“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
Warriors need weapons.
Rarely do you find a warrior who relies solely on a single type of weapon. That so many different kinds of armaments exist reflects the fact that combat is influenced by a wide range of dynamics. A warrior must reflect upon many questions: Will I be engaging in hand-to-hand combat or delivering and defending against ranged attacks? What kind of armor is my opponent equipped with, and how can I best penetrate their defenses? Will a certain weapon help me to defend myself against the attacks of the enemy? What will I carry as a back-up weapon or side-arm?
Every weapon has a unique purpose. While some, like swords, are meant to be versatile and universal in their function, the arsenal of a professional warrior will be supplemented by all kinds of tools of the trade. Spears and lances are specially designed to be used from the back of mount, harnessing the strength of the charging beast to deliver a devastatingly powerful blow. Arrows and darts can be used to neutralize threats from a safe distance or to reach foes that attack from hard-to-reach locations. Daggers, knives, and short swords are quick, quiet, and easy to access in an emergency. Hammers and clubs provide bludgeoning force when a piercing or slashing attack might fail to penetrate an opponent’s defenses.
Spiritual warfare is no different. Christians are constantly engaged in many kinds of struggles, from defending their faith before hostile and unbelieving people, to resisting the temptations of the Devil as he tries to undermine their witness, to quelling fears and doubts about God’s love for us and the sufficiency of His grace.
We’ve already discussed the “Sword of the Spirit” – the Word of God – at length; and it is truly a mighty weapon. Indeed, it is the primary weapon of every soldier of Christ as we combat the lies of Satan in a dark and empty world, and it never fails or proves ineffective. Yet God our Commander, in His love for us, has also given us many other weapons that can be used for our spiritual defense or as supplemental armaments. Equipped with these tools, we can batter the enemy, pummeling the Dragon’s defenses and wearing down the effectiveness of his attacks on ourselves and those around us – then unsheathing the Sword of the Spirit to finish him off.
Make no mistake; Scripture is the only weapon that can be truly effective against the Satanic forces we are facing, and we must never under any circumstances go into combat without the Sword of the Spirit strapped securely to our sides. But God has given us other weapons for a reason, and when used properly in conjunction with the Word of the God, they can help us to launch a devastating attack on the forces of darkness.
For the next two weeks we will focus on nine weapons in particular, examining how God has intended for us to them in certain situations for the benefit of those around us and in glory to Him. As we learn to wield each of these side-arms with greater skill and dexterity, we find that God continues to train and equip us for even greater service using the magnificent Sword He has given us.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, guide me in Your Word that I may be equipped in every way for the works you have prepared for me; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, my Lord. Amen.