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)

[caption id="attachment_14" align="alignright" width="209"]Article by Dakota Dakota Lynch[/caption]

Before the days of armored tanks and automatic weapons, the sword was the primary offensive tool used in battle. It was much more than a decorative relic that could be found hanging over a fireplace; it was a deadly weapon that Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, chose as a fitting symbol of the Scriptures. Nevertheless, as we read in Hebrews 4:12, God’s Word is in fact much "sharper than any two-edged sword”, and as such is an indispensable piece of the armor of God.
"Benaiah…also had gone down and killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day.” (2 Samuel 23:20)
More often than not, the battles we face as Christians are fought under the most inconvenient of circumstances. In Benaiah’s case, life and death depended on his ability to not only defeat a lion, but to be victorious from the bottom of a pit in the dead of winter. Talk about a worst-case scenario! Similarly, the spiritual battles we face are often just as taxing and require that we strengthen ourselves in advance through prayer and a daily diet of the “solid food” of Scripture (1 Thess. 5:17; Heb. 5:12-14).

Although it’s often tempting to depend on a concordance or smartphone app more than a personal knowledge of the Bible, the fact is that our times of greatest need for encouragement and wisdom often occur when we’re far from our bookshelf. And while it’s true that we have the invaluable promise that the Holy Spirit will remind us of God’s words as we need them (John 14:26), it goes without saying that you can’t be reminded of something you’ve never learned. We must first “apply our hearts to understanding” through diligent Bible study and Scripture memorization before we can possibly “find the knowledge of God.” (Prov. 2:2, 5)

A simple analogy is that a sword in-hand is better than a sword stuck in its sheath. Unfortunately, many times we fall short of our calling as Christians to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.” (1 Pet. 3:15) We may not always have the privilege of flipping through the pages of the Bible looking for an answer, but we do have the gift of today, and a brand new opportunity to cleanse our hearts and minds by “the washing of water by the Word.” (Eph. 5:26)


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