Is our armor tested?
Then Saul clothed David with his garments and put a bronze helmet on his head, and he clothed him with armor. David girded his sword over his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. So David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” And David took them off. He took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine.
1 Sam 17:38-40
We were discussing the armor of God in our Sunday School class this week, particularly the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God and what specifically that means. I was pretty out of it on Sunday and sat with eyes glazed (better than closed, I guess) and didn’t participate but the Lord was bringing thought after thought to my frazzled brain to cogitate on later. Well, this is later.
I love 1 Samuel! It’s one of my all time favorite books of the bible. And I love David. I love his passion, his heart for God and his confidence in God and what he can do by God’s power.
He was only a kid but he knew what he was capable of doing. He tended and protected his father’s flocks from ravenous animals. He knew full well what he could do (by the strength of God and for His glory) because he had spent years testing the tools in his arsenal. The king’s immediate thought upon allowing David to go out against the mighty giant Goliath was to put his own armor on him. (Remember that Saul was a full head taller than most men in Israel and David was a small teenager.) But David was wise enough to know that if he couldn’t walk in that armor, he couldn’t fight in it.
He hadn’t tested this armor.
And when he started to, he saw that it was faulty for him. He chose to rely on his tested weapons and the power of God.
The sword of the Spirit.
In the passage in Ephesians on the armor of God, we are called to take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. This is part of our armor, our protection and defense in the spiritual battle being waged all around us.
Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.
The wonderful thing about this sword of the Spirit is that is HAS been tested and proved – over and over again. In our lives and in the lives of those saints who have gone before us. Even Jesus proved it in the wilderness with the enemy when He sent him packing!
But, do we know how to wield this weapon of warfare?
Since our children were 2 years old, we had them memorizing scripture. We knew their little hearts and minds were ripe for the Lord to mold and change and we wanted to give fuel to the Holy Spirit to direct and speak to them. Again and again over the years, we have seen the power of God being worked out in their lives (and in ours) through the Word of God being memorized.
I think there is much more to wielding the sword of the Spirit than this.
Lessons from Aragorn.
Well, it’s really more of a lesson from Viggo Mortensen. I read that when he was preparing for his role of Aragorn the actor had his sword belted at his side continually, often going off hiking carrying it so it would be natural to have it by his side. He worked with it for hours on end so that it was an extension of himself rather than something he picked up.
I love that story (hopefully the article I read was accurate). It shows us that picking up a piece of armor (sword) here and there when it might be needed doesn’t mean that we can wield it properly. Having a sword is great. Knowing how to use it is great. But is it such an extension of who we are that it becomes a normal response to draw and use it in the midst of an attack?
Memorizing scripture is a great thing to do. But it is only a small part of wielding the sword of the Spirit. We need to be so surrendered to the Lord that the Word of God isn’t in our memory; it needs to be transforming who we are, how we think and change the defaults in our lives.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Rom. 12:2
- Are living our lives daily to let the Word of God transform our lives by renewing our minds?
- Are we not just remembering scripture but letting it change us to the image of Jesus?
- Are we becoming people who are so filled with God’s Word that we think scripturally?
- Are we proving/testing this sword of the Spirit in our own lives daily?
- Are we allowing this sword of the Spirit to be an extension of who we are rather than an accessory to our outfit?
Let’s look at our own lives this week. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to examine us to see if we are using every opportunity to test the armor we wear and if we are allowing it to transform us from the inside out.
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