In this article cover a most important topic, that of Spiritual warfare specifically how to use our offensive and defensive weapons against the enemy.
The first question you may ask is their even a need for spiritual warfare? There are three categories that Christians can relegate demonic activity to. First is that their really just on their doctrinal and that they don’t really believe in the reality of the devil. They have been influenced by the western world-view which says every effect has a physical cause; if you can’t see it, touch it, taste it, smell it, or hear it, it probably doesn’t exist; all phenomena can or eventually will be explained or accounted for scientifically; reality is material and mechanical; if there is a spiritual realm, it has no relation to or impact upon the physical realm.
Second place they may relegate these realities to is on the mission field. They will say I believe there is demonic activity over in Papua New Guinea, or somewhere, but not in America. These Christians are susceptible to Satan’s agenda whether they think he works over here or not.
The last group say well didn’t Jesus defeat Satan at the cross so we don’t have to worry about him anymore. That is true he did destroy the Satan’s authority 1 John 3:8 says Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. That word destroy is the word luo which means, legally declaring something dissolved or unbound. Matthew 16:19 says we are given the keys whatever we luo on earth is luoed in the heavenlies (where demonic activity originates from). So yes Satan’s works, and authourity have been defeated, but Satan is a squatter, and will take whatever territory he can in our lives unless told to leave. So we are like Jesus’s Deputy’s reinforcing Jesus victory’s in different times, locations, and lives.
Now let us look in the book of Ephesians at what kind of armor is available to us. But before we can fully understand this armor we have to understand what procedes it. In Ephesians 1-3 Paul tells us to sit that is to say to realize our position. You see your salvation was planned before the foundation of the world, and you are now seated with Christ in the heavenlies far above all principlaities, and powers (demonic activity). You see if you are not resting in this position you have no foundation for spiritual warfare.
The next thing Paul says in Chapters 4-5 is to walk that is when you are in Christ start walking out a life that is worthy of your calling. If we are not sitting right, and walking right we are leaving an open door for Satan to get in. So if we are sitting right, and walking right, we can stand right against the enemy without waffling.
So with that in mind let us look at Ephesians 6:10-18 which says, 10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Be Strong- In this verse Paul is telling us that we have the strength available to us to be fight the enemy. Note however that he is not just saying “Be strong in yourself.” Many times that is what we say to people, “try harder, button your upper lip, you must learn just to be strong.” That is not the power he is talking about at all the “strength” to which Paul refers is none other than the “strength” he described in Eph. 1:19. Which raised Jesus from the dead and exalted him above all authority! You are in your most vulnerable state when you think that you are strong enough to handle the temptation or situation without the help of the Lord. The foundation for your warfare is dependence on God’s power
So today as you face the enemy realize your position (seated in the Heavenlies), walk worthy of your calling, and stand in the power of God to fight the enemy.
Stand- Verse 11 tell us that the purpose of the armor of God is that we might be able to stand against the enemy. You see we don’t have to win the victories they have already been won we just have to stand. Like everything in the Christian life God does the work we just have to show up for the battle. The real question is when is someone go to say that’s it I’m going to stand for my: family, Church, or country! Satan has had them long enough, no more! You see God does the work but throughout the ages much evil has happened, because Christians refuse to fight the devil.
Wiles- The word translated wiles is the greek word methodeias “methods”, i.e., schemes, tactics, stratagems, secret agendas. The plural of this word “suggests attacks that are constantly repeated or of incalculable variety”.
What are they? Temptation, accusation, intimidation, division and other such assaults against individual believers and the church corporately. But even though Satan and his minions have many methods they only have one underlying agenda: steal, kill, and destroy. John 10:10 gives us Satan’s job title, or agenda when Jesus says that the devil comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. So you see Satan is just as content to steal, kill, and destroy a person in church as a heathen idolater in a jungle somewhere. There are many methods but only one desired result.
Flesh and Blood- One of Satan’s primary tactics is to get man thinking his battle is horizontal (with other men) but the bible says its vertical (in the heavenlies with demons). So instead of fighting with your family or boss all of the time step back and say my battle is not with them it is with these demons trying to steal, kill, and destroy my family.
Principalities (Political)- The greek word Arches these political demons are in charge of Satan’s steal, kill, destroy agenda in the political realm. Every major war, or wicked political decison has been masterminded by these demons.
