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, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. - Ephesians 6:10-17
The Apostle Paul talks about the weapons we have access to in order to defend ourselves from the enemy of our soul. The armor of God provides everything we need to be victorious over the arrows the enemy shoots at us. Having the armor and knowing how to use them are two different things. Paul instructs us to “put on” the whole armor of God daily to prevail against the enemy. Today we are going to look at the 6th piece in the armor of God, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
When we look at the temptation of Jesus found in the Gospels (Matthew 4, Luke 4), we see how He used the sword of the Spirit to disarm Satan who could not stand against the counter force of Scripture. The enemy will try to use the very words of God against us by taking it out of context or leaving a portion out to state his deceptive ways. That is exactly what Satan did in Genesis 3:1-6 when speaking with Adam and Eve.
I love 1 Timothy 1:18 where Paul tells Timothy, “I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well.” We are to recall the word of God in order to help us fight the battle well. So the sword of God was used, not simply as a defensive precaution, but to cut through the defenses of the enemy. Oh how good it is to memorize the word of God in order to take on the attacks of the enemy of our soul.
We are so blessed to have the word of God at our fingertips to read and study. My prayer is that you do not take it for granted but that you will pick it up daily and saturate to a point of renewing your mind.
This Sunday we will be announcing the total for our Legacy Offering and celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus together. In between services there will be a delicious breakfast to share together. The first service starts at 8:30 a.m. and the second service starts at 10:45 a.m. Invite someone with you to experience an empty, borrowed tomb. Jesus has risen from the dead and we are all the benefactors. Praise God!
Joy in Jesus!
Rev. Mike McClurg
Senior Pastor, Findlay First Church of the Nazarene