, capture, or kill the followers of Christ. But he also knew the power of God’s word, the sword of the spirit, to put his enemies to flight.
Paul was bold in challenging his detractors, and he did not shrink from the spiritual battle. He went on the offensive, speaking the truth in love, and boldly proclaiming the message of scripture. He characterized the word of God as a sharp two-edged sword that could help him discern people’s true intents and motives. And though at times, Paul was an ambassador in chains, he prayed for the boldness and power to still stand and speak the word of God.
Are we Preparing our Sword of the Spirit?
As followers of Jesus the Messiah, the living Word of God, we too must wield the sword of the spirit. We have his example to follow, for he always had the appropriate scripture ready to answer those who tried to attack or subvert him. Are we preparing ourselves for battle, by knowing the scripture? Can we “rightly divide the word of truth” as Jesus did, and apply it correctly? Have we taken up the sword of the spirit so we can effectively counter all those ideas, feelings, and actions that oppose God’s word? We can have confidence in our spiritual battle, if we are skillful in our application of God’s word, and put our trust in Jesus’ testimony.
Learn more about overcoming in our spiritual battles by studying God’s word.
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