Your sword (Word of God – Bible) is your only offensive weapon, but many don’t know how, or even when to use it. If you don’t know your tactics, you’re dead.
First of all, what does this sword look like?
Would it surprise you to learn that the sword that Paul was referring to was not a broad sword?
When we get into the Greek, we see the direct translation of the word “machaira” (sword – G3162) as this:
- A large knife, used for killing animals and cutting up flesh
- A small sword, as distinguished from a large sword
- curved sword, for a cutting stroke
- A straight sword, for thrusting
We don’t see any instances of a large, heavy weapon that would be hard to wield, tiring out the warrior, but instead, we see a smaller sword that would be very sharp and would be used for a more closed quarter fighting. You couldn’t face an army with this type of weapon, but individually, you could fight against and kill an enemy. This type of sword could be drawn quickly and used more efficiently to dispatch a would-be attacker.
Ok, I get the metaphor, now how do I apply it?
If we take this physical representation and apply it to a more spiritual nature – the place where the REAL battles are fought (Ephesians 6:12) – we see that we are to use the Word of God (Scripture – Ephesians 6:17) in every instance where the enemy comes up against us.
Wherever there is evil going on either at home, at church, in the workplace, and out in life, we wield the sword when the enemy BEGINS to come up against us and kill it/them quickly. You can either take out your Bible, having certain passages marked, and read them aloud in a situation, but it’s better to have them memorized, as Jesus did when He came up against Satan (Matthew 4:1-11).
“BEGINS”…I get the feeling that this is an important part
In war, you don’t draw your weapon when the enemy is right in your face, you draw your weapon when you see them coming.
Many Christians, including myself at one time, wait to draw our swords until the very last second. I would wait until I was in the midst of battle, then use the Word of God, but by then, the enemy had already struck me with several blows and was entrenched in my area. This should not be the case. When you see the enemy coming, you draw your sword and prepare for battle. Applying this metaphor to a more conventional sense, when you see a co-worker sitting down and begin to talk about porn (extreme example, but I’ve lived it), you draw your sword and fight. You don’t wait 5 minutes down the road, then use the Word of God – by then, the enemy has already gained a massive foothold in your territory that you have hopefully claimed for God. For me, in the porn situation, I waited, and the outcome was defeat and me cowering in a locker room avoiding a fight. Demons/Satan have no real power against a Christian, but if you let them have an inch of the abundant life that Jesus gave us (John 10:10, Mark 10:29-30), they’ll walk all over you UNTIL YOU FIGHT BACK (James 4:7)!
When you see the enemy being to show it’s ugly, repulsive face, draw your sword and cut off its head!
They will think that you have lost your mind!
When you start battling in this fashion, the people will think that you have lost your mind, and you should come to expect that as they thought the same thing about Jesus. If you read the book of John, starting at chapter 9 and going on to chapter 10 leading up to this passage, the more that Jesus battled the Pharisees with the Word of God, the more the onlookers thought him mad, hence this passage:
You must not be afraid of this, as non-believers, and even some believers who have gone the way of the world, will not understand what you were doing and will try to shut you up in this fashion. To the world, the Kingdom of God and how we fight is considered insane, but true Christians know better.