The sword of the Spirit: The first and the last weapon of choice

Nine countries in the world posses an approximately 14900 nuclear warheads. Majority of these weapons belong to the United States of America and the Russian Federation. According to the Arms Control Association, 10000 of these warheads are in military service. The rest are awaiting dismantlement. According to military experts, The US and Russia posses combined arsenals that are capable of producing 6600 megatons. This is 10% of the total solar energy received by the earth every minute!

A report was published in the journal Earth Future in 2014 that painted a grim picture of what can happen if a nuclear war was to erupt. A regional war of 100 nuclear warheads could possibly produce 5 billion kilograms of black soot and trigger a butterfly effect. This soot would rise up into the stratosphere and obstruct sunlight. The aftermath would be a sudden drop in global temperatures lasting for almost a quarter century, temporary destruction of the ozone layer, destruction of land and sea ecosystems, among others.

It is believed that the US nuclear weapons can destroy our planet at least five times over.

Apart from the above, some of these countries are in ownership of modern intercontinental ballistic missiles that support Multiple Independently targetable Re-entry Vehicles. This allows for a single missile to carry several warheads that can strike different targets. In addition, immense sea power wielded by these countries is unnerving, not to mention the air superiority of the US, Russia and Israel.

Apparently, we are sitting on a ticking time bomb. Any madman can step on it and set catastrophic events in place.

At the core of these military muscles are two important driving forces; offence and defence. Countries of the world keep militaries and arsenals for the purpose of offence and defence. This is not a new phenomenon. We find civilizations across timelines of history practising this same trade; the trade of offence and defence. There were times when stones and sticks were weapons of choice. There were times when bows and swords were the most sophisticated weapons of the day. Time moved, and here we are, on a planet stocked with weapons of mass destruction.

The weapons of our warfare

Just like our physical planet, the spiritual realm has all manner of weapons. These weapons are directed at us on daily basis. We are constantly in the enemy’s crosshairs. God would not have allowed Paul to write Ephesians 6:10-17 if He knew the coast is clear. If the neighbourhood is bad, then we need to be in a position where we can defend and offend.

Ephesians 6:10-17 dresses us up ready for combat. The form of dressing prescribed to brethren takes into consideration the aspect of offence and defence. The instructions given in these scriptures are better than those you can acquire at West Point.

No more than ever we need to arm ourselves with sword and wield it appropriately.

Specifically, verse 17; commands us to take on the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. This sword is for attack and for protection. The sword is the Word of God and it is the weapon of choice just as was the case of the sword in the times of Apostle Paul.

A Roman soldier would spend a lot of time learning how to use the sword effectively. This would give him confidence even in the time of the battle. We are bound to incessantly fire blanks until the time we understand the importance of devoting time for Bible study. Christians who know the Word of God and how to apply it fittingly are a terror to the Kingdom of darkness. Nobody can fool you with vain philosophy and wrong doctrines if you have taken on the sword of the Spirit accordingly. Cults are mushrooming because we have neglected our sword. Heresy still thrives because we have become lazy in God’s study rooms. The busyness of life has robbed us treasured times with the Word of God. The enemy has gained the space to steal, kill and destroy as there is no one who knows how to wield the sword skillfully – with the guidance of the Holy Spirit – and contend with him.

In the times of the Bible, God would bring the sword upon the land as a way of judging the enemies of His chosen. This was the case with Babylon (Ezek. 33:2). We do not use the Word to judge our enemies, but when we carry the sword in obedience, the Word of God automatically judges them. That is how it works.

The sword of a Roman soldier was sharp from both sides. It could cut from either end. That is how the Word of God is. It can destroy the works of darkness from either side.

The sword was not long, cumbersome and hard to use. It was rather short, light, making it easy to use. If we find the Word of God cumbersome and unfriendly, then it means we have added something to it. It has been corrupted. It has foreign elements embedded in it. It has legalistic demands added to it. It is a counterfeit.

Caution

Swords were very powerful weapons. However, they could be subjected to misuse. A correctly wielded sword, used as the soldier has been taught, is a lethal tool. Nonetheless, a soldier who swings a sword wildly or recklessly is likely to bring harm to self or even others. The same applies to the Bible, the ‘sword of the Spirit’. Unacceptable, sloppy, or rebellious use of the Bible causes damage, hurt and spiritual injury.

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