Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Equipped to Win

. . .and take the helmet of salvation, 
and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,  
(Ephesians 6:17)

Sometimes, it doesn't do our inner self good to be too aware of all of the depravity occurring in the world today; particularly when it hits so close to home.  Admittedly, I look at the opioid epidemic, the high suicide rate, the violence and the struggles between nations, but then I remind myself that there is a God that sites high and looks low!

The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.  Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!  Psalms 113:4-6

 We have to shake our self and remind our self that we serve a God, who despite all of the turbulence in the world today, is in complete control; a God who is sovereign.  

God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.  Psalms 62:11

People have armed themselves in all types of ways to protect themselves against the evil and depravity of today.  But we, as saints of God, must have our reliance totally in God.  

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.  Psalms 20:7

We serve a God who extends grace and mercy in ways that we are totally unaware of and so despite everything that we read in the newspaper and watch on TV and read on the internet, we should still wake every morning and thank our Lord and Savior for who He is.  But most of all, we thank Him because we have a plan, just like Rahab, the harlot, so when the day of destruction comes, we will be safe with Jesus.  Our plan is to follow the path of salvation as it is laid out in God’s word.  This plan gives us a hope that transcends the concerns of this world.   

My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.  Psalms 62:5

We all know that there are those that do not have a hope in Christ, but we should be grateful that we serve the one, true, living, almighty God - not Buddha or Confucian, or Mohammad or any other man made or man created God.  We serve the one, the only true, living God.  O bless His holy name!  

And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but He  Mark 12:32

Through the grace of our loving heavenly Father, one day the scales were removed from our eyes and we were able to see and accept God into our life.  We don’t have to be afraid because God has equipped us with power from on high.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.   2 Timothy 1:7

When He called us out of darkness into His marvelous light, we were loosed from the binding spirit of fear and we can call on Abba, our heavenly Father, and we know that He hears us and He’ll take care of us.   

. . . they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.  Zechariah 13:9

Psalms 27 is a powerful acknowledgement to the power and protection of God.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?  Psalms 27:1

Apostle Paul tells us about arming our self against the evil one.  One of our pieces of protection is the sword of the spirit.

It is the sixth piece of the armor of God that Apostle Paul talks about (Ephesians 6:17) which is the "word of God."

How does a Roman soldier's sword help us understand how to use the Bible to win our spiritual battles?  The sword is the only item listed by Apostle Paul that serves in an offensive capacity. Even if we have all the rest of the armor equipped perfectly, without our sword, we amount to little more than heavily armored targets.   The sword is the only weapon Apostle Paul lists as part of the armor of God.

Consider these scriptures in relation to the word of God:

 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  Psalm 119:105

God's Word is illuminating It reveals to us the good and the bad, the wise and the unwise. It is the ultimate tool in learning how to live the best possible life, free from the restraints of stumbling in darkness.

  Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.  John 17:17

God's Word is plain and simple. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand it.  We can have perfect confidence in the fact that His words are accurate, true and unerring. When followed, they guide us without fail in the paths that we need to walk. We can be destroyed by lack of the knowledge of God 

 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.  (Hosea 4:6)

 but we will be blessed if we hear and keep the Word of God

But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it(Luke 11:28)

And the knowledge is not just for us. We are to be ready to answer others who ask us 

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
 (1 Peter 3:15).

  For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12

The all-powerful sword of the living God is able to cut through every defense our enemy can raise. When wielded by a servant of God, nothing can withstand its ability to cut straight to the core of a matter and uncover the truth.

As soldiers in God's army, it is our responsibility and duty to use His Word to discern the truth and then follow it. When God's Word shows us something wrong in ourselves, we can use this spiritual weapon to "surgically" remove the offending thoughts and actions:

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;  2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Unlike all other pieces of the armor of God, which are solely defensive, the sword is uniquely suited for both defensive and offensive roles. A solid defense is invaluable, but the sword is the only way we can complete the work we have been given to do.

The best; the perfect example is Jesus. Jesus used the word of God; the scriptures,  to counter Satan's attacks

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.  

Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.  (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10)

We must also learn to live 

"by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God"
(Matthew 4:4)

If we were able to fight our battles from a distance, we would never experience an actual trial. At first glance, that might not seem like such a bad thing. But when we stop to consider that 

without trials, there is no growth, and without growth, 
we will not be able to enter God's Kingdom.  

We see that trials, however uncomfortable, are essential in our journeys as Christians. After all, the promises of ,Revelation 2:7 11, 17, 26 and 3:5, 12 and 21 are given "to him who overcomes" and not "to him who remains as he is."

Apostle Paul only lists one weapon because we only need one weapon: 

There is no enemy the Word of God, 
coupled with His Holy Spirit, cannot defeat. 

And so, armed with our defensive weapon; the sword, along with our spiritual armor and He that dwells within, we step out to fight our enemies head-on. The struggle is real. It is immediate, and it is in front of us.

God’s Word is a powerful weapon against the enemy when it's used under the spirit's power and direction.

(Biblical Studies)


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