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  • Writer's pictureShannon Bryant

The Sword of the Spirit

Updated: Oct 30, 2021

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17

In the U.S. military ongoing training is available to soldiers to help them stay on their “A” game in order to be prepared and successful in battle. The U.S. military defines training as “instruction and applied exercises for acquiring and retaining knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes necessary to complete specific tasks.” As soldiers in God’s army, we are enlisted to a lifetime of ongoing instruction and training; training in righteousness. Training in righteousness equips, instructs, transforms, and empowers us for every good work. This specialized Holy Spirit-guided training renews our minds, shapes us into Christ’s image, and is a weapon of mass destruction to the enemy and the powers of darkness.

Training in righteousness is essential in spiritual warfare and to effectively wield the sword of the Spirit.

The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. All Scripture is God-breathed; He is the Author of every holy utterance. The study of the Scripture is effective and teaches us what is true and holy. The Holy Spirit is our Teacher and the Bible is our “textbook” for everything pertaining to godliness and equips us to live overcoming lives that bring glory and honor to God.

God is our Commander, and if we are wise would take heed to obey the orders in His Word in order to live an overcoming life. We cannot live the “civilian” life and hope to receive the same weapons, privileges, power, and authority of an active soldier in God’s army. Ignoring His instructions will result in life-altering and life-threatening consequences Yes, Jesus absolutely died for the remission of our sins but patterns of willful sin grieves the Spirit of grace and separates us from fellowship with God. God never leaves nor forsakes us but sin separates us from His presence.

Have you ever felt the despairing disengagement, and struggle to come into the presence of the Holy God because of sin in your life? Kind of like when Adam and Eve sinned and they hid from God? I know I have, and it’s a heart-wrenching feeling. For those of you who have been along with me on this journey for a while, you know my past struggles with condemnation and counting every sin, and trying to please God by works. I’m thankful that God has matured me in this area. The enemy used the tactic of condemnation to deter and depress me for a long time.

Yes, we are to be sorrowful for our sin, but that sorrow should draw us closer to God into sincere repentance not further away from Him into the pit of extreme guilt, shame, and the deep despair of condemnation.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

See, my aim used to be to not sin. Counting every sin, living sin-conscious. Now my aim and deepest heart’s desire is just to live with a constant awareness of Abba, His goodness, love, peace and wonderful grace.

Now, instead of wallowing in deep despair and defeat when I do sin, I confess, repent, receive God's grace and forgiveness, and rise up in victory because now the deepest longing of my heart is just to live close to God's heart and nothing in this world is worth being separated from Him. Being separated from Him is unbearable because I love Him so much and the thought of being detached from Him deeply grieves my heart. Because He is my closest Companion and I long to be in communion with Him. Rest in Him. Hear Him. Bless Him. Worship Him. Praise Him.

God is so full of grace, that even when I fall short of His glory He so powerfully, perfectly, and personally draws me into the bosom of His lavish love and enduring mercy.

God draws us when we fall short simply because He isn't the one who moves; we are.

We've all given in to our sinful nature and the snares set by the enemy but it is imperative to have an accurate picture of what Jesus accomplished on the cross of Calvary. God's grace is abounding. Because of Jesus, our sin debt has been paid, but the pursuit of holiness is still a required investment.

"Because it is written, "Be holy; for I am holy."
1 Peter 1:16

God is a holy God. We must take heed to His Holy Word to be equipped to be a holy nation of victorious warriors! When we are wrapped in God’s holiness we are armed and dangerous assailants to the kingdom of darkness!

As recruits in God’s army, we are engaged in an ongoing ruthless battle in the spirit and God has provided us with the sword of the Spirit as a powerful weapon of our warfare.

“The sword of the Spirit; the word of God, slays sin, and when sin is slain it wreaks havoc on the enemy and his camp.”

The two-edged sword of the Spirit serves a dual purpose in spiritual warfare. To destroy the sin in our lives and destroy the wiles of the devil. The two go hand in hand in spiritual combat. The former precedes the latter.

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

The Word of God is alive, active, and annihilates sin in our lives by cutting deep into our hearts. The two-edged sword of God’s Word penetrates deep into the core of our spiritual lives and exposes the evil in our hearts. The Word of God not only unveils sin but removes it; provoking us unto genuine repentance and uprightness before God.

