Our culture is fixated on weapons. Sleek handguns or Rambo-esque semi-automatic rifles are in almost every TV show, video game and movie. Kids grow up knowing how to expertly wield a lightsaber just like the Jedi knights in Star Wars. And slang abounds with various references, like “I’m packing heat” (i.e. carrying a loaded gun) or “We need to bring out the big guns” (i.e. our secret weapon which is usually some smooth-talking dude in an insanely expensive suit or a show-no-mercy mafia guy).
Although we see and hear a lot about guns, unless we’re into martial arts or Samurai history we probably don’t know much about swords. Back in the day, before the advent of gun powder, swords were the weapon of choice for warriors. Depending on the type of fighting anticipated, they would have long or short blades with one or two edges. Some swords were showpieces of elaborate bronze or gold artistry. Other swords had one purpose only––to quickly take down the enemy.
Girls, today is the day we’re going to learn how to wield our prized sword to quickly take down the enemy in three easy steps.
What’s our sword? God’s Word.
Step 1: Pick Up Our Sword. Whether we’re facing an onslaught of temptation or undergoing a testing of our weaknesses, we need to be prepared. It isn’t enough to just pick up the sword. We have to know how to use it. Otherwise, we’re a sitting duck that doesn’t stand a chance. Of course, in order to learn how to use our sword, we do have to first pick it up. For anyone wanting a new hard copy Bible, I highly recommend the Life Application Bible which comes in various translations (I use NIV). For those who prefer reading online, I recommend www.BibleGateway.com. We need access to God’s Word and we need to be willing to go to it regularly. That’s what it means to pick up our sword. Now that our sword is in hand, it’s time to learn to cut through lies and wield Truth.
Step 2: Learn A Few Key Moves (And Practice Them). We don’t have to know every move of a Samurai warrior to be effective in wielding a sword. Our translation: we don’t have to memorize entire Books of the Bible or even know the name of every Book to be able to use the Word of God as our weapon of protection. We can start by just memorizing one or two verses based on our temptations or weaknesses. If our weakness is physical intimacy, we might choose 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 or Galatians 5:24-25. If our weakness is alcohol or excessive partying, we might choose Ephesians 5:18 or Romans 13:13-14. For our second verse, we may want to pick one of the promises of God or His confirmation of our new life. Examples would be Jeremiah 29:11, John 8:11, John 10:10, 2 Corinthians 5:17, or Galatians 2:20. One of my favorite verses that acts as my primary sword of choice for any temptation or weakness is Romans 12:1-2. What’s important is that we find one or two verses (our “go to” verses) that have meaning for us, and memorize them. This is our way of practicing the moves of the sword. We have to be ready to grab a verse from memory and use it in prayer to cut through lies and speak Truth into any situation.
Step 3: Wield Our Sword With Confidence. Being confident in wielding God’s Word gets easier as we spend more time practicing Step 2. But even if we’re new to swordsmanship of God’s Word, we can still use it with confidence. How do I know this? Because the power is in God’s Word, not us. Our job is to be willing and prepared to use it. If you don’t have your verses memorized, put them on 3×5 cards and take them with you. You can still bring the power of God’s Word into your everyday situations. Don’t shy away. Don’t forget your sword is there. Don’t use it as a last resort. Pick it up at the first sign of danger and slash! Unleash the power of God’s Word and let His strength move through you.
Temptation is waiting in the wings of our life. Lurking in the shadows. Preparing to come out on center stage when we least expect it. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)
And if we ever think we have temptation figured out or it’s shut away behind lock and key––watch out! “Pride goes before the fall.” (Proverbs 16:18 condensed)
The good news is that we can be ready at a moment’s notice to fight temptation if we’ve done our preparation. And it’s never too late to start. Learning to wield our sword, the Word of God, takes practice. But the first step is always to remember to pick up our sword––our “go to” verse. Then we can unleash the power of God’s Word.
Choose a verse. Memorize it. Speak its truth in times of temptation and weakness. This is how we wield the sword of Truth. This is what transforms us from the inside out.
“In view of God’s mercy, offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God––this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is––His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2
May I pray?
God, sometimes we feel ill-equipped to stand up under temptation or endure times of weakness. Thank you that You have given us a weapon that wields Your power. Help us to memorize one or two verses this week as we practice using Your sword, Your Word, in our everyday situations. May we gain confidence as we grab our “go to” verse and walk away victorious. Amen.
Q4U: What Scripture will you memorize as the first sword you grab when temptation approaches?