I have been writing the last couple weeks on the armor of God. And today, we get to the what has probably grown to be my favorite. That is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. I don’t want any of us to miss the importance of this, because this is the only offensive piece of the armor that we have. This what we need to achieve victory in a battle.
Have you ever noticed that most of the pieces of the armor of God are protective? Think about it. The helmet protects your head, the breastplate protects your most vital organs, the belt protects your most private areas, and the shoes give your feet protection to stand firm. The shield is also protective in extinguishing the fiery darts thrown by the enemy.
Protective pieces of armor won’t get us a victory….
None of these pieces of the armor actually help you to fight when you find yourself in the battle. But here is the hard truth, without the sword of the spirit, we have no chance of victory.
And so, here we have the only offensive piece of the armor of God. The sword of Spirit. Word of God. The Hebrew word for “word” here is rhema- which is translated as the declared spoken word of God.
Our offense in the battle. The word of God, which is sharper than a double edged sword. This is the only thing that will actually take down the enemy. Everything else just protects us from the enemy’s attacks.
This is different than knowing scripture in our hearts. We fight with speaking what is spoken from God. This is what Jesus does when He is tempted by Satan in the desert. He declares “It is written.”
If our only offense in a spiritual battle is the word of God, we need to know the word of God.
The sword is our only offensive piece of armor.
I have to go back to my fear of flying here. Last week I shared with how I protect myself while preparing for flights. But these are all things that I do that are protective.
I realize that when I face fears, peace and righteousness are only going to get me so far. As we approach a battle, at first the enemy can be far away. You do not need a sword if the enemy is for away. But eventually the battle comes close enough where the sword of the Spirit is needed. And that is the Word of God.
When the enemy is close though, here are some of the things he will throw at you:
- You are not strong enough to win this battle.
- Bad things will happen if you continue to move forward.
- The battle is already lost, you might as well surrender.
- You are not equipped for what is ahead.
- You need more than you have.
- Do you see how large the army of the enemy is?
- You are not good enough for God to love you.
- God is not enough for you.
Have you ever felt these things?
I have definitely felt all of these things at one time other another. And each of these things that require the Word of God. And honestly the moment the enemy is too close, is the wrong time to begin to know God’s word. No, we need to have the word of God in our hand when the battle gets close, just as Jesus did when He was tempted in the desert.
Here are our “words” of offense when the battle gets close…
- I was chosen before the beginning of time to be adopted, and was predestined to do the good works God planned out for me to bring Him glory.
- I can be still and know he is God, and that He will fight my battles as I am still.
- His grace is sufficient for me in all things.
- God will work all things together for His glory and my good because I love Him.
- I do not have to worry about what I will say because at the right time the Holy Spirit will give me what I am to speak.
- If God is for me, who can be against me?
- I am confident in the end of the story, the enemy will be defeated once and for all, and my eternity is secured with Jesus in heaven.
How Can We Put This Into Action?
First we speak out loud the words of God in the face of the enemy. But I want to share another way, and that is using the spoken word of God to encourage others in their battle.
When I was on my way home from my trip last week, God gave me an opportunity that I wasn’t supposed to have. I was supposed to be on another flight, earlier in the morning, and originally I was supposed to fly home 3 days after that.
God was in every detail to get me where I needed to be and that was on a bench at the airport waiting for the shuttle to bring me to my car. The shuttle had just left as I walked out the airport doors, so I had 15 minutes remaining.
There were other benches open, but a woman came and sat next to me, and began to share some of her struggles for that day, and the next day. As she told the story she kept saying “oh it gets worse…”
Until she revealed that she had to fly out early the next morning, because she was a preacher and she had to preach the next morning anat her church, right after she got off the plane.
God perfectly positions us…. and gives us what we need to achieve victory in a battle.
I was perfectly positioned for this moment, because of God’s goodness. Immediately said “I am a follower of Jesus, and I am going to pray for you right now.”
Her battle was wondering how she would make it, there was almost a little defeat in her voice. So I prayed over her the promises of God. I didn’t ask God to go before her, I thanked God He had gone before her. I also didn’t pray for God to be with her, because I thanked God that He was with her. Thanks was spoken for as many promises as I could remember, because the truth is that if we are sealed with the Holy Spirit, the promises are true for us. We don’t haver to pray for them, or wonder if the promises are true. The promises are true, so we can declare thanks to God for them.
After that, she changed. It was like she was now “ready” for the next 24 hours.
This is what the word of God does. It disarms the enemy and his attacks.
Let us remember this when we face the battles. We are victorious because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross, and because of what we have been given into our hands… His unchanging word.