I’m sure you would say – to the title – “of course I’m not doing that”. It would be the dumbest thing we could do, wouldn’t it? But I contend most of us – at least some days – DO go into our spiritual battles without our sword. Now I know we don’t use swords in most battles nowadays. Today we’d say “without your rifle” or “your AR-15” or AK-47. But when the Bible was written, they used swords and in Ephesians 6, Paul is inspired to urge us to put on the whole armor of God. In there we have all the pieces of armor listed, including the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and many more.
We are physical – and so we understand the physical more. The problem is, since we don’t see a real physical battle going on around us, we leave home without our weapons and armor. But in fact, there is an intense war going on for you – for your eternity, and as Peter says – “for your soul”. The “god of this world” – Satan and his evil spirits – are constantly broadcasting their moods, thoughts and temptations to try to bring us down; to do their best to cause us to sin or even to give up on our calling.
Surely you can look back – even just perhaps a few hours or maybe even just a few minutes – and realize you were being bombarded by enemy missiles – but you didn’t recognize those moods and temptations as the spiritual warfare that was raging all around you. But enough of me. Let’s let the Apostle Paul’s inspired words explain:
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 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. 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.”
The daily battles for our minds and eternity are more intense and more real than house-to-house combat in physical battles. We have to start to see it that way or we will continue to go into our very real battles without our sword. We are fighting against powers way beyond our puny physical strength – but in Christ we win.
Paul tries to open the eyes of believers in Corinth also. This is not a flesh-and-blood battle, he warns, but much more serious and ferocious. Are YOU aware of that?
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”
If we could have our eyes opened to see what’s really raging around us, we’d probably collapse in fright! Besides the evil temptations, moods and thoughts being broadcast at you, we also have our fleshly, carnal human nature with its passions. How well we know those passions, right?
1 Peter 2:11
“Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul..”
So how could we possibly be going into spiritual battle each day without our sword? Be sure to click on “Continue reading” to find out! You want to win this war and find out what the sword is, and how to use it.
Are we hearing God’s words? We’re at WAR! Right now! The battlefield includes our moods, our thoughts and our actions. Can you imagine a soldier strolling through an intense battle with minefields all around him – but he’s acting like he’s strolling to a Sunday picnic? No, you can’t! But sometimes some of us, including me, do exactly that! So what’s our “sword”?
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Our sword is the Word of God. You’re thinking the Bible – and that’s not incorrect, but think beyond that. The Word of God literally is Yeshua (Jesus) himself. John 1:1-3 is very clear about. “And the word was God”. John 1:14 clearly says the Word – Yeshua – came as a man, as flesh and tabernacled among us.
We must be starting each day, and going into our spiritual battles each day, with the presence of the Son of God. HE is our covering. HE is our protection. Scripture is clear – in Genesis 15:1 and many other places, God says HE is our full-length body shield. HE is also our sword. In fact each of the pieces of armor in Ephesians 6 really depicts an aspect of Yeshua himself. So each day we need to ask for his presence, ask for him to walk with us, ask for him to fill our mind, as we ask for HIM – and receive – his faith and power.
Now the Bible is of course also the word of God—our sword. I’ve given sermons recently about “Diligently Seeking God” and also about how manna actually pictured – once again -- Yeshua. Be sure to hear those sermons. And be sure to – daily – first thing – get up and pick up your spiritual manna: the word of God.
If we’re not, we literally are going into battle without our Sword.
The spirit is willing, but our flesh is weak.
Our perfect example was Yeshua the Messiah himself. Satan confronted him with a series of temptations (see Matthew 4). Each temptation was assailing our Master from all sides and in many ways, when you really analyze what Satan was doing. Each temptation was actually like an incoming multiple-warhead missile. But what did Christ do?
He had the Sword of the Spirit. With EACH temptation, he responded with God’s word, with Scripture! When WE’RE tempted, when negative moods assail us, we have to seek strength in God’s word – and SPEAK our Father’s word to the mood, to the thoughts and to the actions where we see ourselves weakening. SPEAK the Scriptures out against the enemy salvos.
Go back to Matthew 4:1-10 and slowly analyze this epic battle where Satan tries to make Yeshua doubt His Father’s love and presence and even doubt who Yeshua himself was. Christ’s first response was to quote Deut 8:3 -- “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word of God”, in context of manna. Then in the next two temptations, again and again our Lord fires back with scripture, though Satan himself even used scripture – but perversely. Christ demolished Satan. And he will gladly do it again in you and me, if we diligently seek HIM. Come to know HIM, the Author -- and not just the words on the page.
So if we’re not studying God’s word first thing, every single day, what chance do we have of winning our fight? If we’re not putting Facebook away and going to bed so we can get up early enough to gather our spiritual manna and seek our Father diligently – we’re going into battle without our sword! Let’s start a new and better habit of putting God first!
I hope many of you will take the time to listen to the 2 previous sermons. It’s all about the importance of this habit: absolutely, every single day, we must be in God’s word. WHY? So when moods, thoughts and temptations assail us, God’s words are fresh in our minds and on our lips to counter each one. Daily Bible study and daily seeking after Christ’s presence – is like strapping on your sword. It’s like going out with loads of ammo with you.
May Yahweh be with you as you face the day, each day, and the battles that are raging wildly around you. “He who is with you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). HE has overcome the world (John 16:33). And our faith in Him, in turn, also overcomes the world (1 John 5:4).
Seek Him and our Abba – Almighty God Most High, our dear heavenly Daddy – for no power can defeat our God. But just be sure you start the day right.
So now – go and take on your spiritual enemies -- and win! I’ve read the end of the Book. God and His children win. Let’s be on, and stay on, the winning side by always, always going into battle with our Sword, which is Yeshua (Jesus), the living Word of God as well as with the written Word of God.