We’ve been going through battlefield trainings in our Spiritual Soldier Series. These trainings in spiritual warfare will provide you with valuable insights into spiritual battles. In our last battlefield training we discussed the helmet of salvation. We now turn to look at the sword of the Spirit.
Paul informs us that the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God, the Bible. It is the most effective offensive weapon on the spiritual battlefield. He makes the Bible the sword because of its utility for the Roman soldier.
Roman soldiers had two swords at their disposal. One was a long, broad sword. It was useful for charging at the enemy. But the sword of choice was a much smaller one, double-edged and about 18 inches long.
This sword was most effective when the Roman soldiers would form a phalanx with their shields, buckled together and making an impenetrable wall. When the enemy attacked and was close to the shields the Roman soldiers stabbed the enemy through the shields with this skinnier sword. It made quick work of their foes.
Paul calls God’s Word the sword of the Spirit because the Holy Spirit is intricately woven with the written Word. He reveals the meaning of God’s Word and applies it to our lives and situations on the spiritual battlefield. Let’s take a closer look at how God’s Word is the perfect, penetrating sword on the battlefield.
“and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” (Ephesians 6:17, ESV)
- It prepares you for battle.
Knowing the Word of God makes you ready to fight the spiritual battles all around you. Jesus showed us by example how to use the Scriptures against the devil and have victory (Matthew 4:1-11). In three swift responses to the devil Jesus was victorious and didn’t give in to the devil’s temptations.
Studying and memorizing the Bible gives ammunition to the Holy Spirit. In the moment of spiritual battle you can call on your memory of Bible verses that fit the situation. Studying the Bible ensures you will use the verses in their proper context for maximum impact.
In the moment of temptation or spiritual attack if you don’t know Scripture you have no ammunition against the devil and his demons. You must know the Scriptures beforehand to be prepared to fight spiritual battles.
Studying God’s Word makes you able to recognize when the devil uses a Scripture against you improperly. Jesus experienced this in Satan’s second temptation. He misquoted Scripture, using it in the improper way to goad Jesus into giving in. But Jesus understood his advances and re-bottled with Scripture that was used properly.
Context is keen when you use the Word of God. Paul challenges every Christian to rightly divide the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15). This means that we must properly understand and use Scripture the way God intends. And we must be able to recognize when Satan and others use it in the wrong ways. Using God’s Word cannot be done selfishly or to make our own points. We must use it to advance God’s Kingdom and glorify Him.
- It renews your mind.
I have talked about how the Bible is involved in renewing your mind before. But one of the ways God keeps our minds conformed to Jesus instead of this world is through reading and meditating on the Bible.
This prepares your heart and mind for battle with the enemy. It gives you the right mindset and doesn’t allow the concepts and principles of this world to affect you in battle. You keep your mind focused and centered on Christ alone.
The devil cannot defeat a renewed mind. He cannot stand against the logic of Christ. We don’t rely on the world and its philosophies to fight the enemy. Instead we use godly wisdom and knowledge against the devil. God has given us the proper spiritual weapons and mental faculties to defeat the philosophies and arguments opposed to God (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
As Jesus renews your mind through His Word you are ready to wield godly wisdom and mental thought processes against the enemy on the spiritual battlefield. You can claim victory because your logic and reasoning are impeccable and powered by the Holy Spirit.
- It reminds you of God’s promises.
In the midst of battle God reminds you of His promises to you. He speaks His Word to your heart at the moment you feel you are slipping on the battlefield. When the enemy challenges what God has told you the Holy Spirit ministers God’s Word in reassurance to you.
Jesus reminds you that you are more than a conqueror with Him (Romans 8:28). He tells you greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). He speaks a better word with greater promises than what the world and the devil have to offer in their temptations.
He reminds you of your inheritance in Him. He strengthens your faith in Him and your character through the trial’s effects. He reminds you of who you are in Him, your identity in Christ. Nothing the devil says can stand against the greater promises of God. He gives you strength for the battle and peace in the midst of the storm.
- It provides ammunition.
As I mentioned earlier, knowing God’s word gives the Holy Spirit ammunition for you to fight spiritual battles. When you know Scripture the Holy Spirit can bring back to your remembrance the passages you have studied and memorized.
The more you know of God’s Word in context the more the Holy Spirit can help you defend your position on the battlefield and advance God’s Kingdom. In every situation you will have the arrows of Scripture in your quiver.
The Holy Spirit will guide you which verses to use in each situation. Every verse you quote, like Jesus when He was tempted by the devil in the wilderness, will hit its mark. No demon will be able to stand against you because of your firm grasp of God’s Word and the Spirit’s working through you.
- It speaks power to power.
Speaking God’s Word right at the enemy does more than you can do on your own. It speaks the power of God right to the situation. The devil cannot stand against the Word of God. When he faced off with Jesus he brought the fight to Jesus but Jesus destroyed every temptation.
The devil could not stand against God’s Word properly used by Jesus. Every time you speak God’s Word to your situation it overpowers the evil spiritual powers of this world. What little power they are allowed to wield against you is nothing compared to the power of God.
If you’ve ever studied God’s voice throughout the Bible you know it has the power to make creation respond to Him. Psalm 29 and Genesis 1 attest to the power of God’s voice. This is the voice that shakes the greatest trees, mountains, and nations.
And it has the same effect on the created evil spiritual beings. They are not eternal or anything like God. Where God is all-powerful, everywhere present, and all-knowing, none of these evil spiritual beings from the devil on down have any of these characteristics.
The devil and his demons do not know everything about you or what you are thinking. They do not have all the power in the universe to impose their will upon you. And they are not everywhere present. They are fixed to a certain location just as you are. These are weaknesses when they face the power of God.
They cannot stand against the truth of God’s Word. Where he speaks the truth always they lie to get where they are and what they want. And there lies are exposed the moment God’s truth is spoken. You can speak God’s truth to your friends and family and see demons flee from the truth.
- It’s God’s communiqué to you.
Most importantly, knowing God’s Word is hearing Him first speak personally to you. He reminds you of who you are in Him, a privileged child of God, a new creature in Christ, His representative bringing freedom to the captives, and an overcomer in Christ.
He tells you that you are victorious in Him, that the devil can’t take Jesus or your salvation away from you. He tells you that He loves you and He is on your side, and with you on the battlefield. He gives you His power to overcome the enemy.
Through the Holy Spirit Jesus speaks into your life first. He gives you strength to overcome the enemy. He gives you power to stand against the devil. He reminds you that He is greater in you than whatever is in the world (1 John 4:4).
No matter what you face on the spiritual battlefield as a Spiritual Soldier for Christ you can handle it because of God’s Word in you. Wield the sword of the Spirit with excellence, penetrating between the thinnest of margins (Hebrews 4:12).
You can see the power of the sword of the Spirit in the heat of battle. Knowing God’s Word gives you power to advance His Kingdom and take ground from the enemy. No one can stand against the truth of God’s Word.
Studying and memorizing the Scriptures prepares you for the battlefield. Every battle you face, every person in captivity around you, benefits from your knowledge and expert execution by the Holy Spirit of God’s Word, speaking power to power. What are some ways you use God’s Word in the most dire and hopeless of situations?
Now that we have studied the battlefield training on the sword of the Spirit and are learning how to wield it in the battle with great success to beat back the enemy in advance God’s Kingdom against the gates of Hell we turn to the lance or spear of prayer and discover its great power.