We are involved in a spiritual battle. And maybe you already know that you need to put on the whole armor of God and have already worked it down to an art form. But maybe you’re struggling to arm yourself with spiritual warfare tools. Maybe you’re not sure how to put on the armor of God. If that’s you, keep reading.
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Can You Really Choose Your Spiritual Weapon?
While reading Praying Women by Sheila Walsh, she expressed an idea I found interesting. When we’re putting on the armor of God we get to customize our weapons. Let me give you a little bit of context for this idea.
Ms. Walsh had been expounding on the topic of putting on the whole armor of God as it relates to prayer. Rather than lift that whole section from her book, I did my own research which I will share with you below.
The Word of the Spirit
Most Christians are familiar with the concept of the armor of God that is expressed in Ephesians 6:10-18. We know that if we are to withstand the attacks of the enemy, we have to use the tools God gave us. But let’s zero in on verse 17:
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; (NKJV)
When we read that verse in our English Bibles we see “sword of the Spirit” and many of us envision a long sword that is common in the swordfights we see on our televisions. But that’s not the context of the word used in the Greek.
The original word is máchaira, (pronounced makh’-ahee-rah) which could also mean a knife. It was commonly used in the Bible to represent a large knife typically used for killing animals or cutting up flesh. Alternately, it represented a short sword that was distinctive from a large one.
This is where history comes into play. The Romans typically used a sword called the Hispaniensis. This was basically a short sword designed to be wielded with one hand. Now I know you’re probably wondering, why is Ami telling us all this useless information? I have a point, I promise.
The Roman army distinguished itself at a time when soldiers usually used long swords and javelins to fight their enemies. Their method of fighting required some amount of distance from their enemies in order for their weapons to be effective. The Romans, on the other hand, excelled at hand-to-hand combat in close quarters. Their weapons were designed to be effective the closer they were to their enemies.
The fact that Paul chose this particular word to represent the Word of God suggests that it is something that should be readily available to us and that we’re willing to use in close combat.
The second thing of note was that the word translated as “word” was the Greek rhēma, (pronounced hray’-mah) meaning any utterance or saying. This is separate from logos which is the Greek used when talking about the Word of God.
Now that you have the background of the text, let’s get back to the concept that was shared in the book Praying Women.
You and I can find specific promises of God in Scripture to combat the enemy’s attacks on our lives. We get to customize our own weapons.Praying Women, Sheila Walsh
We can choose promises or encouragement from the Scriptures that meet our own needs. Christianity is not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. We get to choose our spiritual warfare tools from the Word of God. We can select and customize our own weapons much as we would a sword if we were soldiers going into a physical war.
How to Determine What Weapon Is Needed
So how do we figure out what kind of weapons we need? Well, the spiritual warfare tools that should be in your armory would depend on what you’re struggling with. What is the thing that seems most likely to defeat you? What is your besetting sin? What lies do the enemy approach you with time and again?
The process of determining what you’re struggling with is the most difficult part of the process. It will require honesty and transparency with yourself. You’ll have to allow yourself to be vulnerable and to really examine the places where you hurt.
Here are some suggestions to figure out what spiritual warfare tools you need in your toolkit.
- Schedule some time to go through this exercise. You want enough time so you don’t feel rushed.
- Select a space where you can have privacy as well as comfort. Soul-searching can be uncomfortable enough without adding spatial issues.
- Begin with prayer. As with all things you want to include the Holy Spirit.
- Examine your heart. Over the past week, what did you struggle with most? What lies did the enemy approach you with? Where did you get most discouraged?
- Over the course of your life, what have you struggled with? Do you find any recurring things?
- Read Galatians 5:22-23. Which element of the fruit of the Spirit do you believe is most lacking from your life?
- Read Romans 1:17. What has the enemy tried to condemn you for? Is there something in your past you wish you hadn’t or had done? Did you snap at your children or someone else recently?
- Is there someone you need to forgive? What did they do that you found offensive? Why do you find it difficult to forgive them?
- Think about the last book, article or passage that you read. Was there anything that pricked at your conscience as something you’re not doing or need to improve on?
- Read Psalm 139. Is there any part of this passage that you struggle to believe?
- Which Bible character do you most identify with? Why? What traits do you see in them that are mimicked in your life?
- Which Bible character(s) would you want to be like? Why? What traits do they have that you admire?
