Whether you are an Atheist or a Christian, everyone is in a spiritual war with the devil and demons (evil spirits) if you know it or not (Revelations 12:9 and John 10:10). We are spirit beings in a physical body, living in a spiritual world within God’s physical creation (Colossians 1:15-16). 1Corinthians 2:11 states, “For who knows a person’s thoughts except for the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” You receive the Holy Spirit of God the moment you believe with your heart that Jesus is the Lord and the Son of God and confess He has risen from the dead and is in heaven (Rom. 10:8-10, Col. 3:1). Then you become one spirit with God (1Cor. 6:17). Now the Holy Spirit helps you comprehend the thoughts of God and enables you to fight the unseen spiritual battles to live a victorious life.
Every day we need to prepare for a spiritual war with evil spirits that attack our mind and body. Ephesians 6:12 states, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” The demons (evil spirits) want to deceive us and tempt us to sin so that we remain under the wrath of God (Eph. 2:1-3). Prepare for spiritual warfare every day by:
- praying and praising (Phil. 4:4-7 and Heb. 13:15)
- pondering Scriptural truths (Ps. 119:15 and 48)
- putting on the armor of God every day to stand firm against the schemes of the devil
- being alert and standing firm in your faith as you rely on God’s strength (Eph. 6:10-18).
In the previous posts:
- You discover the source of truth and how to discern the truth by putting on the belt of truth. And why it keeps you spiritually stable and not double-minded.
- Then you learn why the breastplate of righteousness protects your spiritual life and how a reverent fear of God will keep you safe.
- Next, you learn how to live in peace with God and humanity by strapping on the gospel of peace to your feet, so where ever you go, you do not slip and fall when offended.
- And you discover why the helmet of salvation protects your mind and how to take every deceiving and tempting thought captive.
This post describes the sword of the Spirit and how, why, and when you use it. Learning to use the sword of the Spirit in spiritual warfare is essential if you want to be victorious over unseen spiritual battles. The objective of demonic forces is to keep you doubting and insecure in your relationship with God.
What is the sword of the Spirit?
In the spiritual realm, the “sword of the Spirit” is Scriptural truth. You can also see it as the Holy Spirit’s sword. Only the Holy Spirit sees how the unseen evil spirits are attacking. Jesus said in John 14:26, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” The Holy Spirit will bring to your mind the scriptural truths you memorized and stored in your belt of truth. 2Timothy 3:16 tells us that God breathed out all Scripture, so God’s Word is powerful when we speak it out against temptations and deceptions of the enemy.
Why do I need the sword of the Spirit?
We face temptations to worry, be frustrated, be impatient, judge others, doubt, be depressed, be fearful, and so on. The sword is both a defensive and offensive weapon in the list of God’s spiritual armor. All other pieces of armor are protective. We are told in Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Where do your thoughts and intentions come from, God’s truth or the devil’s deceptions? God’s Word is powerful through the Holy Spirit to discern and annihilate every attack of the enemy on your mind and heart.
For instance, Jesus knew the Scriptures and rebuked Satan’s temptations immediately (Matthew 4:1-10). Therefore, you must read your Bible daily and memorize the truths to be victorious over the many unseen battles. Just as Jesus’s spoken word had power over the devil, so our words have power when we speak scripture to defeat unseen demonic attacks exposed by the Holy Spirit. But, if you don’t know the truth, you will suffer many oppressive blows from the unseen enemy, and he will spiritually and emotionally cripple you. Have doubt and discouragement ever crippled you? It has crippled me. What are some unseen battles you face or have seen other people face? We need to know the truths of the Bible not only for ourselves but to encourage others when they are facing unseen battles.
Four ways to use the “sword of the Spirit” to defeat the enemy?
If you ever watched a Gladiator movie or documentary? The Gladiator’s sword was secured by the Gladiator’s belt and was always by their side. They even slept with their swords. The sword is for close contact fighting, which means you are fighting for your life. To be good at using your spiritual sword, do the following four actions.
1. Read the Word of God to expose the unseen battle with lies and temptations.
The Holy Spirit uses Scriptural truths to reveal the lies and temptations the devil puts into your mind that cause strife and confusion. For example, when I read Romans 12:10 to, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” The New International Version says, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” The Holy Spirit exposed the unseen battle of sin in my heart to dishonor my husband by speaking disrespectfully and not valuing him above myself. So, I confessed my sin to God and my husband, then ask each to forgive me (1John 1:9 and James 5:16). Then I prayed and put off the dishonoring spirit that gained access to my heart and put on the truth that I am to be honoring and loving in what I say and do. I used the sword of the Spirit to defeat the unseen spirit that gained access to an unsubmitted area of my mind.
