The Habits: Applying Scripture
“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17, NIV).
As Christians, we are being attacked on a daily basis. We are in a spiritual war, and it often seems that we are losing. This is especially the case for Christian leaders. Almost every day we read about a pastor or ministry leader being removed from their position for some moral indiscretion or other issue of integrity.
The Apostle Paul tells us that we must be prepared and ready to defend ourselves. He said that we are to “put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:11). An essential part of a soldier’s armor is his sword and for the Christian, our sword is God’s word.
Just as the sword of a soldier can be used to block and deflect the attacks of an enemy, our sword – God’s word – can help us overcome the attacks of Satan. But just “having” a sword in his possession won’t help the soldier very much if he doesn't know how to use that sword. Learning swordsmanship takes practice, and in many cases it took years to learn how to master this critically important skill.
Like the soldier, we must practice and develop our skill in applying scripture to every single aspect of our daily life. God’s word needs to be our “go to” source when we have decisions to make about our finances, relationships with others, raising children and issues that deal with character and integrity, that can derail our life and leadership.
To be ready to do battle with the “enemy,” we need to carry our “sword” with us every moment of every day. When the soldier goes into battle, he can’t stop the attack of the enemy to read his army field manual to find out what he is supposed to do. No, he must have his fighting tactics and techniques practiced and memorized. How did Jesus respond when tempted by Satan in the desert? He responded by quoting scripture. Likewise, we too must memorize scripture.
Are you prepared for battle? You can’t apply what you don’t know. Having God’s word in your mind and heart can help you gain the victory over sin as you seek to become a servant leader who leads like Jesus.
Written by Fred Waggoner