Posted by: Jo | July 17, 2015

The Sword of The Spirit – The Word of God

“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”

(Ephesians 6:17)

imageJust recently, my husband I were watching a documentary on the television, about an ancient order of Chinese monks, who, although they had diminished in number, still practised their handed down rituals from hundreds of years before. We watched in fascination as little boys were introduced to the intricate movements each one had to perfect in order to become a fully-fledged monk. The instructor was very strict; the feet had to be exactly how he had demonstrated, the head in line with a certain part of the body, the hands in the right position. We then witnessed the senior monks demonstrating these movements, now perfected, as they handled different types of weapons, their bodies moving as if one with what they were holding, and as these were instruments of war, they looked controlled and dangerous, but at the same time their beautiful precise movements made me think of ballet dancers. One section in particular showed their prowess with swords and as they began to move, again I got the impression that the sword and the man had become one.

While I was marvelling about this, I remembered Paul telling the Ephesians to take the sword of the Spirit to counteract the attacks of evil. He was not talking about a real weapon, but a more powerful force than anything man could contrive, the Word of God. The passage in Ephesians 6 (The Armour of God) lists six important parts of armour associated with the current soldier of the day and Paul links them with corresponding Christian spiritual warfare, reminding them they need this protection to ward off and protect them from evil. The first five parts of armour are related to protection from attacks, but the sixth and most powerful one is clearly a weapon not just to protect one, but to be used in action, not in passive resistance, but to be exerted with all its strength. The writer of Hebrews describes it like this;image

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any doubled edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

We often see God’s word as comforting, encouraging, full of love and of course our Heavenly Father wants us to be drenched in his love, but we too often forget the other side of absorbing his word into our very souls – its incredible power over evil. Our Christian walk can be undermined in very subtle ways, sometimes just in thoughts that creep into our minds, sometimes as one Pastor put it by “friendly fire” attacks from unlikely places and perhaps fro
m those we trusted, sometimes from events that we allow to consume us, sometimes our own egos get in the way and we listen to the wrong voices and the Lord’s voice becomes blotted out.

This is when we need to pull out the most powerful weapon of all


The way it is the most effective is, just like those monks I was watching, when we are so steeped in it we become as one with that precious word and we use it against any attack of the enemy. The psalmists knew where the word had to be planted.

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11)



  1. Thank you for those encouraging words. I am also enjoying reading your words


  2. Excellent comparison to how the armor of God should work! Makes one think about proper focus on the Word of God and that no movements on the spiritual battlefield should be wasted. Every action by one God’s spiritual warriors has a purpose that inherently glorifies God. Love this one!!

    Liked by 1 person

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