Thus far in our series on the Believer’s Armor, the focus has been on weapons used for our defense. Now the Apostle Paul names a weapon for an offensive strategy – he calls it the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. (Eph. 6:17) This weapon enables us to attack the enemy. Napoleon once said, “The best form of defense is to attack.”
In Matthew 4:1-11, we read of Jesus being in the wilderness for 40 days and nights. During that time, He was tempted by the devil. There are three different forms of temptation that Satan used and each time Jesus responded with the Word of God.
1. Satan said to Jesus, “If You are the Son of God (Satan knew He was), command that these stones become bread.” (Vs 3) Christ’s response: “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
2. In vs 5 Satan said to Jesus, “If You are the Son of God (Satan knew He was), throw Yourself down (from the pinnacle of the temple).” In verse 7 we have Jesus’ response – “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.”
3. In verses 8-9 we read how Satan took Jesus up to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and said, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” *Satan craves worship. In verse 10 Jesus responded, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only shall you serve.” In verse 11 we read, “Then the devil left Him, and behold angels came and ministered to Him.”
Notice in each instance, Jesus resisted Satan by using the Word of God. Surely you can see that if the Son of Man needed to use God’s Word to take the battle to our adversary, then we must as well. In James 4:7 we read, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” In Hebrews 4:12 we are told that God’s Word is “quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Satan is a liar and the father of lies. God’s Word is truth. As followers of Christ, we must be people of the Word of God’s truth. That is why memorizing key verses or passages of scripture is so important. The Psalmist (119:11) wrote, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” When we hide God’s Word in our hearts, we are always ready to confront Satan when he comes knocking on our heart’s door.
God’s Word is the Sword of the Spirit, which means that the Holy Spirit will be our helper as we use the Word He inspired. In what area of your life are you being bomb-barded today – health, finances, relationships, discouragement, depression, fear of the future? Ask the Holy Spirit to speak His Word into your heart and mind. As that Word forms in your mind, meditate on it. Read it aloud so that you not only think it but hear it. Share it with someone. Let it really settle into your heart so that it is there for recall. In Jeremiah 15:16 we have the words of the discouraged prophet, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them, and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.” Brother/Sister, do you have an appetite for God’s word? Do you thirst for it? Do you crave it?
Oswald Chambers wrote – “Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.” (But you trust Him). Where does such faith come from? According to Romans 10:17, faith comes through hearing God’s Word. “Consequently, faith comes through hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word about Christ.” We just can’t get away from how important it is to know and use the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
· Are you confused or perplexed – Psalm 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light into my path.”
· Are you tempted – the Holy Spirit says to you (Psalm 119:9), “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word.”
· Are you facing trying circumstances? Jesus said in Matthew 4:4, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
The sword that Paul was referring to was a short, and very sharp sword used for close combat. A physical sword may pierce the body, BUT God’s Word will pierce the heart. The more you use God’s Word, the sharper you become spiritually and the more skilled you become in using it.
Folks, there is no substitute for God’s Word – read it, study it, use it to enrich your life, and put the fear of God into our adversary. Remember you are one of our Lord’s soldiers. Put on the armor He has provided and report for duty.
God bless you,