Powers (Personal)- The greek word Exousias these personal demons are in charge of Satan’s steal, kill destroy agenda for families, and individuals. They may have attacking your family for thousands of years, and so they have CIA like intelligence on: your emotional makeup, genetic predispositions, and generational sins.
Rulers (Philisophical)- The greek word Kosmokratopas these philisophical demons are in charge of the prevailing philosphies of the age. They use universities, hollywood, and the internet to peddle Satan’s steal, kill, destroy message packaged as truth, philosophy, and self help.
Spiritual Wickedness (Spiritual)- Comes from the greek which literally means spiritual evil in the heavenlies, these spiritual demons are concerned with bringing Satan’s steal, kill, destroy agenda through religion. Every cult, every ism, schism, or false doctrine is peddled by these demons to send people to hell, and to hunder spirtual growth.
Now then the part you have all been waiting for let us now cover what is each piece of the armor needed to stand against the enemy.
Girdle of Truth- The foundational piece of the armor Paul mentions was a leather belt worn by Roman soldiers to tuck their garment into, and to hold their weapons. As a place to tuck in their flowing clothing the girdle allowed soldiers to run in battle without being hindered. In the same way as we study the word of God (the truth) we see sins, and weights that easily beset us, and hinder our running.
As a place to hold weapons the girdle illustrates that truth is vital to both of our offensive weapons: speaking the word, and prayer. You see you can’t speak whats not in there so memorizing God’s word (truth) will allow you to have something to say in battle. Also one way we can pray according to the will of God is to pray the word of God. Truth is foundational to our warfare because Satan’s primary tool is deception. As we soak ourselves in the Bible we can avoid being decieved.
Breastplate of Righteousness- The Roman breastplate covered the vital organs of the body especially the heart. I have learned over the years that you just can’t trust your heart. God did not send His Son to die to empower your heart, but rather to exchange it. Ezekiel 36:26 explains this when it says, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us that we have Christ righteousness, and Galatians 2:20 tells us that Christ is living through us. We must yield to Christ righteousness because our heart is so deceptive (Jer. 17:9), and easily deceived.
You see in Bible times the heart was considered the seat of your emotions, and will. So if satan can get your heart he’s got your emotions which can affect your decision making process (the will). Proverbs 4:23 says, “guard your heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life.” If I could paraphrase I would say, “what you let in the heart is what comes out”. Because the Bible says what person thinks in their heart, is what they are. So satan will come to the unguarded heart with thoughts that makes us angry our emotions will say “this makes me so angry”, the will will say, “me too lets do something about it”. Before you know it you will find that you have done things that you will regret the rest of your life because of an unguarded heart.
You see most people these days are more in love with their feelings than they are in love with God. What does it mean to be in love with our feelings? One definition of love means to be attached to. When you are attached to something, you can’t let go. Far too often we have attached ourselves to how we feel and we cannot separate our feelings from the choices that determine the outcome of our lives. Since our feelings will mislead us, betray us, and not consider the end result, we must fall out of love with them.
How do we do that? We must fall in love with something greater. We must fall in love with God. Whether you feel the love of God or not, the word righteousness means right standing or relationship with God. So it not about how you feel it just about yielding to Christs righteousness then know that God accepts us as he accepts Christ.
Martin Luther concerning the untrustworthiness of our feelings once wrote:
Feelings come, and feelings go,
And feelings are deceiving,
I’ll put my trust in the Word of God,
None else is worth believing!
So today let’s yield to Christ’s right standing with God, and let Him live through us, and not let our emotions, or will rule over us.
Gospel Sandals (feet shod)- In the time that this epistle was written Roman soldiers wore special sandals for military use that were made of iron and tied to their feet. This allowed them to march farther and faster as well as giving them facility of motion in battle—they could dig in and hold their ground when in hand-to-hand combat.
In the same way that these soldiers needed special shoes we need the security that comes from the gospel of peace. The Word of God is the gospel, or Good News, that brings peace. In other words, believers are ready for battle because “…being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1) They can stand firm, with peace, even in hand-to-hand combat, because they know that their destiny is secure. If you are not sure your saved then you will have no confidence to move forward in battle because satan can always use your doubt to prevent you from advancing.
