The sword of the Spirit is dual-purpose, used by the Spirit to divide our lives and also assist in our battle with evil. Without it we will be disarmed. Take it. Take the sword. Surrender to the Spirit and be molded into deeper discipleship for the rest of your life…
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
What kind of relationship do you have with the word of God? Is it your close friend and ally who can encourage you and also hold you to account? Or is it your Great Aunt whom you only see on special occasions? Somewhere in between?
The sword is a weapon which can be used to defend (in a sword fight) or attack the opponent. Our opponent, in Paul’s review of the armour of God, is Satan and the spiritual forces of evil. They don’t fare well against the sword of the Spirit. The word of God is not their friend because it clearly and forcefully reminds the forces of evil of their fate in eternal defeat.
The Spirit is the master and guide in the use of the sword, as his role, according to Jesus, is to “remind you of everything I have said to you,” (John 14:26). We live under the conviction of the Spirit through the word of God, which informs us and holds us to account in our lives.
Hebrews speaks to this clearly:
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
God’s word is used by the Spirit to divide our own lives to joint and marrow and uncover all things which need to be uncovered. If we shy away from the sword of the Spirit we will miss this redemptive and sanctifying work of God.
You might want that. You might want to stay under cover of darkness or in the shadows or not be fully exposed. Remember that the sword is dual-purpose. If you don’t allow the Spirit to use it to divide your life, you will also not have it to move forward with it in our battle with evil. You will be disarmed.
Take it. Take the sword. Use it. Surrender to the Spirit’s mastery over your life through it. Then thrive and be molded into deeper discipleship for the rest of your life…