- Consider your roles. Make a list of the different roles you have, for example, mother, employee, wife, etc. Now, make a list of the skills you believe are necessary to be successful in the role. For example, employee: perseverance, commitment, innovation, patience, humility, etc. Write down all the ways you’re struggling in this role. What lies are associated with your role?
Spiritual Warfare Tools: Choosing Your Weapons
Now that you have your lists, it’s time to select your armory. While you’re going through this exercise, I want you to remember that the battle you’re engaged in is hand-to-hand combat. That means for your sword to be effective, it needs to be sharp.
- Put an asterisk beside the skills you feel you do well and a circle beside the ones you believe you could use improvement. Do this for each list.
- Find Bible verses for each one. I would suggest that you look for the verses based on categories. Let’s say, in your role as a wife you want to improve the way you love your husband. Look for verses in the Bible about love. A quick way to do this is by using the internet and typing the phrase “what does the Bible say about…” and then your keyword. I personally use the Open Bible result because I’ve found that it has the largest collection of verses but you’re free to choose any of the results that are returned by your search engine. Alternately you could use a Concordance and search by topic using your keyword.
- Arrange your verses by topic. You may have found that some things were common across multiple lists. Maybe you found that anger is something that came up on multiple lists. You get angry at your boss and coworkers. You are angry at your spouse and children. Create a collection of verses that deal with anger.
Choose the best verses to include in your armory. The ones you feel resonate most with you, the ones that create a little tingle in your spirit.Image courtesy of Pexels.com
Customize your armor
It’s one thing to have a collection of Bible verses, but if you never use them as they were intended you will still be defenseless. It’s therefore important for you to make an attempt to memorize these verses.
- Create printables and hang them in picture frames in various rooms.
- Write a verse on your bathroom or bedroom mirror.
- Put verses on index cards and take them with you. Review these cards when you have a free moment, for example, when waiting in lines.
- Listen to Scripture songs. Maybe the verse you want to learn is already a song. If you’re musical, write your own music to set the verse to.
- Make a screensaver for your phone or PC for the verse you’re memorizing.
Personalize your verses
Here comes the fun part. After committing your verses to memory, personalize them to suit your needs. Let’s say one of the things you struggle with is anxiety and you decided to memorize Isaiah 26:3,
You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.(NKJV)
One way you could personalize that verse is to say,
Perfect peace belongs to me if I keep my mind on Christ, because I trust him.
When we make Scripture applicable to our lives we gain access to a powerful weapon. One that can break down strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4).
Pray Scripture. An additional step we can take is to pray God’s Word back to him. You may already be familiar with this practice and have proven how powerful it is to pray the Scriptures. If you’ve never done it before I encourage you to start with the psalms. God’s Word is living and active and has the power to change your life, but only if you take the time to use it in the way God intended.
Other Spiritual Warfare Tools
This battle is one that has been waging since the beginning of time and is one you’ll be involved in for the rest of your life. As such, it may be helpful for you to have a number of spiritual warfare tools that you can reach for. For much of this post, we have focused on the Word of God and how we can select those Bible verses that are most relatable to the daily battles we face.
But sometimes, we want to know that we’re not alone. We want to know that others have faced challenges in their lives and have overcome them. We want to hear from other women, other people who have experienced what we are experiencing.
But mostly, sometimes we just want to hear from someone who lives in our time and understand the challenges we face with distractions all around and the fear of missing out is a consuming force. Here are some additional resources for you.
- The Incredible Power of Prayer by Roger Morneau
- Praying Women: How to Pray When You Don’t Know What to Say by Sheila Walsh
- A Beginners Guide to Fast and Pray: Taking Spiritual Warfare to the Next Level by Tiffany Montgomery
Get ready to fight
You’re involved in a spiritual battle. But you already know that. It’s the reason you just spent five minutes of your life reading this article. I just want to warn you that the enemy you’re fighting is not going to accept defeat easily. Don’t think that because you have a bunch of Bible verses to use as your spiritual warfare tools he’s going to leave you alone. Quite the contrary.
When you align yourself with Christ you have declared yourself to be an enemy of Satan and his whole job is to destroy God’s people. I’m saying this not to make you scared but to encourage you to be watchful and vigilant because your enemy is going around like a roaring lion and he wants to devour you.
At the same time, please remember that when the devil attacks, you have Jesus and the host of heaven on your side. You don’t have to fight the enemy on your own. In fact, you shouldn’t. Take the time to suit up in the whole armor of God and get ready to fight.
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