Even after we are sure we are saved the enemy will constantly try to bring war in our lives because without peace we can never advance in the Christian life. What are some of the tools that Satan uses to rob us of peace thus preventing us from advancing?
- Doctrinal Division
- Family Fighting
- The Economy
You see if your mind, and heart are absent of peace you will have no ground to stand on, and your fear will cause you to lose footing. But thanks be to God He has the solution, the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. So stop worrying it is sinful God is in control, He is on the throne, and He is bringing us to an expected end.
The peace of God also affects our decision making process for instance Paul said in Colossians 3:15, “…let the peace of God rule in your hearts” this word rule is a greek word from which we get our english word umpire. In a baseball game an umpire ensures that all actions fall within the established guidelines for the game. Peace is like that for us if we are about to break one of the guidlines of God’s word we begin to lose our peace. So let peace be your umpire for even the toughest of calls.
The sandals were a sign of readiness to march and fight the battle. You see the shoes were the part of the army that took the most time to prepare. So for us as servants of God we need to be prepared to deliver the Gospel. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you…” In other words be prepared to share the Gospel with people you come into contact with. Every believer is called to share the gospel, and that requires preparation. Lets look at some steps we need to take to be prepared to share the gospel.
- Write out your testimony- One of the simplest and most powerful methods of sharing the Gospel is giving your testimony. A testimony is simply this is what I was, and this is what I am now because of accepting Jesus’ free gift of salvation. They can argue with theology, or deny the validity of Christ’s claims, but it’s real hard to argue with a living, breathing example of God’s power, and mercy. So write out your testimony, and start sharing it with everyone you strike up a conversation with. People may throw a gospel tract to the ground but everyone loves a good story.
- Study the gospel- Delve into the book of John, and Paul’s epistles especially Romans. Get to know what exactly happened in you when you got saved so you can explain it to others.
- Find a mentor- Find someone who regularly leads people to Christ, and ask them to take you soulwinning with them. You don’t have to say anything just watch how they do it, and pray while there doing it.
- Carry Gospel Literature- Always be prepared with a new testament, and/or tracts to give out to people.
- Pray for the lost- Nothing will increase your burden for sharing the gospel like praying for lost people. Pray for those you know to get saved, and pray for God to put you in the path of those who need them.
- Be filled with the Spirit- Like anything else in the Christian life you can’t do it without God’s help. Ask God to empower you to witness.
Gospel of Peace
Finally in closing the gospel is a gospel of peace. Satan would like nothing better than to cause your statements to sound like war instead of peace to a lost person. Do not I repeat do not attack someones religion i.e. Mohhamed was a pedophile, or catholic priests are pedophiles. How is that supposed to win somebody the focus isn’t Joseph Smith, or Buddha its Jesus Christ, Jesus said if I be lifted up I will draw all men unto myself. You see we are not in a battle of wills in soulwinning no effective sales pitch will convince them.
Focus on the word of God, and depend on the Holy Spirit of God. Ask him constantly to give you answer of peace to this person. Psalm 19:7 tell us, “the law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul.” The word of God will not return void so keep their focus on His word, and not your arguments. John 16:8 says that the Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement. So if we involve the Word, and the Spirit in our witnessing we will not fail see results. Let us like Paul in 2 Corinthians 5 be ambassadors of peace, and beg sinners at war with God to reconcile (make peace) with Him.
What are fiery darts anyway? You may have envisioned a Roman Soldier wrapping an arrow with a cloth, setting the cloth on fire and then shooting the arrow at the enemy. The arrow somehow stays lit sailing through the air at over 30 miles per hour, and then with pinpoint accuracy it happens to hit something flammable, explodes destroying half the enemy army.
However that idea is from Hollywood, Roman soldiers definitely used flaming missiles to destroy their enemies, but they were much more subtle appearing, and more deadly. The “fiery darts” we read about in this passage were made from a hollow reed. One end was plugged then the reed was filled with a flammable liquid, a mixture of alcohol and naphtha for instance. A loosely fitting stopper holding an ignited wick was slipped into the other end of the tube and lit. It was then shot like an arrow, not at a flammable target but at the soldier himself. Since the dart had it’s own fuel source and the wick was protected by the tube, the missile kept burning until it hit its target. When it hit a soldier, the wick popped out, the liquid spilled over the soldier’ s armor and ignited, cooking him in his own armor.
