Sword Practice

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
(2 Timothy 2:15)

With so much technology available at our fingertips, we have never had so many ways in which we can read the Bible – nor so many distractions that would pull us away from it. Smartphones and tablets all have free Bible apps and there is a plethora of Bible versions and study resources on the web. But our fast-flowing sound-bite information age means that we need to apply serious focus in order to spend time with God in His word, absorbing His truth, becoming His truth, so that our lives are transformed.

I can scarcely emphasise enough the importance of knowing the Bible thoroughly, but we must also learn to wield it correctly as the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). It is our best defence against all the schemes of the enemy.

Charles Spurgeon, commenting on Ephesians six writes, “To be a Christian is to be a warrior. The good soldier of Jesus Christ must not expect to find ease in this world: it is a battlefield. Neither must he reckon upon the friendship of the world; for that would be enmity against God. His occupation is war ... You are to grasp your weapon and go forth to fight … The one note that rings out from the text is this: take the sword of the spirit! Take the word of God! No longer is it talk and debate! No longer is it parley and compromise! The word of thunder is – ‘Take the sword.’ The Captain's voice is clear as a trumpet.”

Without the continued presence of God’s truth in our lives, subtle deceptions can begin to creep in. The truth is, without the stabilising influence of the word we soon tend towards worldly, liberal minded thinking – like a ship without a rudder. Vague theology paves the way for absolute truths to be sacrificed on the altar of human reasoning and human pleasing.

Every believer needs to be a lover of God’s word, a lover of the truth. As delicious as they are to me, we only get to exist on hamburgers and french-fries – we live by His word. But remember: the word of God is a person, Jesus. We must know Him, love Him, sleep with Him, and devour His scripture in the presence of His Holy Spirit. Call regularly on the spirit of wisdom and revelation, counsel and knowledge. For the word is the gateway to our freedom (John 8:31), faith (Romans 10:17), truth and sanctification (John 17:17) and is useful for correction and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).

Absolute truth is unpopular in today’s world which so cherishes political correctness and relativism, yet we must uphold the truth. Otherwise we will fall into a man-fearing, diluted, comfort-zone type of Christianity that has the appearance of godliness without its power (2 Timothy 3:5).

Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

We, the Church, need to be armed with the Sword. Like a good soldier, make sure that you make time each day to put in some Sword practice.

This article is an extract from 

God Hunger: Meditations from a life of longing


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