Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sword of the Spirit

Ephesians 6:17
“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

I was so excited about the helmet of salvation and protecting our minds from satan’s attack in my last post that I decided to break this up into two entries and really give undivided attention to the sword of the Spirit.

We need to remember that Paul is writing to the Ephesians a group of Christians that lived in Ephesus. The time was about 60 A.D.

It is believed that this letter was intended to circulate throughout all the different churches (first chain letter.) I doubt if he requested anyone to send dishcloths or a recipe to the first person and add their name to the bottom though.

A sword is a weapon. It is used to fight the enemy and many people read this verse and relegate the sword of the Spirit to the Bible, the Word of God and that is what it means by very broad definition. However, if we look at this a bit closer I think we will all be blown away at exactly what God has placed into our keeping to fight the enemy with.

In a fight a soldier had to be adept at many different types of swords. There was not only one sword that fit all occasions. There were long swords, short swords, broad swords, and daggers. A soldier had to be equipped to fight with each different type of sword and in order to use the sword effectively a solider had to study and practice and know the parts of his sword.

If you look above at the sword you will see that there are many different parts to the whole. There is the pommel and the grip; this is where a solider would hold the sword. The cross-guard protected the hand of the swordsman from his own sword and the pommel gave (It is impossible to fight if the arm is rendered useless.) As we move down the body of the sword, to the blade itself we can see that there are different attributes and benefits. The pommel helps hold the hilt together, but what you cannot see is so important. It’s called the tang. You do not see the tang when you examine the sword, but it is placed there during a swords’ creation and is essential for joining the blade and hilt together.

While moving down the sword, just beyond the hilt to about halfway down the blade is the strongest part of the sword. It is also called the “forte”. Forte also refers to someone’s strength, something at which they excel.

As we move down the blade, we reach the central ridge. This is the weakest part of the sword and is also called its foible. A foible is also translated to mean a minor weakness or failing of character; slight flaw or defect.

Now that you probably know more about swords then you EVER wanted to know, lets look again at Ephesians 6:17.

“…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

There are many of us that are misunderstanding this verse. It is not applying to just “The Bible.” We have to go deeper and look at how the King of Kings wielded this mighty weapon.

Each verse is a sword and we have to understand The Word, read The Word, and memorize The Word so that we may fight. Satan knows the bible; he knows the Word of God and cannot stand against it. Look at Mathew 4:1-11. Satan battles Jesus in the desert. He tempts Him and Jesus, verse by verse, wields the sword of the Spirit and defeats the King of Lies. But Jesus had to know the scripture, just as we have to know it. He had been in the desert 40 days, he was physically hungry and his body was weakened. Satan attacked during what he perceived as a weak period.

Satan said to him, “ If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

How many times have you been tempted? “If you only had ______, if you could only do ______, but it is only ________, then you would be _______. You can fill in the blanks, we all have the blanks and the weaknesses and the temptation.

But Jesus knew His heavenly Father’s Word and fought back against that temptation by saying,
“It is written: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Can’t you just hear the clanging of the blades as they come together? See the sparks fly? Feel the vibration flow down the blade into the hilt and up the arm. We are at war and the battles will be intense.

Sharpen your sword and make sure your blade is straight and true. Reading our bible and comprehending and memorizing scripture makes your sword arm strong and perfects your aim.

Accepting God into your life connects your hand (the hilt) to God’s word through the tang (Holy Spirit) living in you. It cannot be seen with the naked eye, but the Holy Spirit is absolutely imperative to hold it all together.

And we must come together as soldiers in this war so my strengths and weakness can be complimented or covered over by your strengths and weakness. (Forte and foibles)

Find a bible that you can understand and memorize God’s word, discuss it with fellow Christians and get involved in learning more every day about how to fight the good fight. God wins the war, but the battles are intense. Armor up and ensure your blade is sharp. We are in the thick of this battle, up to the hilt. From head to foot, protection is important, but the most important is what you use to fight back and defeat the enemy. Sharpen your sword.

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