". . . and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:17
Many of you are familiar with the “armor of God” passage from Ephesians 6. It is rich and deserves study, but I wanted to take a moment to look at the final “armament” analogy Paul uses with the sword of the Spirit.
When taken in the context of the passage we see that it is the only purely offensive weapon in the list. This is significant in understanding the potential power of Scripture: it is not passive, it is not weak. We see a similar analogy in Hebrews 4:12.
When I look back on tough times, there is often a huge difference in how I weathered them, and it’s directly tied to how much I was in the Word. My state of mind and the peace in my heart were connected to whether or not I was staying close to the Bible, regardless of the external circumstances.
To put it another way, it sucks to constantly be on the defensive. We can feel like we’re getting beaten up relentlessly. Even if we are successful to defensively deflect and “extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one” for long periods of time, without being on the offensive, it is just a matter of time before we break.
There is a way to keep your armor on, protect your spirit, and still move forward—and that comes from the power of Scripture. If we believe Satan will relent, or that somehow we’ll muster the strength to attack on our own, we are deceived. Our words or our actions in and of themselves will not pierce “this present darkness,” but the word of God can. The word has power, even when we do not.
As Charles Spurgeon once said of John Bunyan, “If you cut him, he’d bleed Scripture.” Lord, may that be true of us!