August 13, 2014.
“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,”
This is a very familiar passage with many commonly known as the armor of God. Many devos and lessons have been based around these few verses, but today I want to focus just on one part: the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. What do you think of when you think about the bible? Do you know what’s inside? Do you know it well enough to strap it on as part of your armor to withstand the fiery darts of the devil? The Hebrew writer says this about the word of God:
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
Both of these writers refer to the word of God as a sword. In the time period they were writing, a sword was very important when going into battle. If you didn’t have a sword, you were basically a sitting duck (unless you had a different weapon such as a bow, but that’s not the point here). No on in the infantry would ever think about going to battle without their sword. So, when we switch to the spiritual realm, why is it any different? I have see time and again people walking right into a spiritual battle with no sword. A bible is never open or even referenced. Theological discussions are swayed but opinions and personal experiences rather than considering what God has to say about a certain topic. If we apply this to our armor metaphor, that’s like a Roman soldier walking into a battle with a loaf of bread and swatting at the enemy. He doesn’t stand a chance. Neither will we if we neglect our sword.
You might say, well why do we need this armor anyway? It’s not like we are actually being attacked. Again, we must think spiritually. This is why Paul says we need this armor:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
In essence, we are being attacked. The devil doesn’t want us to survive. He wants us to take that loaf of bread into battle against his armies with steel swords. It makes his job so much easier. And we are playing right into his hand! Is America loosing moral fiber? I believe so. But I don’t believe that it is because of the world doing bad things and non-christians rising to power. I believe the fault is with us. When Christians stop using the word of God to guide their lives, then the hope is lost. For if we, sons of the Living God, do not use the word of God, how do non-christians even stand a chance? If those who should pattern their lives after the inspired word don’t even know what is inside it, then how are those outside the church supposed to have a clue? Yes, I believe we are to blame, not a lack of willing to hear truth.
So what can we do? Read! Study! Have a thirst for the word! Even if you don’t have this thirst at first, make a habit of reading, I would suggest doing it daily. I don’t really think not having time will be taken as much of an excuse when we stand before our God. Once you start a habit, it will get easier and you will find yourself longing to read after a while. At least I did. It won’t always be easy, but it will be profitable. Last night I finished my second time through the bible cover to cover. Before a couple of years ago, I had not read the full bible, though I had read extensively, especially the New Testament. But taking on the task of reading it all was not brought to my attention until someone just mentioned “I thought you of all people would have read it all the way though.” That didn’t set well with me, so I set out to do so. And now I’ve been through twice and gained a whole new level of appreciation and awe for the inspirited word. It really is the word of God, living and active, sharper than a two edged sword. I encourage you to find a reading plan and stick to it. Commit yourself. You won’t regret it. There are parts that may be hard to get through, but just stick with it.
Let us never again walk into battle unarmed. God has given us all we need and more, and it is unwise for us not to use it. The word of God is probably the best gift God has ever given to man aside from salvation by the death, burial and ressurection of his son (which I guess could be argued as the same thing). Let us not waste this precious gift.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Suggested Daily Reading: John 1, Ephesians 6, Hebrews 4, II Timothy 3.
The Lord grant you wisdom.