Our last blog article which ended with a discussion of the sword of the Spirit raises two questions:
- Is the sword of the Spirit only for use as an offensive weapon?
- Who or what is the foe against which the sword is to be used?
While the gladius was the primary offensive weapon available to a legionnaire, it was also invaluable for defense, being used to evade and deflect attacks by an opponent. In the same way, the Word of God (sword of the Spirit) is valuable in defending against spiritual attack.
Jesus Christ, Himself, demonstrated how valuable it is to be grounded in the words of the Bible when He was attacked by Satan during a time of extreme physical weakness due to His fasting. (Mat 4:1-6) This is a masterful example of how to use the Word of God.
The enemy of every Christian is Satan, the devil, as he tries to separate each one of us from our God. (1 Pet 5:8-9) The apostle Paul used a military analogy when he talked about the Christian fight. He described thoughts and attitudes that we must defeat, just as a soldier would use his weapons to defeat the enemy. (2 Cor 10:3-5) We are to use the Word of God to discern those thoughts and attitudes that are contrary to God’s way and to use that sword to bring those attitudes and thoughts into captivity. That is the Christian battle, and that is how we use the offensive weapon in our armor.
As Christians, we also must train and be skillful in the use of the sword—God’s Word. The author of Hebrews tells us that we must become gradually more knowledgeable and skilled with the Word of God, until we are able to use it to discern good from evil. (Heb 5:12-14)
Notice the attitude shown by the psalmist when it came to God’s Word: I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word. I have not departed from Your judgments, for You Yourself have taught me. How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. (Ps 119:101-104).
This is the attitude and approach to God’s Word that will produce a skilled, spiritual warrior. Remember! Your training and skill levels are your choice!