It is easy to forget – especially in the affluent Western civilization in which we live – that we are actually in the middle of a war zone. Most people – including Christians – are unaware of that fact. For the most part, their ignorance stems from the fact that the war is mostly invisible. It is not a war for land or territory but for authority and worship. I am talking, of course, about the cosmic battle between God and Satan. It has lasted for thousands of years and even though Jesus has struck the blow that seals the victory, Satan continues to lash out even in his final death throes.
But why do we care? Why does it matter to us? It matters because we are part of the war – whether we like it or not.
If a person is not a Christian, then the prince of the power of the air is at work in them and they are enemies of God. If a person is a Christian, then they have been transferred from the kingdom of Satan to the kingdom of Christ. As a result, Satan is seeking to devour them. Brother or sister, do you understand this: Satan is seeking to devour you today. He is not merciful and compassionate, and he will not care if you are “having a bad day”. He wants to destroy you. And Paul says he will use all manner of “schemes” to do it (Eph. 6:11).
What should we do then? The Bible gives lots of answers, but I want to focus on one in particular. In light of Satan’s attacks, we are called to “wrestle” against him. And we do this by putting on the “armor of God” and standing firm against his attacks. Most of the armor is “defensive” – it keeps us safe from the attacks that come against us. But there is one piece of the armor that is “offensive” – useful for fighting back. That offensive weapon is the Word of God. As Paul says it: “take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:18).
Brothers and sisters, here is my simple exhortation: pick up your sword today! Do not leave it sitting on the table or tucked away in a drawer. The weapon will do you no good if you do not pick it up. It will still be sharp. It will still be ready. It will still have all the potential God has given it. But you have responsibility to pick it up. So do it: read the Word today, meditate on it, consider it, and walk according to it.
If you do not pick up the sword, you cannot fight back. It is your only weapon. It is living and active – sharp and ready. It is able to revive you, give you wisdom, bring joy to your heart, provide and provide light for your eyes (Ps. 19:7-8). It is able to teach you, rebuke you, correct you, and train you so that you are competent for every good work (2 Tim. 3:15-16). It is able to make you abundantly fruitful (Ps. 1). But if you refuse to pick it up, how will it do those things?
Take up the sword of the Spirit today and fight. What other weapon do you have?