“…and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” Ephesians 6:17
“Hey everyone, I own a Swiss army knife!”
I can remember, as a child getting a Swiss army knife. I was impressed with its versatility, but I had no clue how to use half of the items on the knife. So, even though I was impressed with it, my lack of practical knowledge reduced my practical application of it. In fact, it literally became another thing that sat on my dresser. Occasionally, I used the large blade component to open something, and from time to time, I would open all the items on the knife for fun. However, that versatile knife was never put to its full use as long as I owned it. Sure, it was a good conversation piece, “Hey everyone, I own a Swiss army knife.” That was a great story to tell during my elementary school days. But, it meant very little below the surface because I didn’t use it.
Additionally, I really never applied myself to expand my knowledge of how to use the knife. I limited the knife’s use because of my contentment. Considering the vast capabilities of the knife, I misused it because its value was somehow lost on me. In this case, I drew a line between possession and usage.
Most followers of Christ are generally aware of the armor of God analogy the Apostle Paul used in his letter to the church of Ephesus (Eph 6:17). As we know, he wasn’t speaking of a literal armor we wear around in a physical sense. Instead, he was offering insight into how followers of Christ can stand against the schemes of our enemy – namely, the devil and his cohorts.
One of the concluding pieces of the armor is the sword of the Spirit – the word of God. Given that Paul’s audience was familiar with the outerwear of the Roman military, his readers would have been able to apply the implications of the sword and its vast capabilities as an offensive weapon. Paul’s analogy flowed into the supernatural realm to illustrate the impact of the word of God. And, when wielded correctly, it offers the believer the powerful thrust necessary to stand in the authority, might, power, and strength of the Lord.
The sword of the Spirit, among other things…
· Offers the capability to stand against temptation (Matthew 4:4).
· Gives comfort amid trials and tribulations (James 1:2-4).
· Brings fruitful increase (Colossians 1:6)
· Reproves, rebukes, and exhorts. (2 Timothy 4:1-2)
I think you get the point. The sword’s usage is powerful. So, how often do you apply the Scripture to every event in your life? How often do you further your knowledge of the Word so that you can ensure its application can be realized in your life? Is it only a conversation piece for you, or does it go deeper than that? Do you submit to its authority and wield it with trust believing the Spirit will use it for your victory? Is it on the proverbial shelf as a display item? Or is it at your side, ready for continual use? Have you drawn a line between possession and usage?
Have some fun with this one. Imagine in your mind that you are at a fencing tournament. You have made it to the championship match as a newbie, and your opponent is a world-class fencer. However, to get to the championship, you used some simple, proven techniques that, in secret, you mastered when no one was looking. So, here you are, about to go for the gold. But, in order to win this match, you have to say ten different Bible verses in the next five minutes and in their correct context. Would you win?