Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,… Ephesians 6:13-17
We have many weapons in our arsenal with which to fight spiritual battles – truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, and the word of God. All of these are effective against an Enemy which seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. We are not powerless against his attacks; we just have to make sure we’re using spiritual armor to fight spiritual battles.
Most of these weapons are defensive in nature – breastplate, shoes, shield, helmet. As the saying goes, “the best offense is a good defense.” But one weapon is distinctly offensive, designed for attack – the Word of God. This is the weapon used by Christ during his time of intense temptation after 40 days of fasting. It’s like The Crane move from The Karate Kid. To quote the great Mr. Miyagi, “If do right, no can defense.”
The trouble is, too many Christians (and non-Christians, of course) swing this Sword around like a kid with a brand new toy light saber. They’re swinging it round and round, up and down, complete with sound effects, taking verses completely out of context. “Judge not lest ye be judged.” Swoosh. “God is love.” Hi-yah. “Do not get drunk with wine.” Umph.
The trouble with using a Sword in such a reckless manner is that it so often results in friendly fire – injuring brothers and sisters in Christ. We get so busy swinging the Sword at each other – either on purpose or not – that we’re not fighting the actual Enemy. I imagine Satan just sits back and laughs as we destroy one another with the one weapon designed for attacking him.
So is the answer to just put down the Sword and walk away in fear of it? No. The answer is practice. Study. Spending time with the Sword Maker. Being trained in its proper use.
Listen to the rest of that scene from The Karate Kid:
"First learn stand, then learn fly."