Prepare for Battle! Day 8 ~ Sword of the Spirit
Weekly Manna for Memory
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Additional verses if you’d like a memorization challenge 🙂 …
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
The Sword of the Spirit
Take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
The sword of the Spirit is the only weapon of offense we read about as part of the Armor of God in Ephesians 6. The other pieces of armor are all intended to defend against the attacks of the evil one. But our sword, which is the word of God, we need to purposely take and wield against our enemy.
In Matthew 4, Jesus uses the word of God to effectively combat the temptations of Satan.
In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 we read how it trains and equips us:
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
In John 17:17, Jesus prays for His disciples to be sanctified (to be made holy) by the truth of the word.
And Hebrews 4:12-13 speaks of how the word convicts:
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
We can see how the word of God ties into all the other pieces of the Armor of God. It’s useful for training in Righteousness so we can put on our Breastplate. It is the source of Truth to be fitted as our Belt. It tells us about the Gospel of Peace with which our feet need to be fitted and ready. The Shield of Faith and the Helmet of Salvation can only be understood and received through the holy word of God.
So how do we use the word of God so that we are truly ready for the battle waged against us each day by the evil one?
How can we wield the word of God effectively?
We can only use the word of God if we actually know the word. Let’s start there.
In the western world, we tend to take the Bible for granted. In China, there are approximately 80 million Chinese Christians who do not have a Bible. They are so hungry to know God’s word that they take any opportunity they have to memorize portions of it so that they have it hidden in their heart. The word of God is absolutely essential to them. Oh, may I grow to view the Scriptures with such devotion!
Be sure to take the time to get into God’s Word! It is essential for our daily battles! (If you need some resources, see the “Take-Away for Today” below.)
2 Timothy 2:15:
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
Dear Jesus, thank You so much for giving us Your holy word, the Bible. In it we can find truth to combat the enemy’s lies, guidance to live righteously, the gospel of peace that readies us for battle, the God on whom our faith is based and the plan of salvation that protects us in this evil world. Lord, thank You that the Scriptures contain everything we need to follow you and be equipped to do Your will and to experience Your love, peace, joy and fulfillment. Help me to carve out dedicated time each day to spend with You. Show me also how to build Bible time into my family’s daily schedule so that my children might grow up loving Your Word, that they may also be equipped for the daily spiritual battles they encounter. When it lacks, please grow my desire to spend time in Your Word. Thank You, Lord Jesus. Amen.
Meal of Manna
Take some time to read Psalm 119, praying for the Holy Spirit to teach you through it. This passage is all about the word of God and how it can impact those reading it. Write down all the benefits of reading and meditating on God’s word.
Which of these benefits could you use a little dose of in your life today? Pray for God to fulfill His promises as you seek to study His word more and more in your life.
Take-Away for Today
If you don’t already, set aside a time each day to simply read the Bible. It may only be ten minutes, but make it consistent. You can find a reading plan on Bible Gateway or simply read it chapter by chapter. Whatever you do, invite the Holy Spirit to speak to you during this time through the Scriptures. Make it a habit!