Ephesians 6:17 NIV
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
According to the Bible, there’s a time to be gracious, peace-loving, kind, and even accommodating. According to the Bible, there is also a time to drop your gloves, to stop playing nice, and to fight with everything that is in you—dressed in spiritual armor to the nines (Eph. 6:10-18).
That time to fight with all you’ve got is in the spiritual battle for your soul. The key to winning that battle is to have the right battle in focus, and to have the right enemy in clear view. “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” (Eph. 6:12).
When it comes to the spiritual battle we find ourselves in, every day of every moment of our lives, any accommodation of the devil’s aggressions will cause us to wind up another casualty on the battlefield of the heart. Satan’s end is to destroy you, and like a roaring lion (1 Pet. 5:8), devouring your precious life is the only task on his agenda today. The same goes for everyone else around you. Sleeping people don’t fight for their lives. Only awakened people fight for their lives, and fight for others in prayer and loving action as well.
Yes, Virginia, there is a spiritual war going on out there. Worse yet, that spiritual war is also going on in here—in your heart, my heart, your mind, my mind, your body, and my body. All that God gives and means for good, for joy, and flourishing in your life, the enemy of our souls is relentlessly working to drag toward chaos. There’s no neutral ground. We either believe in an enemy or we don’t. We’re either alert to his schemes or we aren’t. We’re either winning or we’re losing, every single day.
The Spirit wants us to win; and gives us the weapon of the Word of God–the fullness of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, the gift of the Scriptures, and the Spirit speaking to us—in order to do it.
Let’s drive home the point so we don’t miss it, and we aren’t deluded. People are falling, left and right, every day, in a thousand small ways. People who think the world is fine as it is are, to be candid, the walking blind—people are dying every day from a lack of love and from believing satanic, demonic, destructive lies.
They fall bit by bit until one day they pass on, asleep to God in their spirits, lulled into a hypnotic trance by disordered desires and self-absorbed patterns. Some people even take their own life to escape the struggle. Others anesthetize their pain with myriad addictions and broken personality patterns. Most just hope bad things don’t happen, and good things do. They are asleep to the battle raging within and around them.
What can cut through the mesmerizing sound hell’s pied piper is playing to the world?
The sword of the Spirit can cut through, that’s what. The Word of God. Living and active, it’s “…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” (Heb. 4:12). Jesus confronted every one of the Accuser’s temptations in the desert with the Word of God.
The Church is given this same offensive weapon (notice that most of the others in Eph. 6:10-18 are defensive weapons?). We were designed to wield the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Preach the Word of God, hide the Scriptures in your heart and obey what the Spirit speaks to you in the moments he does. Share the Gospel, and be ready to do offer its hope at any moment. Sing the Word of God. Teach the Word of God. Write and offer and share the Word of God.
It is the sword of the Spirit—for such a time as this.
Jesus, I receive the Holy Spirit. Your Word has come to us through the Scriptures and the mystery of the Gospel. Come, Holy Spirit, teach me to wield it well in the day ahead, and to take my stand against the enemy’s schemes (Eph. 6:11). In Jesus’ name, amen.
Take a few moments to read about the armor of God, and the spiritual battle we are in, in Ephesians 6:10-18. How can you take up the sword of the Spirit for today’s offensive mission (1 John 3:8)?
For the awakening,