So now we know what a fiery dart is in the physical realm but what spiritual reality was Paul illustrating here. While he doesn’t say exactly what fiery darts are he does tell us they can be defeated by faith. This shows us that these darts are weapons that produce the opposite of faith, unbelief. But what produces unbelief, to best understand this we must understand what faith is, and how it is produced. Faith simply put is rock solid confidence in God. Confidence He exists, He is capable of providing, and protecting us, and that He is bringing about the ultimate good.
Faith is produced by studying, meditating on, and comprehending the Word of God. Romans 10:17 declares this when it says, “…faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” The word of God is truth Jesus said, “Thy Word is Truth.” So fiery darts are attacks on God’s truth, commonly called lies. These lies come in many subtle forms, they may come as a thought, a doubt, an unholy idea, an event, a casual comment by a friend. Satan comes to you and offers you a lie contrary to the Word of God that produces unbelief in God’s existence, character, ability, etc.
Let’s illustrate how fiery darts might look in action: a coworker gets a raise, and mentions it to you casually in passing. Satan will then come to you with a lie saying, God doesn’t provide for me, or God doesn’t want to bless you after all you have done wrong. At this point if you accept this lie about God what started as a small comment will consume your meditations like a fire till you are literally cooked in your armor in anger, and bitterness.
Another example of a fiery dart might be an attractive, or flattering coworker he/she might come across your path at a rough spot in your marriage. Inevitably Satan will come to you with a lie such as, “they would make me happier”, or “this might be exciting.” Inevitably if we accept Satan’s lies we will have to accept the consequences of his steal, kill, destroy agenda.
Shield of Faith- What is our defense? Well, this scripture tells us that it is the shield of faith. The Roman shield was as large as a door, and was made of the hardest woods available. The surface of the shield was charred with a torch and then covered with leather. A soldier could hide his entire body behind this shield. The fiery dart could hit the shield, and the liquid spread out, but the charred wood of the shield wouldn’t catch fire so the soldier was safe beneath his shield.
The analogy here is that every time Satan attacks you with lies you can counter with Faith. There are over 7,000 promises in the word of God that attest to God’s goodness, faithfulness, and provision. We must learn these verses, and have them at the ready to hold up as a shield when Satan attacks us. In the desert when Jesus was being tempted by Satan He answered every lie with a Bible verse. If you are struggling with lies about God right now concerning a particular topic, you need to search the Bible for God’s truth on the issue. That way whenever the fiery darts are sailing your way you can hold up the shield of faith.
Paul explains this entire process in 2 Cor. 10:5, Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. The Bible says that every thought, every image in our head, every reasoning has to conform to the truth of God. You see you’ll never quench all fiery darts till you start checking every thought. Every thought that comes into your head needs to pass this question, does this line up with the word of God? If they do not they must be rejected as lies from the enemy. So today let us start lifting God’s faith-producing truth against every fiery lie of the devil.
The helmet of salvation- The helmet was the part of the armor that protected the head, because while a soldier could sustain many injuries and still live, a head wound was usually a fatal blow. In the Spiritual realm I believe that the Helmet of Salvation is illustrative of the protection of the mind.
Satan consistently attacks the mind on two fronts first of all through attacking our assurance of Salvation, and through impure thoughts.
Assurance- If Satan can get you to doubt your salvation you may have many pieces of the armor, but you won’t get far in battle without being overtaken by fears, and doubts. Fear, and doubt are powerful enemies that are hard to overcome. So the best thing to do is settle the issue of your assurance before you venture out for one more day of battle. Let’s cover some ways to have assurance of salvation.
Realize God is the Prime Mover in Salvation- What this means simply put is that you didn’t have a thing to do with getting salvation so how can you lose it. The Bible says in Ephesians 1:4, “he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world” You are not an afterthought God has been planning on saving you, and securing you before the world even existed. Furthermore before you were saved you weren’t even looking for God Romans 3:11 says, “there is none that seeketh after God.” God is the one who seeks us out when we are running after destruction with all our hearts. John 6:44 Jesus said, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.” God draws sinful man through seeking after them, loving them, sending them messengers, and man never reciprocates till God initiates.
So you see God planned our salvation, sought us out to save us, drew us through love, and the Bible, and messengers. So how can you lose something you had nothing to do with? The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” You see salvation is a gift of unmerited favor (grace) from God you didn’t earn, you can’t lose it.
