In the Bible, we often find its authors referring to weapons and armor when they are writing about spiritual things. The greatest weapon of all is the sword. The sword is the Word of God:
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”
When we, as Christians, first learn that we have weapons and resources at our disposal, it is a wonderful thing. Our walk becomes more meaningful, the Bible comes alive and the Holy Spirit uses us in a much more powerful way.
When I first took up the sword, I found that I was eager to use it as often as I could and as quickly as I could in every situation I found myself in. It took me a while, though, before I realized something about the way the Word of God works. I was offending people.
Now, I know that God’s Word can be offensive. In fact, it SHOULD offend. But there is a difference between offending someone and injuring them. I was hurting people all around me.
A sword, it seems, needs to be handled properly or you will have collateral damage. If you run into battle just hacking away at anything and everything, you’re going to hurt everybody: your intended target and others on that side of the battle will receive some of it but you will also find yourself injuring those who are on your side. In fact, you’ll probably even injure yourself.
Someone who just flails away, waving a sword like a madman, is a danger to all. He’s probably not helping anybody.
I eventually learned the problem. I had been holding the sword wrong. The sword of God, you see, is meant for me. It is supposed to pierce me. I was aiming it at others but it was meant for my own heart and my own soul.
Once I understand that principle, the sword of the Spirit began to wield its real power. Your sword can’t pierce others until you have experienced its blows for yourself. That’s the true nature of God’s Word, isn’t it?