Before we can effectively employ the sword of God’s Word, we need to know the One who teaches us to wield it well.
Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:9; 11-14, NIV).
Before we can effectively employ the sword of God’s Word, we need to know the One who teaches us to wield it well. When we fear the Lord, we lack nothing. He gives us His good judgment, a sound mind, a discerning spirit, and a loving heart toward others. We do not possess these traits of our own accord, but God promises that He will instruct those who fear Him.
God calls us to keep (our) tongue from evil and (our) lips from speaking lies. Words can be weapons that wound and diminish our witness for Christ. The fear of the Lord helps us keep our tongues in check as we strive to speak words that honor and glorify Him.
These verses also command us to turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Upright living can be wielded as a weapon as we turn from the temptations of the enemy to seek God’s will. Righteous living looks dramatically different from the ways of a fallen world and distinguishes us for His sake.
Just because we are carrying weapons doesn’t mean we’re not seeking peace. God’s call on our lives is that we pursue peace. Peace is a weapon requiring no bloodshed, because Jesus already shed His blood on our behalf.
How do you respond to the directive to fear the Lord? Which one of these areas does God want to focus on with you today: the fear of the Lord, taming the tongue, pursuing peace, or turning from sin? Ask God to teach you how to effectively deal with that area by His grace.