God doesn’t change His mind- Romans 11:29 says, “the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” That means basically God is not an Indian giver, it was His desire to give you salvation, and He’s not going to change his mind.
The Bible is written for us to be sure- The Bible says in 1 John 5:13 “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life.” The Bible was written so that you might know that you have eternal life. Not wonder, not doubt, not fear, not think, but absolutely know 100% sure that you are His.
Jesus promised to keep us secure- John 10:28-29 says, “…I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” You are absolutely secure in the hands of Jesus for all eternity if you have accepted His free gift of salvation.
The Holy Spirit lets us know were secure- Ephesians 1:13-14 says, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” Ephesus was a city of much commerce especially for lumber transactions. So whenever a load of lumber was purchased it was sealed with a signet (a unique identifier of the owner) so that everyone could see who it belonged to.
The Holy Spirit dwelling within us is a sign to ourselves and everybody else that we are God’s children. Romans 8:16 tell us, The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. The Holy Spirit is constantly speaking to our spirit, and assuring us we belong to God. Furthermore the Bible calls the Holy Spirit His earnest payment for our salvation. An earnest, or down payment is used to show the seriousness (earnestness) of a buyer to complete a transaction. God has put a massive down payment on us, and He fully intends to finalize the transaction. So when Satan attacks our salvation we can look to the word of God, the character of God, and the Spirit of God for assurance.
Renewing of the mind- Another function of the Helmet of Salvation is the renewing of your mind. God is not merely content to save us from the penalty of sin, He wants to save us from the power of sin. This process is called sanctification, and one of the most powerful aspects of this growing to be more like the Lord is changing our thinking. I don’t know about you after years of meth addiction, and living in the World I had some pretty “stinking thinking”! The problem with that is that “as a man thinketh so is he.” So if I continue to repeat the same destructive thought patterns I will continue to reap destructive actions. Fortunately the Lord has provided three methods for thinking right.
Renewing- Romans 12:1-2 says, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
The first step to right thinking is really two steps present yourself to God, as a living sacrifice, and two stop letting the thinking of this age cloud your mind. In presenting ourselves as a sacrifice, and literally dying to self we are then yield to the Holy Spirit who can clean, and change our minds.
The second verse could literally be translated, “stop letting yourself be molded to this age” you see Satan wants you to think like him, and he uses the media, books, etc. to shape your thinking. Stop it! You have a choice, and the only place you should be getting your thought from is the Word of God let it renew you mind.
Rejecting- Just because you get saved doesn’t mean all of your destructive thought patterns, and satanic lies you have believed disappear. Sanctification is a process, and God does the work, but we do have responsibilities. These responsibilities involve our will because everything you believe you have chosen (the will) to believe. In that same vein God has said that we are to cast down every thought pattern that does not conform to the Word of God. Paul says, to only think on things that are lovely, just, pure, virtuous, praise worthy, and of good report. In other words if its ugly, unjust, impure, evil, criticism, or bad news reject it outright it will only perpetuate your destructive thought patterns. As we willfully reject bad thoughts, and accept good thoughts God changes are thinking patterns
Receiving- One of the best ways to think correctly is to just receive, or yield to what is already true of you. 1 Corinthians 2:16 says, “…we have the mind of Christ” not we are getting the mind of Christ, not “Lord, please give us the mind of Christ” we have it right this very moment we just need to yield to what is already true. Galatians 2:20 tells us that Jesus Christ wants to live His life through you, and that includes His mind. The wisest, and smartest man to ever live wasn’t Solomon it was Jesus Christ, and His mind is available to you if you will just yield to what the Bible says by faith. I know that Will Fowler’s best thinking led me to become a 112 pound meth addict, living in a truck, running from the police, and a restraining order from my family. God’s thinking on the other hand has led me to Bible college, career, ministry, a beautiful family, etc.
The Sword of the Spirit- The Roman soldier had two primary weapons a javelin for long range warfare, and a sword for close hand to hand combat. The word Paul uses for sword is machaira, which means short sword or dagger. In greek machaira can be used in three primary ways which I think have important spiritual applications for the word of God.
Surgery- A machaira could be used to perform surgery during, or after battle. Frequently when we are under spiritual attack, or just have been under attack we get wounded, and we need spiritual surgery. Paul says the sword of the Spirit is the word of God, God’s word is the most powerful surgical instrument in the universe.
