“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” I’m guessing most of you will recognize this line immediately. If not, you’ve been deprived! It is a classic line in the movie The Princess Bride, one of the most quoted movies ever made. My brother and I watched it so many times when we were kids that we can quote almost the entire movie. In the movie, Inigo Montoya is someone who has practiced sword fighting almost his entire life for the sole purpose of exacting revenge on the six fingered man who killed his father. I can’t help but think of this movie as I prepare to write to you about the sword of the Spirit.
Ephesians 6:17 tells us to “…take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Today, we pick up our first offensive weapon. It’s the sword of the Spirit, which the Bible clearly tells us is the word of God. Why would the word of God (aka: the Bible) be called the sword of the Spirit? The sword that Paul is most likely thinking about here is the short stabbing sword the Romans used during battle. It’s a small sword, but it can inflict great wounds because it’s easy to wield and accurate. (Information found in video below.) When we are familiar with God’s Word, we’ll know how to use it accurately to fight off the attacks of the evil one.
If you’re having a foggy brain day, this may all seem a little much to take in, so let me give you an example. Let’s say you woke up this morning and it feels like you were run over in your sleep by a Mac truck. You’re in pain, you’re exhausted from another night of restless sleep, you haven’t bathed in four days, and it’s been three months since you were last able to attend church. It’s moments like this when we become vulnerable to attacks from the evil one (aka: Satan). At first, the attack seems small, insignificant, not worth the energy to fight him off. He starts to feed you half-truths that build to full-fledged lies. The more discouraged you get, the stronger the attack becomes. Before you know it, you’re under a full-fledged assault.
What can you do? You try using your defensive weapons. You put on your belt of truth and try to remember what God says about you. You put on your breastplate of righteousness and remember that you are in right standing before God because Jesus died for your sins. That reminds you that you are saved and you put on your helmet of salvation. Finally, you find the strength to pick up the shield of faith. You trust in God’s goodness and you have faith He will come to your rescue. Before you know it, you’re wielding your shield like a highly skilled Roman soldier. You’re blocking arrows and darts and even mortars with your shield. However, the attack is escalating. You need something more. That’s when you remember the sword of the Spirit. You ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of Scripture. You remember what we’ve talked about in Ephesians 1-3 and recount who you are in Christ Jesus. You get out your Bible and start reading. With each word you read you hear a gasp and a stumble. You realize you’ve been wielding the sword with the skill of Inigo Montoya. And before you know it, you’ve won the battle with the help of God’s Word. You cry out to God (like we’ll talk about more next week) in prayer and ask Him to fight with you and for you. Your bad day turns into a fantastic day because you were an overcomer.
You were victorious because you are a child of God who is trained well for battle. Life on this earth is hard; it’s not the way it was meant to be. Life as a chronically ill person is even more difficult. We have to fight for our rights, we fight for medication, we fight for dignity, we fight for equality, and we fight for understanding and compassion. We are in the fight of our lives, both physically and spiritually.
However, if we rely on God and use the weapons He has given us, WE WILL BE overcomers!
“The same Man, the Great I Am. The One who overcame death. Is living inside of you. So just hold tight, fix your eyes. On the one who holds your life. There's nothing He can't do. He's telling you. You're an overcomer. Stay in the fight ‘til the final round. You're not going under. ‘Cause God is holding you right now. You might be down for a moment. Feeling like it's hopeless. That's when He reminds you. That you're an overcomer. You're an overcomer.” –Overcomer by Mandisa
© August 20, 2013