For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
The point of a sword is sharp and it’s meant to penetrate a target. It is not a club. It is not a gun you fire from a distance. It’s a weapon meant to get up close and strike a blow with precision.
This fine instrument, the sword of the Word of God, has limitless power. It is something that can both build and tear down, heal and wound, create and destroy. When I use it correctly under the direction of God’s Spirit, I will see all of the above and more. It also is precise as it penetrates the heart of my sin, or my unbelief, or my challenge for which I have no direction. Wherever it’s applied, the results of kingdom-sized.
It’s not that words are powerful in and of themselves. The WORD has power because it is a person. When I speak the Word, God is using my mouth to declare what He wants to speak into my world. For every problem, there is a kingdom narrative to counteract it. For every pain, there is a word to comfort. For every temptation, there is an encouragement to overcome. How will I know the right scripture to speak? In some instances, it may be pretty obvious. But in others, where situations are complicated, problem solving and strategizing that is led by the Spirit of God is required. Most of life is messy and I can’t possibly diagnose what’s wrong without the wisdom of the Spirit. I also can’t put my finger on the scriptures I need to speak out loud, and in prayer, without His leading.
Some years back while teaching, a woman came up to me afterward to thank me for encouraging our group to pray with more precision and strategy. She said that she was going to assemble some scriptures to pray about her marriage. This sounded noble enough but when I asked her to tell me more, she explained that her husband had left her for a much younger woman but that God had promised her she’d get her husband back. She was going to try to find scriptures that would support what she wanted – the breakup of her husband’s second marriage. We had a long talk after that and I explained that scripture was not meant to be self-serving. The Word is to be used to accomplish God’s will in this world. God’s will and her heart’s desires were not aligned. I encouraged her to pray that her husband would surrender to Christ and be a godly husband in his new marriage.
God said, My word that goes out from my mouth will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11 The exciting thing is that God desires to use me to bring His kingdom to earth. “Thy kingdom come,” Jesus taught me to pray. But this privilege is conferred, and I become aware that I am commissioned to do God’s work ~ His way ~ with humble submission to His authority. I am not Barney Fife with a sword in my hands.
You spent your earthly ministry quoting the Old Testament. You knew what to recall and how to apply it. I need Your Spirit to guide me in all things. Amen