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– Mike Beecraft
Nerdy confession: I like swords, and I play video games. Your respect for me might have just gone down a little. Oh well, such is life! Me, I love running around an unfurling countryside, swinging a sword as villains fall by the might of my character’s hand. Sadly, that’s not real life—which is good, because some ferocious beast would likely eat me within minutes.
Throughout Scripture, the Word of God is depicted as a sword, “Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
In Ephesians 6:17, it’s the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. This is the final piece of the whole armour set, the only piece combative in nature and not really defensive gear at all. The Word here is seen as a weapon, not one made for physical confrontations but one that penetrates the soul and deals with what it finds inside.
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us…the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
Jesus is the Word, so we need to ask the question: is Jesus a sword that we learn to wave around and get skilled with and use to conquer the enemy? The answer is no. He isn’t an instrument that we use in life; He is the one who gave us life and sustains our life.
Notice the instruction given right after the sword is mentioned, pray. Verse 18 says “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” This isn’t our sword. This is the Master’s Sword. We don’t determine how we use Jesus in our lives; He determines and we simply pray, “Our father who is in heaven…” Jesus is Lord and what He wills will be done. This is so freeing! We aren’t given this armour and sword to trust in it but the one who gave it.
Some treat the Word as a formula in which, if we do and say the right things, the result will be a + b = c. We would never treat Jesus this way, and are not to handle the Word that way either. The Word is living and active, and it does what it was sent forth to do. This takes trust in Christ, because if we’re honest, we really want our will to be done in most cases.
As you hold this sword in your hand, sometimes feeling incapable of wielding it, know you’re in God’s company. Jesus has won the victory for us, and He is fighting for us and holding us in His hand. In this fight without Jesus, we’d be eaten by a ferocious beast in minutes, but clothed in His armour, we can stand firm in the face of evil.