We may not have realized it at the time, but the moment we became followers of Christ, we were launched into the midst of a great conflict. Our battle is not against “flesh and blood”—that is, other people—but against the devil and his demonic forces (see Ephesians 6:10-13). We also fight against sin, and a world system that is contrary to the Word and ways of God.
Thankfully, we are not alone in this fight. The God who saved is the One who fights on our behalf. And He equips us with spiritual weapons that empower us to walk in victory. After the apostle Paul reminds us of the spiritual battle we are in, he names several pieces of armor that we are to wear. Toward the end of this list he tells us to take “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).
Did you know that we can use God’s Word like a sword, enabling us to have victory over the temptations and attacks of the devil? There are many purposes for God’s Word in the life of a Christian. Here, Paul highlights that it is a mighty weapon in our spiritual warfare.
Jesus uses the Sword
I mentioned in a previous article that it is important for us to learn to recognize the voice of the devil. If we don’t discern the enemy’s voice, how can we stand against him? But we must also know how to respond once we do recognize his voice.
Jesus gives us a great example of how to take up the sword of the Spirit against the temptations and attacks of Satan. When the devil brought a series of temptations to Jesus, He fought them off in the same way: He declared “It is written” and then quoted a Scripture. Although each temptation was unique, Jesus did not change His method of battle; He took up the “sword of the Spirit” and wielded it against the enemy. (Check out Matthew 4:1-11 to read the full account).
This seems so simple; and yet it is so powerful. God’s Word carries all authority because it originated from Him. When we learn to use it effectively, we can stand against the devil and overcome temptation. We must actively take time to meditate on the Scriptures so that the Word is in our hearts. This way, we will be prepared to pull out the sword and fight when the devil throws something our way.
If there are specific areas of weakness that you know the enemy will try to exploit, I would encourage you to dig into the Word and find Scriptures that pertain to those issues. Memorize them, so that like Jesus, you can pull them out when the battle comes. Hide the Word in your heart, so that in the time of temptation you can take up your sword and stand strong!