The Sword of the Spirit
The final piece of armor that Paul admonishes us to use in Ephesians 6 is the "sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God". The sword is the only offensive weapon in our arsenal, so what is Satan's counterfeit sword? A sword of the flesh - or to be more specific - cutting, biting words that do not proceed from the mouth of God. Scripture warns us many times that the tongue is a powerful weapon. It is described as a fire, a deadly arrow, a world of evil, untameable, and full of deadly poison. It is my belief that we can do the greatest good or the greatest damage to the body of Christ with the words that we say. Remember the counterfeit armor is also the default armor - it is all about human nature. The armor of God, on the other hand, is all about the divine nature. Speaking out of line, complaining, grumbling, blaming - it all comes easy to the natural, sinful man. Choosing to guard our mouth and our words is choosing the divine nature over human nature. Our words can encourage or discourage, diffuse trouble or stir it up, promote kindness or promote gossip, bring life or bring death. Proverbs 18:21 says, "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." Satan knows that our words have power - they can bring life to those who hear them or death. How did Jesus always answer the enemy during the temptation? With the word of God. He knew that the only offensive weapon he had to defeat his enemy was every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God. Jesus did not use his words to agree with Satan, to debate him, or to try to outwit him. He simply answered every temptation with Scripture. We are told in James that the tongue cannot be tamed, but don't lose heart, we can make progress in this area! We cannot tame our own tongue, we must let God and His Spirit do it in us and through us. When we surrender our mouth to God and His leading, we will probably find that we will speak less. Proverbs 10:19, Proverbs 17:28, and James 1:19 all speak to this issue. I encourage you to spend some time meditating on what these Scriptures teach us. It is time to become women of the WORD and not women of the world. The only sword we should brandish is the word of God - not the cutting words of our own mouth. It is time to build up and encourage others with our words and not mince them into tiny pieces. As Christians we must stop riding the fence on this issue. We cannot talk "spiritual" on Sunday and Wednesday and then talk like the world the rest of the week. In I Timothy Paul warns Timothy to turn away from godless chatter. In our world today, we hear a lot of godless chatter. Profanity, gossip, sarcasm, flattery are just a few examples. As Christians, we should be set apart and the words that come out of our mouths should sound and be different from the world. Our own biting words will come back to bite us - of that you can be sure. It's why your enemy wants to keep you speaking words of death, discouragement, and deception to yourself and those around you because He knows you will eat the fruit of your own words. Be careful what you say to others, about others, and around others. People are watching, your enemy is prowling, and never forget, God is listening. May your heart's cry be the cry of the Psalmist in Psalms 19:14, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."