Practicing the Presence of God is not just about living in His Presence. It is also about knowing who we are and how to be who we are in Him, in all circumstances. Learning our Authority in Christ, and using our Authority in Christ. This post is about the Sword of the Spirit- the Word of God.
There is a strength comes from understanding the power in the Word of God. This is not an intellectual understanding, but an experiential understanding. One of the great advantages the Bible affords us, is that it is meant to be a practical manual, not an intellectual discussion paper. Unfortunately, we have often been taught in western cultures that thinking is more valuable than doing, and we miss the clues.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)
I want to let you know about a powerful tool I learned after God rescued me from all my garbage. When we make new habits, we know it takes work. Learning new skills takes effort, it takes time to create muscle memory and neural pathways. Spiritually, it is the same principle. We need to show ourselves and the enemy that we know that Jesus is in charge, and because He is in charge- and Christ is in us, we have His authority as His ambassadors; as the sons of God (women too- it’s about inheritance, not gender).
Have you ever thought about Jesus’ temptation in the desert? Why Jesus speaks the way He does? I think is because the enemy is a legalist, and in order to shut down the twisted use of scripture against Him, Jesus declares “It Is Written:”.
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. Matthew 4:1-11 (NIV)
Around the age of 30 things the first of a few significant changes happened in my life. God in His Mercy, brought new friends into my life who knew things about the Kingdom of God that helped me to make significant changes in my experience of the world.
Learning about the practical power of the Sword of the Spirit was a particular skill I had to learn. I had issues with fear and torment (amongst others) and even after we had dealt with it, I still had to learn my authority against it.
The approach that seems to work best is this:
Sit down with Jesus and ask which verses in the Bible are the particular ‘Sword of the Spirit’ verses that apply to your situation. For example: I was dealing with fear and torment, and His solution was to not fight these, but rather to declare the total opposite, and proclaim Peace. Perfect love drives out fear, you might find that Jesus has you focus on His love for you.
Once you’ve located all the right verses for each situation – there may be one issue you are facing or more than one. Write them out on something that you can carry with you all the time. Either that, or on multiple somethings to go in multiple places. It’s important that they are always with you in the early stages.
Then, immediately that the issue comes up, whip out the cards, or notebook and declare the verse beginning with the words “It is written...” If it was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for us. Eventually you’ll get to the point where you won’t need the written down prompt. Then, at some stage, you’ll notice that your declarations have had the effect that you’ve been working on. Your Authority in Christ has been growing, your feet are firmer on solid ground.
It may take a shorter time; it may take a longer time, but remember:
From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize]. Matthew 11:12 (AMP)
Nothing that we do in the Name of Jesus, by His direction, is wasted. If we are listening closely to Him and walking as one with Him, then all our efforts against the kingdom of darkness are claiming ground. Your piece is precious.
The sword of the Spirit is a mighty weapon. The reason it is so powerful funnily enough, is because it is the direct Word of God. Ultimately we are not doing anything but learning to use the substance of the sound that has come straight out of the mouth of God Himself. The same voice that made all things in the very beginning from absolutely nothing.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be…and there was” Genesis 1:1-3 (NIV)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5 (NIV)
…and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17b (NIV)
It does not require any effort on our part to fight, or strive, or toil; rather this is more like a matching game where the pieces are laid out with the pictures showing. We have the Bible- the Word of God, in one hand, and the issue in the other and we need to ask Jesus “Ok, which piece of your Word is the weapon against this issue…?”
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5 (NIV)
These are the things He loves to do! To help us succeed, to make sure we are equipped, to give us- All. The. Tools! He is so eager that we have everything we need, and to show us how to use them.
I wish I could share with you all the verses that I love, but I know that you will find the most amazing things and will love them even better than any I could share. So I will leave you with a couple of gems that help make my life complete.
God Bless You Very Much
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17 (NIV)
Peace I give to you my peace I leave with you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid. John 14:27 (NIV)
God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? I have received a command to bless; he has blessed, and I cannot change it. Numbers 23:19-20 (NIV)
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)