To live upright is to live exuding Christ’s character. Upright is also a position defined as, vertical, postured. The Apostle emphasis this "standing" position. Three times he admonished the believers in Ephesus to stand so that they would be able to stand firm against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11-13)

Training in righteousness; living out the Word of God positions us upright, firm, erect, and well able to stand and withstand in the evil day. (Ephesians 6:13)

I’m sure we all can see and discern that the days we are living in are growing increasingly evil. What’s morally wrong is accepted as right and “normal”, and what’s right in the eyes of God has become radical, wrong, crazy, abnormal, biased, and narrow-minded.

Scripture mentions this as the enemy having blinded the minds of the unbelievers. (2 Corinthians 4:4) For those of us who believe we must stand firm and fight in the strength of the Lord with the weapons of the Lord and what a mighty weapon the sword of the Spirit is!

The sword of the Spirit slashes every lie, scheme, assault, temptation, and every crafty trick of the enemy. As it is imperative that a soldier going into battle needs to know how to handle the weapons needed to defeat their enemy we need to know how to effectively handle the sword of the Spirit. The word of God is a powerful offensive weapon that is vital for victory. The same Spirit of Truth that sanctifies us by truth also teaches us how to correctly handle the Word of truth. (John 17:17)

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 1 Timothy 2:15

We must know the word of truth so that we can recognize and slash the enemy's lies. He'll take a real truth and taint it with a lie and we all know that a little bit of poison still kills over time. That's his goal; to steal, kill and destroy.

He also knows full well how powerful the Word of God is, this is why he tries to snatch it. In the parable of the Sower, the enemy comes and snatches away the seed planted in the hearts of those who hear the Word of God and don’t understand. (Matthew 13:7) This is why it is imperative that we study the Bible and pray for understanding and enlightenment.

It’s important to note that the enemy knows the Scripture and is known to twist it and put his lying, sneaky spin on it as he did with Eve in the Garden of Eden.

The cunning serpent said to Eve, "Has God indeed said, "You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" This crafty twist of God's word changed the course of humanity.

Oh, he’s a long-time experienced liar, he is the father of lies and has been since the beginning. Don’t dare believe anything he says! Take up your sword! Determine to know the Living Word! Know and live out the written Word and put an ax to the root of every lie he sends your way!

The enemy is dauntless in his approach and will use any means necessary to tempt us in an effort to slay us. He even had the audacity to quote Scripture to Jesus, “It is written that He will give His angels charge over You. So jump down from the top of the temple.” Jesus replied, “It is also written that you shall not tempt the Lord your God.” (Matthew 4:6-7)

Jesus wielded the mighty sword of the Spirit and attacked the enemy with the Word! Three times the enemy tempted Jesus and three times He quoted Scripture from the book of Deuteronomy. When tempted in the wilderness after forty days of fasting Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:3, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) Jesus’ approach in contending with the enemy sums up two key spiritual components of effective and triumphant warfare: living by every Word of God and combating the enemy with the Word of God. These two holy disciplines are marks of a victorious swordsman in the spirit!

It's significant to mention that after three unsuccessful attempts to get Jesus to sin, the enemy departed. Jesus is our example; He was submitted to God. Resisted the devil and he fled. (James 4:6)

Ponder this for a moment, if the enemy tempted the Living Word, with His Word, how much more should we be armed with the Word of God; the sword of the Spirit! We’ve got to know it. Meditate on it day and night! We’ve got to live it lest we be deceived.

Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
James 1:22

I exhort you to grip the Sword of the Spirit tight by faith! Don't let go! Believe and take heed to every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Like any marksman, we will sometimes miss the mark and fall short of God’s glory but by the grace of God and the shed blood of Jesus, we must be quick to get back up, repent and keep fighting the good fight of faith!

God is a consuming fire and in the light of His holy Word and in the kindle of His holy presence anything unholy in us is consumed, making our swords razor-sharp in the spirit and most powerful to tear down strongholds and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.

Knowing God’s Word and applying it to our lives assails the works of darkness. When we seek to know the Living Word and live out the written and revealed Word of God, we are most effective at combating the enemy with God's inspired Word.

The sword of the Spirit in the hands of those who walk in the Spirit wins the war in the spirit.

It is not by might, nor by power but by God’s Spirit that we are clothed and trained in righteousness, more than conquerors and victorious in battle.

And the one who experiences victory will be dressed in white robes and I will never, no never erase your name from the Book of Life. I will acknowledge your name before my Father and His angels. So, the one whose heart is open let him listen carefully to what the Spirit is now saying to all the churches. ~ Jesus
Revelation 3:5,6

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