Ephesians 6:17 refers to the word of God as a sword: “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
We can see this clearly shown in the temptation of Jesus in Matthew 4. He was ready for everything the devil threw at Him, with a sword. But not a physical sword. Not with an army behind Him nor with hate and mean words that I feel tempted to use against the devil sometimes, but with scripture.
Lent is usually a time when we practice self control from little things like chocolate, coffee or maybe even Facebook. But I’m proposing that you and I take it a step further this year and also take up a habit of actively holding our swords.
What I'm telling you probably isn't anything you haven't heard before, scripture memory is an important part of the Christian faith and we’ve been told so many times. But I think it’s easy to forget just how powerful the word of God really is, until we’re faced with how needy we as humans really are…
In chapter 4 of the book of Matthew, Jesus is sitting in the desert after 40 days without food, probably feeling a bit done in and definitely feeling hungry. The devil starts to whisper in His ear very real temptations. But Jesus didn't give in like I think most of would have, Jesus fought back with the sword.
Jesus replaced his hunger with scripture and fought against temptation with scripture. He had the sword in his back pocket, ready to use for anything that was thrown at him.
How much more do you think we need that sword?
I don't know about you, but when I sacrifice even a small thing like coffee, I can see my human-ness pretty clearly. How much more do we need God in the big things like facing a pandemic, isolation, unanswered questions, or a big loss in your life?
Scripture isn't just a convenient thing that was written down for us to read when we need a little cheering up. It’s active, powerful, and it is the word of God. And if we truly believe that, then we need to start using it in the fight!
Fill all your pockets with scripture, ready to use when the moment of temptation comes!
Because if you're a believer, it will come.
When we follow God, we face trials, persecution, and temptation, from the enemy and we need to be ready for the fight. So my challenge for you is to not only give up something this lent season, but get your armour on, fill up your tool belt, and use that sword!
1. What have you decided to give up this lent season?
2. What have you replaced it with?
Ephesians 6:10-17 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour 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 armour 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.