In Hebrews 4:12 the Bible once again likens the machaira to the word of God and says, “…piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, …and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” In this battle of life it is often very difficult to determine the difference between what God trying to lead us to do in our spirit, and what our mind, will, and emotions (soul) wants us to do. You see if it feels right (emotions), is logical (mind), and its what we want (will) it can be very hard to discern that we are about to make a mistake.
Enter the word of God as we read, study, and meditate on the word of God what we want, think, and feel comes into sharp contrast with what God wants, thinks, and feels. We are then able to make Spirit led decisions that will prevent the enemy from gaining an advantage.
This verse also says that the word of God is a discerner of the thoughts, and intents of the heart. The heart is a terrible weakness for us in battle, because not only can it be deceived by Satan, but is in fact a deceiver itself (Jeremiah 17:9). The word of God clearly helps us discern clearly if our thoughts, and motives are Biblical, and Spirit led. Before we make any major decisions we should consult the word of God to make sure we are not being deceived.
Worship- The machaira could also be used to prepare a sacrifice for worship. The Bible says in Romans 12:1-2 that we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice. The only problem with a living sacrifice is that it has an irritating tendency to get off the altar. Do you find that to be true of yourself? You put your all on the altar during an invitation, or other special time, and seems like hours or days later you have completely hopped off the altar. Animals strangely enough didn’t seem to like being placed on a flaming altar they had to be put to death first with a sword or dagger. Our flesh to cannot stand the fiery altar of surrender, and consecration it has to be put to death again, and again by the word of God.
Hand to Hand Combat- When we are in close hand to hand spiritual warfare there is only one thing to do, use the word of God. In Matthew chapter 4 the Lord Jesus Christ is led into the desert to be tempted of the devil, a time of intense hand to hand combat. What powerful weapon did Jesus pull out to battle this formidable ancient foe? Bazooka, RPG, .50 Caliber Desert Eagle? No, he pulled out the most powerful weapon in the universe the word of God. To every temptation He responded, “it is written” when we are under attack that is our only weapon. We must soak ourselves in the word of God so that it is available to us in the heat of battle. The word of God correctly applied will put Satan on the run every time.
The Word of God- There are two Greek words which are translated word in the New Testament that refer to scripture. The first, logos, refers to God’s written word, and to Jesus, who is the living Logos (John 1:1). There are many biblical examples of the word logos:
• “In the beginning was the Word [logos], and the Word [logos] was with God, and the Word [logos] was God” (John 1:1).
• “The seed is the word [logos] of God” (Luke 8:11).
• “Holding forth the word [logos] of life” (Philippians 2:16).
• “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word [logos] of truth” (II Timothy 2:15).
• “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word [logos] of God, which liveth and abideth forever” (I Peter 1:23).
However Paul in this passage does not use logos to describe the word of God he uses the greek word Rhema. Rhema refers to the spoken word, and literally means “an utterance.” In New Testament usage a rhema is a verse or portion of Scripture that the Holy Spirit brings to our attention with application to a current situation. Another way we might say this is that a rhema is God’s particular word for a particular situation.
So how does this apply to our daily battle? In counseling, or witnessing, or preaching instead of going to the classic verses on a particular subject every time, ask the Lord what word would be most profitable for this situation. For instance I like using the Romans Road in my witnessing, but this isn’t always the best plan. So I try to ask God for one powerful word tailored to that situation. The Roman sword was a straight sword and was most effective as a thrusting sword not a swinging sword. So instead of always swinging wildly with your favorite passages, determine God’s Rhema for the situation, and use that one verse or passage over, and over till the enemy lies defeated before you.
You see God knows what word a particular person, in a particular situation most needs. It is not our word that will be effective but The Spirit’s chosen word. So if your under personal attack, and a verse comes to mind use that verse over, and over till the enemy flees. The old time preachers understood how to use God’s Rhema effectively. Charles Finney for instance when given a Rhema before, or during a meeting would thrust that one word into peoples consciences over, and over till often people were laying on the floor groaning in conviction.
So let us begin to study the word, memorize the word, and meditate on the word. For God surely won’t bring to mind what we haven’t already put into our mind. Also let us start asking, and seeking God for his particular “sword” for today, and each warfare situation we face.