“What are you talking about?”
“Are you talking to me?”
“Yes, I’m talking to you, and I said freeze!”
“What is this all about?”
“Doesn’t matter. Just stay still, be quiet, and put your weapon down.”
“I can’t do that.”
“You listen to me! Put that weapon down and surrender yourself now!”
“You have no authority here. Plus, it won’t matter if I put it down or not because what it is my hand is also in my heart.”
“Look, you don’t want to do this. Just put it down and come with me. I’ve got big plans for you. It’ll be fun!”
“Go away, for it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only Him.’”
I know from experience how easy it is to lay down my God-given weapon—“the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word” (Ephesians 6:17). I imagine you do too. I’ve even gone into battle without this weapon handy, just asking for a defeat. I’m not sure which is worse—to lay this weapon down in the midst of a fight or not even having it out to begin with, sheathed and stored rather than wielded and ready—but both actions will typically net the same result: surrender to temptation and the sting of sin.
The sword of the Spirit, God’s Word, can be a clumsy weapon for those not trained by it, but this is why we must let the Word dwell in us richly. In hand or in heart, this weapon is “living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12). It can defend against attacks; it can drive back the enemy—but only if we use it!
“My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness” (James 1:19-20). I want to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, but more often I’m quick to anger, quick to speak, and slow to hear. The fury can rise in a split second (68 milliseconds, to be exact), generally when I’m not armed against the attack. But when I come to my senses, this Scripture comes to mind. I want to be like that because I also recall that my God is “a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in faithful love and truth” (Exodus 34:6).
I want to follow in the pattern of Job, who said, “I have made a covenant with my eyes. How then could I look at a young woman?” (Job 31:1). This is not a contract to be renewed every two years but a daily covenant to strive for purity and faithfulness in the power of the Holy Spirit, and the Word is the weapon to fight off the foe.
Jesus is certainly the ultimate example of wielding the Word in war. In Matthew 4, Jesus met every temptation, every attack of Satan, with a quote from the Old Testament, and that without a scroll in hand. Like Jesus, we need to treasure the Word in our hearts that we may not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11).
How quickly we can forget the power of the Word of God. We might lay it aside; we might simply ignore it; we can even be guilty of mishandling it. But if we desire to consider ourselves dead to sin (Romans 6:11), if we make it our aim to be pleasing to God (2 Corinthians 5:9), then we must let the Word dwell in us richly.
What Scripture passages do you use to fight the battle against sin?