Joshua was a great fighter in the Old Testament. He said in Joshua 1:8, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” So why should you meditate on God’s instructions and promises? How often must you meditate on God’s Word? You can increase your knowledge of the truth by listening to the Bible on your cell phone, CD player, iPod, or MP3 player while doing things, like cleaning the house, washing/drying the dishes, driving, cutting the grass, and so on.
Just like the Gladiators had their swords by their side day and night, so we need to keep the Word of God on our minds day and night to be ready for unseen ambushes. The sword is useless if you don’t have it with you or know how to use it.
2. Use the sword of the Spirit to eradicate your fleshly, sinful desires.
James 1:21 states, “Therefore put away [loose, untie] all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness [humility] the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” Filthiness is indecent, immoral corruption, or obscenity. Something rampant is spreading unchecked, such as widespread wickedness. Wickedness is having an evil, depraved moral character. To put wickedness away from you, you must also put off the spirit of pride because pride keeps you from acknowledging your sin and repenting. Repentance is to put your sinful longings away and train yourself to be godly and do what is right (1Tim.4:7-8 and Col. 3:5-10). Then you can receive the “implanted word” of life and truth, the Holy Spirit of Jesus, into your heart, which will save you.
Each time you read the Bible, ask God to expose known and unknown sins controlling your thoughts. The Holy Spirit uses Scripture (the sword) to correct the wrong thinking from lies the devil has used to cause you to act in unloving ways. Then keep your mind on the things of the Spirit so you can put to death the sinful deeds of the body, which begin as a wrong thought (Romans 8:13). To learn more, read my post called “Are you in control of your life?” and “Three Steps to Renew Your Mind (Part Two).”
3. Memorize Scripture to increase the size of your sword.
Do you want to fight with a pocket knife, a skinning knife, a dagger, or a sharp sword? The more you memorize Scripture, the bigger and sharper your weapon will be. Practicing using the truth is essential to be ready for any spiritual attack. A dull sword is ineffective. So constant Scripture memorization is a discipline that should be a daily habit if we are to keep our sword sharp. You can write a Scripture verse or verses on a 3×5 card that you put in your pocket or purse. Pull out the 3×5 card while waiting for the light to change, walking somewhere, waiting in line, doing the dishes, folding laundry, exercising, etc. I copy and paste Scripture passages from Biblegateway.com and attach the verses to cardboard, and put it on my elliptical to memorize Scripture passages as I work out. When I walk for exercise, I memorize Scripture. I pray the scripture using my Scripture prayer book. Who God is — Daily A-C-T-S Prayers.
4. To be good at using your sword, practice with it.
Just like practicing a sport or art makes you proficient. Practicing God’s commands (instructions) makes you skilled in using the truth of His Word. The more biblical truth you know, the more effective you are at using the sword of the Spirit to defeat the enemy with the help of the Holy Spirit. James 1:22-25 explains, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” Be honest, how many times do you read the Bible, then later can’t remember what you read? But do you remember the Scripture verses you applied to your life to transform your thinking? My husband journals the Bible and says that it has helped him store the truth in his heart.
How to use God’s Word to slay the lies and temptations of the enemy.
When you have the truth of God’s Word stashed in your “belt of truth,” you can pull it out whenever you are in close combat with the enemy. For example, you need healing, but the devil tells you that God doesn’t heal or won’t answer your prayers. Quick, use your sword of the Spirit to slay doubts. Remind the enemy of your soul of the truth and recount all the times Jesus healed and answered prayers. The demons may come at you with an accusation like you don’t have enough faith. Slay that accusation and speak the truth that you only need faith as small as a mustard seed to move mountains. The demons may come back again with condemnation and accuse you of sin, and God won’t hear your prayers. Slay the curse and remind the devil that you are forgiven, and God does not hold your sin against you. He comes back and tempts you to be depressed, worried, or discouraged. Strike your enemy with the truth that God is faithful and say, I can hope in Him. He is going to use my suffering for good because I love Him.
Spiritual battles play out millions of times and in thousands of ways. The only way to be victorious is to put on God’s armor, stand firm in the strength of the Lord, and fight the unseen battles through praying, praising, and pondering scripture.
Daily pray: I take up the sword of the Spirit (Scriptural truths) and rely on the Holy Spirit to strike down every temptation to yield to my pride and deceitful, sinful desires. I will discipline my mind to memorize Bible verses and practice them. Through prayer, I surrender to the Holy Spirit’s control and guidance over my thoughts. (Heb. 4:12; Rom. 8:5-8; Mat. 4:1-10; John 16:13-14.)
Mission Statement for my life and how I will accomplish it.
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