Thursday, September 16, 2010
The Full Armor of God - The Sword of the Spirit
"...And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God." Ephesians 6:17
The final piece of armor you are to have is the only piece that is offense, rather than defensive. Up until now, you have put on protective gear - shoes, breastplate, helmet, shield. But now you are to grab a weapon. The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
This sword is the Word of God - it is "...living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12) (I figured I may as well just use a description straight from the Word itself.)
So picture this - you are in the midst of a battle. Your shoes are firm and gripping, your body is well protected from head to toe and the fiery arrows of the enemy are bouncing off your shield. And then it happens. You lung forward and plunge your sword into...
Into the enemy.
Jesus used the Word to battle against Satan when He was in the wilderness. He was weak, tired and hungry and Satan chose that time to attack. The Word was completely sufficient to defeat Satan's temptation and make him leave. This story was given to us to teach us the obvious implications of knowing God's word and using it during times of temptation. I have worked with many women during times of great trial, and have encouraged them to hide the Word of God in their hearts so that in the midst of the storm, the Word could bring comfort, focus and even ward off Satan's arrows.
So knowing the Word is definitely a way you can be proactive in the battle with Satan. But what if your enemy comes in a different form. What if your attacker is human? According to Hebrews, the Word of God is able to cut deep into the heart of man and judge his thoughts and intentions. This is not something that we are able to do - we can't hear the thoughts of men and determine their intentions.
But God's Word can.
And when it does, usually one of two things happen. The enemy retreats and plans its next attack. Or the enemy falls in surrender to his knees. Imagine that - you are under attack, you use the Word of God against the enemy and they submit to His lordship. What a victory that would be!
So once again, Paul emphasizes in his letter to the Ephesians that they should not go into battle unprepared or empty-handed. They need to have the Word, holding up their garments, protecting their hearts and minds, covering their feet and finally on the tip of their tongue, ready to share in the heat of the battle. The Word will help you assess your enemy and may even change your enemies' life.
The full armor of God basically sits on your counter in your house. God has completely equipped you with everything you need to know in order to have victory, not only in eternity but here on earth. Have you realized that you've had everything you need at your finger tips? Do you know the Word well enough for it to be considered useful in battle? Are you in a church that aids in the equipping process? Are you surrounded by friends whose armor is well worn?
So, the final question is this: what are you going to do about it?