In this latest article, the final armour of God – the sword of the Spirit - will be the focus of my reflection and sharing.
Definition & Significance
As an individual - before considering the addition of God’s armour, we already, as believers, are filled with the Holy Spirit. The communion and fellowship we can have with Holy Spirit does not require the armour of God. Consider ourselves, being faithful believers, as already starting off with Holy Spirit in our arsenal; He speaks into our mind, planting God’s heart, and aligns our thinking to His Will. Holy Spirit is God with us.
In this initial state, we are not automatically wearing the armour of God; we are called upfront by Paul to intentionally choose to wear it—and to wear every part of His armour. So now, as we focus on this the final part of the total armoury—the sword of the Spirit—we are to wield the sword. It is not just any sword of any Roman soldier, either. This is the sword of the Spirit.
The metaphor is also spelt out for us—it is the Word of God. The Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword! This sword is Holy, it is imbued with God, it will cut cleanly and be upheld as the ultimate source of judgement. How appropriate is it, too, that coincidentally “sword” and “word” are just one letter off in English. It makes for a fun fact but, given the original language for the passage would be Greek, the fun fact ends there.
Application & Testimony
Reading the Bible needs to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. Anyone can read the Bible, including those who do not have the filling of the Spirit. However, God using Holy Spirit, makes the Word come alive.
The key learning is that we need Holy Spirit to be with us and to fill us. It is sadly possible for believers to not be filled with the Spirit. The analogy of being baptised and filled with the Spirit is sometimes described like a torrential flood, compared to the misty rain which permeates everything. Both manifestations of the Spirit are completely fine; there is a time and place for both.
I like to think of our walk as believers as opportunities where we consider—are we moving towards and growing closer to God? It is all relative anyway—no right or wrong—as long as we are constantly pursuing God. And when we are actively pursuing God, He always meets us halfway because He is always pursuing us! Reading the Word as a daily discipline, helps us to draw nearer to God.
I must confess—there have been past periods when my daily reading of God’s Word has been lacking. Now, I share this because I know first hand that we do not need anyone to tell us off for doing the wrong thing—but I reflect back and realise that God was the one convicting and compelling me to return and make the effort to read His Word daily.
I, personally, find YouVersion helpful in that it really encourages me to make reading God’s Word fun, with reading plan devotional & challenges. The gamification, where we earn badges, really speaks to the gamer within. That we can also share the journey and read together with friends, helps also to encourage accountability amongst believers. I currently have a 28 consecutive day reading streak and nine perfect weeks for 2019, and my best has been 67 consecutive days for a total of 169 days this year. Given it is day 287, I have spent 59% of the year reading.
Check out YouVersion here: https://apps.apple.com/au/app/bible/id282935706
Disclaimer: I have no stake or share in the YouVersion app, but I recognise its value amongst various tools, handy for us believers.
Dear God, I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray encouragement for them that they will continue to read your Word daily. For some, who struggle more with the activity, I pray that you empower them to overcome the apprehension and just make a start. I pray that we do not become complacent as we pursue reading and connecting with You.
May we delight, as You delight, in the time we spend together. Make Your truths, as captured in the words of all the God-inspired writers, come alive in our hearts. Help us to not just read the Bible without bringing it into our daily lives of being your followers, disciples to Your Way.
Help us to be careful as we wield the sword of the Spirit. May it be used only with Your guidance and direction. The sword, as our sole weapon and offensive tool in Your armour, is therefore to be used with great wisdom and responsibility. It is, therefore, for this reason, that you, God, exhort us to be slow to get angry and quick to listen. May the Bible serve us well in guiding our words and actions of love to one another.
Thank you, Holy Spirit for convicting us of our sin and helping us to work through steps of repentance. Holy Spirit you are welcome here in our lives. Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere. Your glory, Lord, is what our hearts long for—to be overcome in Your presence Lord! Indeed, there is nothing worth more, or that will every come close. Nothing will endure than You, our living God. May Your Word always be planted in our hearts, and may our hearts always remain open to You.
In Jesus Name, Amen.
Nic Lee works by day as a Business Analyst Consultant whilst, outside of business hours, maintains an IT support & website services business. He volunteers with 89.9 LightFM (Christian Community Radio). Nic has served for over twenty years in his local church, in worship, technology consulting, life group leading and event management.