7. Learn How To Use Our Weapons
Today let’s ARMOUR UP with our SWORD for the battle. Lets be the generation of young women who, when faced with trials, draw out the most powerful weapon: The Word of God.
“So that when this world breaks your heart: you find your wholeness again in the living, active Word of God. Our powerful weapon, our Sword for the battle.”
[Take] the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.(Ephesians 6:17)
Seven weeks into Armoured: the air is colder, the leaves more golden, and if you’re anything like me, you’re secretly loving the chance to get back into those cosy jumpers…
But our verse this week couldn’t be less ‘cosy’ – we’re gearing up for a fight! And we’re diving right into Ephesians 6:17. The verse says:
‘Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.’
Do you spot the difference?
For the past six weeks we’ve been given protective weapons: our helmet, breastplate, shield and shoes. These are all defensive and designed to protect us. But this week, we see that we have been given a SWORD! A sharp, intentional and well-designed weapon of attack.
So what’s powerful enough to be our ‘sword’ in battle?
The verse tells us: it’s the Word of God.
We see this weapon being put into practice in the Gospel of Luke, where Jesus is being tempted by the Devil. Three times, the Devil tempts Jesus: he leads him up to high places and tempts him with earthly power, status and splendour. He tempts Jesus physically, financially and emotionally. And all three times, Jesus draws out this sharp and powerful weapon: the Word of God.
Three times, Jesus quotes back scripture to the Devil:
‘It is written: man shall not live on bread alone’ (Luke 4:8)
‘It is written: Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ (Luke 4:9)
‘It is written: He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ (Luke 4:9-12)
I am so floored by this passage - because here is Jesus: fully God and fully man, tempted in all the ways we are tempted – but choosing to draw to mind the truths of scripture.
And if Jesus models this approach for us, then how much more should I be drawing to mind the Word of God every time I’m tempted, unsure, or feeling like my faith is shaky? More to the point – can I draw scriptures to mind? Do I know them deeply enough? Have I spent time memorising and absorbing the Word of God into my heart and mind?
You might be thinking that reading words on pages doesn’t always feel particularly earth-shattering or powerful. We can even dismiss this way of reading scripture as overly ‘academic’. But I want to challenge all of us reading this today: the Enemy would love to see a generation of young women distracted from reading our Bibles. He would love to see us hazy on Bible knowledge, unsure of scriptures and weak in our memory. He would love to see us start to falter in our faith, without the Word of God to cover us in protection and form an attack against temptation.
And so, I believe that we are called to step up: to be diligent and purposeful in reading and memorising scriptures, so that we have the Word of God imprinted on our hearts and ready to call to mind in every situation.
Let’s remember that scripture is living and active, and is effective for us in our day-to-day situations if we are able to call it to mind:
When we’re tempted by the ways of this world: joining in with gossip, being dishonest with our parents, choosing relationships that distract us from our faith: we can remember that the Lord has set aside greater purposes for us – to bear fruit that lasts (John 15:5-8)
When we find ourselves placing our worth in our intelligence, our appearance, our popularity: we can combat that by calling to mind the truth that we have an identity as God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10), as daughters of the King (1 John 3:1-2), as created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27)
When we’re scared or uncertain about our future, or decisions we need to make: we can pray for the wisdom of God knowing He has promised to give it to us (James 1:5) and we can remember that God works all things for our good (Romans 8:28)
When we’re hurt or offended by people who speak untruths over us: we can draw to mind that God has promised to be near us in our suffering (Jeremiah 23:23) and that He delights over us (Zephaniah 3:17)
Reading scripture and praying it over your life or your current situation is a very real and powerful weapon, which has enormous weight in the battle we face: which remember, is a spiritual battle, not an earthly one.
So why not challenge yourself to become someone who knows the Word of God deep in your heart?
To practice discipline in the mundane and every-day, so that when trials hit you: you’re not taken out. So that when temptations come your way: you’re not tripped up.
So that when this world breaks your heart: you find your wholeness again in the living, active Word of God. Our powerful weapon, our Sword for the battle.
Jesus knows that this world can be chaotic, overwhelming and full of testing times for all of us. But as we’re reminded in 1 John 4:4 – God in us is far greater than anything in this world:
‘You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.’ (1 John 4:4)
Why don’t we finish by praying this prayer over ourselves and the whole More Precious community:
Would You help us to remember this truth as we step into all that this year has to offer us: that YOU are greater than the enemy’s schemes and the battles of this world.
Would You be at work in the whole More Precious community: raising up young women who are covered in the armour You give us, ready to fight back with Your truth on our lips.
Would we absorb the truth of scriptures into our hearts, and become more like Jesus every day: wholehearted and effective ambassadors for a greater cause.