The Sword of the Spirit
Take … the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.’ (Ephesians 6:17)
It is interesting to note that when Paul draws up his list in Ephesians 6 of the various components of the spiritual armour that God provides us with to fight our enemy the devil, only this final one – the sword – is an offensive weapon; all the rest are defensive, things that help us stand firm in the battle (reflecting, surely, that the heart of spiritual warfare is not about our needing to take the attack to the devil, but simply standing in the victory that Christ has already won over him at the cross).
The sword Paul is thinking of here is the Roman soldier’s short sword, the one that was used in close hand-to-hand combat. Our sword, Paul says – indeed our only weapon – is the word of God, the Bible; for it is in this divinely inspired book that we see more than anywhere else the wonder of God’s character, revelation and promises.
This sword of the word was the weapon that Jesus himself used when he was tempted in the wilderness for forty days by the devil. With every fresh attack of the enemy, Jesus would reply, ‘It is written…’ and would quote from the Old Testament scriptures. Interestingly enough each of his replies was taken from the book of Deuteronomy, the story of God’s provision for his people during their time in the wilderness. This alone shows us that the Bible always has something relevant for every situation we face!
The word of God has a powerful effect, whether we use it to face temptation, press our way through in prayer, claim God’s promises, or release others from the enemy’s grip. Of course, it will only be an effective weapon if we have confidence in it, if we truly believe that it really is the inspired and unfailing word of God and are feeding on it regularly so that we can draw on it in times of need.
God promises us that, mixed with faith and prayer, the word of God is a powerful weapon. Use it today!
‘For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.’ (Hebrews 4:12, NLT)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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