How to Wield the Sword of the Spirit

The period between Christmas and New Year’s can be a difficult time for many of us single people. When you’re invited to a holiday celebration and don’t have a plus one to invite, it’s hard to not be reminded of just how single you are during this time of year. The cliche of kissing under the mistletoe or when the clock strikes midnight is often hard to bear for those of us who don’t have any prospects.

The commercialism of our modern Christmas celebrations too often distracts us from the real intention of the holiday. We get caught up in decorating, buying presents, preparing food, and attending various social gatherings of the Christmas season that we forget Jesus was even involved. 

That can make this time dangerous for everyone, but obviously I’ll be exploring why this is a particularly difficult time for single people. When we’re distracted from our usual routine and caught up in the excitement of the season, we often put reading our bible and regular prayer time on the back burner. This combination leaves us at a greater risk for spiritual attacks from the enemy. 

If you’re like me, spiritual attacks can often hit you where your deepest insecurities lie and one of those areas for me is reminding me that I’m single and making me feel alone (even when I’m not actually alone). The enemy knows exactly how to target each of us based on our own fears and insecurities. When we don’t maintain the armor that God has provided for us, we leave a vulnerable spot open to spiritual attack. As the adopted and beloved children of God, He has gifted us His armor to use in the inevitable spiritual battles that befall us.

Paul writes in his letter to the church at Ephesus to describe the various tools that God has given us and why we need them for our own protection.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s evil schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. ”- Ephesians 6:10-12

He reminds us that we don’t battle with flesh and blood, but our battle ground is on a spiritual realm, therefore we need spiritual weapons to be successful.

Paul goes on to describe the different tools that we have at our disposal as God’s children and warriors: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the sandals of peace, the shield of faith, and the helmet of salvation. Prior to today’s post, all of the armor has been mostly defensive in nature. They were mostly all pieces that could be used to defend against an attack from an enemy’s sword or arrows. The final piece or armor that God has bestowed upon us can be used offensively or defensively. Today you will discover the final piece of armor that we have in our arsenal and that is the sword of the spirit. 

Ephesians 6:17 “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

The sword of the spirit is specifically described by Paul to be the word of God. This is why it’s so important for us to regularly study and immerse ourselves in God’s word, even during the busy end-of-year season. 

Without a sword, a warrior would have little to fight with. He might have various things with which to defend against the attacks of others, but he would not have anything to deliver a deadly blow to an enemy. The sword of the spirit is how we deliver the fatal blow against satan’s advances.

If you’ve ever been in a desperate place, you may have tried something like repeating a favorite or meaningful bible verse over and over again in an attempt to reset your mind on God. 

I’ve turned to a favorite bible verse or prayer from my youth (the Lord’s Prayer) on the occasions where I’ve felt hopeless and just didn’t want to keep going. Falling to your knees in prayer can be one of the most humbling acts you can participate in, but it’s definitely a great way to fend off Satan’s lies that can easily take over when you least expect them. Having the word of God planted in your mind and ready to use when needed has been an invaluable resource in fighting off the advances of the enemy.

In this crazy time, it’s easy to forget to pray, have your usual quiet time, or make time to read your bible, but making that effort is even more important than you could imagine at this time of year. Without quiet time in God’s word, you leave your defenses action-less against the enemy’s swords of fear and insecurity. So as we enter this time between Christmas and New Year’s day, remember to keep your guard up and sharpen your sword by immersing yourself in God’s word each day. Remember to wield all of the powers that God has gifted to you as His beloved child.

Photo by Ian Stauffer on Unsplash

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