The 16th century claymore was heavy and cumbersome to handle, and it showed its age with rust and pock marks along the length of the sword.
The two-handed sword was on display with the suit of armor at a Scottish castle we were touring, and the guide rewarded the attentive audience by allowing our high school aged kids the opportunity to handle the ancient relic. What had looked so exciting in movies quickly became reality when handling that sword. It wasn’t nearly as romantic or exhilarating as the movies portrayed.
Unlike the claymore we held at the castle, we all have been given a sword for use in our lives. Ephesians 6:13-16 commands us to use the whole armor of God, “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
We are commanded to take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. However, we need to be aware of how to use the sword. Just like the claymore, we need training on how to use it properly for it to be successful in battle. The verses previous to the ones above are important to understand who we are fighting. Ephesians 6:11-12, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
We should use the word of God as a sword to fight your enemy, the devil. Just as Jesus used the word when He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness (Matthew 4), we too can use scripture to combat the lies and temptations of the enemy. We need to study God’s word daily to know what He has written, and the promises contained there. Then, when the enemy attacks, we can pull out those promises and wield the sword of the Spirit against the devil, and claim victory.
Just as important as knowing when to use our sword, is when not to use it. We are not to use the sword of the Spirit to hurt our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are not fighting a battle against them. It is right to use the word of God to bring correction and teaching; however, it is not okay to bludgeon and beat down those who are hurting and struggling. We need to affirm, encourage, train and correct, but not engage in battle with other believers.
We are in a spiritual battle. However, God has equipped us with an entire armor to protect us and allow us to win in battle. But we must do our part. We need to study and spend time daily in scripture to know what is contained there. This daily “practice” will then allow us to be prepared to do battle against our adversary whenever he chooses to attack. If we keep up the daily practice, we will be able to overcome and be victorious in the day of battle. Are you training each day?