Concerning Spiritual Warfare1
The Apostle Paul encourages all believers in his letter to the Ephesians “to be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” He then proceeds to exhort us to put on the full armor of God so that we can stand against all the schemes and wiles of the devil. After listing each piece of armor a strong soldier is to put on, Paul concludes with … “and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.” What is a soldier without a sword? He could have his belt on, his protective breast plate perfectly fitted, his iron plated shoes firmly placed and his shield and helmet ready to go. But, without a sword, he has no OFFENSIVE weapon with which to strike his enemy a deadly blow. He may be able to defend himself from his enemy’s attacks, but to successfully fight back, he must have his sword. No soldier goes to battle without it. The analogy for us is clear. We have an enemy and one of the first weapons we have against him is called the sword and that sword is the Word of God, the Bible. The full and complete truth that combats every lie Satan throws at our minds.
So, exactly how is the Word of God used as a weapon against the works of the devil? Remember, a sword isn’t just held, it is wielded. It is used. It pierces. It thrusts. It strikes. The Word of God is the same principle. We don’t just hold the word of truth when we are tempted with Satan’s lies or bombarded with his deceptions, we USE the Word of God! We use it to pierce and defeat his lies as well as strike against his deceptions.
In Luke 4, Jesus set the example for us. Three different times, Satan tried to come at Jesus not only tempting Him to sin, but also attempting to get Him to doubt His standing as the Son of God. Satan used these words: “If you are the Son of God, …” Each time, Jesus responded back with biblical truth. If Jesus quoted scripture and used scripture to pierce Satan’s lies with truth, then that’s exactly how we need to respond to Satan when he wages war against our minds.
Have you ever had those days? The ones where Satan is just tormenting your mind with lies? Trying to get us to doubt our salvation, doubt God’s love, doubt our security, doubt our standing as righteous before the Father? Those days when we are tempted to believe that God won’t be faithful? When those days, seasons, or even just moments occur, we have a weapon! Jesus taught us to speak aloud the written Word of God trusting that it will bring us a way out of the temptation. I don’t know about you, but when those days happen to me, I’m not so quick to speak out God’s Word. I may think about the Word or casually remember that Word, but sometimes I don’t speak it out like Jesus taught me. But, what good is a sword if I don’t use it?
Hebrews 4:12 teaches us that the Word of God is alive and active and sharper than a two-edged sword. The Word of God is a secure foundation! It is not A truth, it is THE truth that has already set the captives free! The Word of God is the weapon that both Jesus and Paul taught us to use against our enemy. The lesson for us is to take the WRITTEN Word of God and make it the SPOKEN Word of God.
So, in our days of darkness and temptation and fear, we say out loud: The Lord is my light and my salvation! Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid?