How to Be Victorious in Spiritual Warfare, Part 14 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #66)

spiritual-warfare

A series of homilies on Ephesians 5 & 6

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians 5 & 6 (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

Ephesians 6:10-17:

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For 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.

13 Wherefore 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.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

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

—-

A.W. Tozer said, “In the Western world the enemy has forsworn violence. He comes against us no more with the sword; he now comes smiling, bearing gifts. He raises his eyes to heaven and swears that he too believes in the faith of our fathers, but his real purpose is to destroy that faith, or at least to modify it to such an extent that it is no longer the supernatural thing it once was. He comes in the name of philosophy or psychology or anthropology, and with sweet reasonableness urges us to rethink our historic position, to be less rigid, more tolerant, more broadly understanding.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “Testimonies are wonderful. But, so often our lives don’t fit our testimonies.”

—-

So far, we have examined five pieces of the armor God has given to His people to put on and use in their defense in spiritual warfare.

1. The belt of truth.
2. The breastplate of righteousness.
3. The shoes of the Gospel of peace.
4. The shield of faith.
5. The helmet of salvation.

I hope that you are putting on these pieces of armor each day.

Today, we are going to begin looking at the sixth piece of armor — the sword of the spirit. The Bible leaves no mystery as to what this piece of armor is. It says take “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

This command is also preceded by the action verb “take.” Our spiritual warfare is not like what you see in Star Wars where a lightsaber that is lost in battle automatically floats back into the hands of its owner. We must physically take up the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God.

In the Bible Exposition Commentary, Warren Wiersbe said, “This sword is the offensive weapon God provides us. The Roman soldier wore on his girdle a short sword which was used for close-up fighting. Hebrews 4:12 compares the Word of God to a sword, because it is sharp and is able to pierce the inner man just as a material sword pierces the body. You and I were ‘cut to the heart’ when the Word convicted us of our sins. Peter tried to use a sword to defend Jesus in the Garden; but he learned at Pentecost that the ‘sword of the Spirit’ does a much better job. Moses also tried to conquer with a physical sword, only to discover that God’s Word alone was more than enough to defeat Egypt.”

If we are going to attack the enemy, nothing else will be effective against him except the sword of the Spirit. Our words will not work. The words of a popular preacher or a motivational speaker will not work. The words you find in some book on spirituality — no matter how good of a book it is — will not work. The only words that are effective against Satan and the kingdom of darkness are the words of God found in the Bible.

How does the Word of God translate into our use of it as a sword? Think of a soldier using a physical sword. He is not just given a sword and sent into battle. He is first trained to use his sword. Starting out, he may be trained with a wooden stick, then he is given a piece of wood in the shape of a sword, then he may begin using a blunt metal sword, and finally he is given a real sword. He is instructed on how to thrust, parry, and deflect the blows of his enemy. He goes through many hours of training until his training becomes reflexes. And, then, he is ready for battle.

It is the same way with the Christian who would use the Bible as his weapon against the enemy. We must read the Bible, study the Bible, and hide the Bible in our hearts so that when Satan attacks we can raise our sword to fend him off. This requires hours of diligent, consistent study. You will not be able to fight the devil or the temptations of the world effectively if you neglect reading Scripture, studying Scripture, and asking God for insight into Scripture. Take up your Sword.

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