The sword of the spirit is the word of God (Ephesians 6:12). You read it and meditate on it, but do you know how to wield it effectively in spiritual warfare?
During years of counseling with clients, I’ve found that many do not use it as effectively as they might. In this article, I’ll outline a very specific strategy for using it to confront demons in hand-to-hand combat.
Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 3:16 that the word of God is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. We are to study to meditate on it so we will know the ways of God and so He might speak to us as we ponder His written revelation.
Meditating on a scripture will fortify our spirit man so he can direct our fleshly, unrenewed soul man. In this way, thoughts can be captured, proper (biblical) thinking can dominate and the appropriate action plan can unfold as a result.
These are all biblically sound ways that the word of God can help us, but I want to suggest that there is another specific use for the sword of the Spirit that is often ignored.
All of the armor is important so we might take our stand against the devil’s schemes. The words “sword of the spirit” presents a visually compelling depiction for the Bible and it must be understood in the context of the passage.
The Greek word for “sword” is machaira and in the vernacular of Paul’s time during the Roman occupation, this element of a soldier’s armament was more like a dagger. It was used for close-in, defensive fighting (or to take a stand against) and we must apply this definition carefully.
Some contend that the sword is an offensive weapon to go out and attack the demonic realm, but I suggest that view is not consistent with the context of the passage.
How can we use the word of God in a defensive manner against the devil’s schemes? While scripture is useful for meditation, building up faith and training, I believe the Ephesians 6:14 verse describes a direct confrontation with the demonic realm?
The Sword of the Spirit in Action
In order to understand the full implication, we must be aware of a particular characteristic of demons: they cannot read our minds. Demons know much about us because they hear what we speak (and what is spoken over us) and they see our actions. They do not know our thoughts so we must speak out loud to interact with them.
This is exactly what Jesus did during three separate temptations from Satan himself, as we see in Matthew 4.
Once again, to use the word as a sword against the enemy, you must declare the Word to him! Let’s illustrate with an example of how this works.
There is turmoil at your workplace and rumors of cutbacks and layoffs are rampant. You are being overwhelmed with tormenting thoughts of fear about losing your job and that you’ll not have the money to pay the bills.
You entertain the likelihood that you won’t be able to find another job quickly, that you will exhaust your savings, end up on food stamps and will lose your house.
How might you respond so that God’s promises can take precedence in your mind? Find all the scriptures you can on God’s faithfulness, His provision of your needs and also the verses that counter fear. Meditate on them, renew your mind and take up the shield of faith.
When the enemy attacks you, whip out the sword (those scriptures you have learned) and speak to those tormenting spirits:
“God’s not given me a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind. The righteous never go begging and my God will meet all of my need out of His glorious riches. You spirit of fear, you get out of here and leave me alone, in Jesus name!”
Try it! See if this bold action fortifies your spirit man so that your soul mind (that wants to play the old tapes) yields to these truths!
We are approaching times where the worldly situation is deteriorating and God himself will be our only hope. Fight the good fight now in the midst of your present circumstances so you will be prepared when the deeper darkness comes (Isaiah 60:2,).
Be confident and bold. You have the victory and the gates of hell will not prevail as you advance in faith and not fear!
Learn more about Spiritual Warfare.
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