Wielding a Sword

The other night while tucking my children into bed, my son was telling me about his day and some of the very challenging obstacles he’s facing as an adolescent boy. And during that conversation, he began to quote scripture he had memorized at school.

“‘Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable,whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.’ [Phil. 4:8],” he proudly recited.

From there this beautiful conversation evolved as I asked him how that could be used in his own life. He had gone to the effort of reading, understanding and memorizing God’s Word. He knew what it meant and what the instruction was. Which is quite commendable for a young boy. However, he had not realized that memorization is only half the equation.

I explained to him that the scriptures are like a double edged sword: a weapon for his use in battling temptation and fiery darts of evil thoughts. We talked about what it means to pick up that “sword” and fight. We talked about how important it is to take our thoughts captive and that it’s much like exercising a muscle: a muscle of self-control. We imagined together what it would look like to put on the full armor of God and go to battle. How much preparation and practice that must require. Just like a knight of King Arthur’s court, dressing for war against a dragon that would hiss lies in his ear. Most importantly, I let him know that he’s not alone.

As I laid in bed that night, reflecting on the significance of our conversation, I wondered how many other believers miss this valuable step in our faith walk? So often, we go to church and say, “What a great sermon! Pastor really hit it home today!” And then continue through our week “business as usual.” Or we take the time to read God’s Word and pray, but forget what we learned must be applied to our life. The Word of God is a tool for shaping and growing us spiritually, but also for fighting against an enemy who would love nothing more than to see us miss the divine purpose God has on each of our lives. Everyone on the planet, Christ follower or not, has a battle they are warring. Our enemy is trying the same lies, trickery, and temptations he has used since the Garden of Eden.

Today, memorize a scripture that you can use to fight against temptation or your personal struggle. If you need suggestions, feel free to reach out to me and I’d love to point you to God’s Word! He has provided all the answers we need for life and godliness!

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