I remember when I was still in primary school when one of the children forgot a pen or maybe a workbook at home our teacher would always say “If you go to war, would you forget your gun?” This was said lightheartedly to young children but it was a firm reminder to always be prepared.
The same goes for Christians, we need to remember that we need to be prepared and unlike little children in the classroom we are at war.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. 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. 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 NIV
Ephesians 6 reminds us that there certainly is a battle going on, be it with the deceiver of this world or with temptations or even with our own sinful nature and our own fickle feelings and emotions, and we need to fight.
It is in these passages that we read about the very well known and much preached upon “Armor of God”.
It is here that I would like you to note that it is called The Armor of God, it is an armor that God gives us not an armor of our own making or choosing. However we do have to choose to pick this armor up, strap it on and put it to good use.
The Armor consists of:
The Belt of Truth
The Breastplate of Righteousness
The Shoes – the Readiness for the Gospel of peace
The Shield of Faith
The Helmet of Salvation
The Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God
All of these items are absolutely crucial, they all need to be cherished and taken care of and none of these items can be missing from the Christian pilgrim’s life. But I need to point out that there is only one defensive item on the list, only one weapon to wield, the sWord of the Spirit! All the other items are protective gear.
Our only means of attack is the word of God.
There is no Dagger of … or Spear of … or even a Bow and Arrow of …
Even if we try to substitute the sword of the Spirit with the best of weapons it will never, never be sufficient.
Then why on earth do we neglect it so much?
It does seem that we at times decline this amazing, ancient and powerful sword that God hands to us Himself. Why? Is it maybe because we perceive the word of God as a heavy weapon to wield and maybe even too difficult and laborious of a task to master it? Why would we perceive this glorious gift from God in such a way when it is God that “is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him” Phil 2:13. If it is God that enables us we never need to fear. We can not keep on to decline the only sufficient weapon in this fight, we can not keep on to try and substitute it with “the pocket knife of instagram posts” or with “the dagger of worship music” or with “the spear of christian podcasts” or even with “the hammer of Christian “self-help books””. These will always be inferior! Yes, we can supplement but we can never substitute.
In the Gospels (Matt 4:1-11, Luk 4:1-13) when our Lord Jesus Christ was tempted in the wilderness, his defense against everything that the devil said was “It is written”! For every lie the devil told him he then deflected and referred to the truth in God’s word. If our Lord Jesus used the sword of the Spirit to defend against the devil and temptations, who are we to think that we can defend ourselves without it?
Do not neglect your sword! Take it up, use it, train with it, get to know it, polish and sharpen it and when a battle comes you will be prepared and armed with the truth.