I really want to share with you guys something that has been on my heart for the last couple of days now. It’s about what the Bible calls “the whole armor of God.” We can find the complete list of what this entails, in the book of Ephesians. Here is what the scripture reads,
“10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Today, I want to talk in particular about that last part of the armor, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. There is no greater demonstration of the use of this weapon than the account of Jesus in the wilderness being tempted by the devil. You can find this recorded in Matthew 4:1-11 & Luke 4:1-13.
Oh, this is such a fantastic explanation of how exactly we are to wield the sword of the Spirit. These scriptures also show us how cunning the devil is. Not only does the evil one tempt our Messiah with the treasures of this world, he too brandishes the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, but in a twisted way. He applies truth out of context with a slight distortion that the untaught and unstable person would be deceived by. We see in these gospels how Jesus combats this deception. With every slimy slither of the devil’s tongue, Christ speaks Truth with power and authority! He swings the sword of the Spirit with precision, piercing through the scales of the serpent of old. The devil is unable to prevail over the stabbing of the word that exposed his lies out in the open, like a gaping wound for all to see. He retreats from Jesus knowing he is no match for the righteous word of God professed from the mouth of our Savior.
Wow…Just wow!! What an amazing vision of a battle where Christ prevails over the enemy. We are so fortunate to have a record of this account. We can have the foreknowledge of how we are to combat the schemes of the devil. Jesus is our greatest example!
The devil doesn’t have a new bag of tricks guys. He is predictable to a fault! By knowing this, we have the ability to be equipped with the right weapon to overcome his vile advances. Each one of us is given access to this mighty sword of the Spirit, the pure word of the Father.
No doubt, the evil one will come at us in the same exact manner as he did with Jesus in the wilderness. But what happens if we find ourselves in a treacherous war with the devil, and we reach to our side for the mighty sword of the word and out of the sheath comes a feather? The feather we equipped ourselves with from the men who were feeding us lies just to tickle our ears. What would happen if we reached for a sword that we borrowed from a man, only to find that half of the sword has been broken off? What if that sword isn’t a sword at all, but a rotting piece of flesh? I assure you friends, the devil will not flee from such inferior objects! We would be devoured on the spot!
Listen brethren, this is exactly what we are equipping ourselves with when we don’t read the word for ourselves! The Father did not inspire the whole word of scripture only for us to gather it second hand. Deuteronomy 30:11-14 says,
11“For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. 12“It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 13“Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 14“But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.”
The Father promises that the word is near to us, easy to obtain! So why in the world are we not getting it directly from the source? Why are we depending on men to interpret what is laid out in black and white for all who desire to know it? If only we would seek it for ourselves, the Father is faithful to deliver to us the truth! Matthew 7:7-8 says,
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
Are we asking of men, or are we asking of the Father? These words are not some wishy washy, come lately words of men! These are the infallible, beautiful promises of the Almighty!
How are we going to know what is truth, if we don’t unearth this treasure from the Creator’s word ourselves? We cannot I tell you! To prove what I am telling you is truth, I want to give you an example of exactly what I am talking about here, how I was deceived myself.
A couple years ago, I was studying for a lesson in Sunday school. The topic was sin and judging. I had heard from someone one time that the Bible said “hate the sin and love the sinner.” I thought, this would be a good verse to bring up in class. So, I searched for it, …and then I searched for it a little bit more. I couldn’t find it! So, I googled the quote and I was astonished to find out it wasn’t even in the Bible. It was a quote from Gandhi! I was so disgusted that I had ever repeated that, and had thought it was the Word of God. After this, I started wondering if there were any other things that I might have thought was in the Bible that may not actually be. I was amazed by how many misquotes I had actually heard for myself. Here are just a few of them…
“God helps those who help themselves.”
“God works in mysterious ways.”
“Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”
“This too shall pass.”
And so on and so on!!
(I encourage you to go look these things up for yourself and see where they actually come from. Here is a link to a sight that I found some of these misquotes https://www.gotquestions.org/not-in-the-Bible.html There are several more than I have mentioned or that is listed on this site. Just google it for yourselves.)
Because I had never taken the time to study the Word for myself, I was hoodwinked by all this. How would I expect to defeat the enemy if I am quoting Gandhi? I would not have!
Please friends, I am telling you all this so you will be well equipped for the battles to come! I pray we all to dig deep into the word, so we can be triumphant over the schemes of the evil one, so we will be firmly planted in the Truth of God and not the ideas of man!
Put on the whole armor of God brethren, and arm yourselves with the genuine sword of the Spirit, the righteous word of God, forged from the breath of the Almighty Himself!