Generation Cedar

Words of Warfare--The Simple Tool of the Christian

It has taken me thirty-two years (I’m 43 now. I wrote this a few years ago.) to really grasp the literal meaning of God’s Word being:

 “powerful as a two-edged sword, piercing to the inmost parts of men.”

The Bible is full of wisdom about the power of the Word. In 2 Corinthians Paul says “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.” And the picture of the armor of God in Ephesians shows us that the Bible is our “sword of the Spirit”, the only weapon mentioned in that analogy.

But I have not always understood how real that power is and therefore have not used it like I should in my daily life. Now that I am raising children, how wonderful to know that we have this kind of power at our disposal and that we can also equip our children to fight their spiritual battles and win!

So exactly how do we use this power of God’s Word that He has so graciously given?

We speak it. Simple as that and nothing else. When we speak God’s Word verbally, we literally wield the only weapon that will cause Satan to turn from us.

Jesus lived this example for us when He walked the earth. When Satan came to tempt Him, he immediately retorted “As it is written…” And responded the same way after Satan’s second attempt to trap him. Satan hates the spoken Word of God. Regardless of the temptation to sin, Satan is always the culprit. God tempts no one. So at the first indication of temptation, we need only to quote Scripture until Satan retreats.

This has been a marvelous tool to teach my children.

For a long time, I honestly did not know how to handle some of the disputes that would come up among my children during the day. The disputes may have been seemingly mild, but at the heart of bickering, or whining, or strife is always a more serious issue that needs to be addressed. It is usually not very hard to search out the source of the conflict; once it is found, I can simply give the child a Bible verse related to the vice, and instruct him to “flee” from Satan by fighting him with Scripture.

The Scripture empowers them to handle attitudes and feelings that they could not otherwise resist in their own flesh. Of course this brings a whole new meaning to the importance of memorizing Scripture. Of all the things we could teach our children, I believe Scripture memory is one of the most vital.

I am still learning this powerful exercise myself. We can also remember that the same spoken word is just as powerful when talking to others. His Word will NOT return void, but will accomplish the purpose He pleases. Stop fighting in the flesh and start wielding the Word!

 

 

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13 Responses

  1. WOW! I cantr believe no one commented yet……perhaps we are all busy, busy this weekend! 🙂

    First off, to lay a foudnation, I want to say that I have been able to draw much more lately out of your posts, Kelly. Not that that makes a difference as to why you write…just simply stating that for as often as I *dont* agree, I have gotten some good encouragment out of your posts recently.

    That was the ‘prelude’….hahaah…here it comes..lol….

    I do agree there is something very ‘supernatural’ about the power of Gods word. Just because it *is*. The truth spoken…evokes such…well, something BIG. Like I said, it just IS. Its alive!

    But, for me, all the scripture prescriptions I gave myself really didnt help me much. I have had a pretty consistant past of acting out in anger….and would try to ‘remedy’ it by driving verses into my head. I wont say it never worked…it just wasnt successful in eradicating my behavioral issues. Often, the verses, since they were handpicked concerning my weaknesses (flaws, shortcomings, etc)….made me feeling worse. Guilty. Bogged down. Tired.

    Rather, the verses *I* had to memorize, I realized later….were the ones about Gods grace, forgiveness, etc. I could easily believe and see my wrongdoings for what they were, but Gods grace is so confusing to me, that I easily forget that piece or His Nature.

    It was key for me to really just sit and breathe in and comprehend who God is. To meditate on His Being. To experience how He relates to me. To relate back to Him. Memorizing verses really had me associating the bible with guilt. Church brought guilt, the bible brought guilt, bible studies brought guilt. And none of these things ARE God. He encompasses so much more than even His Word, (IMO). For me, laying down the tools and institutions of God, and just getting closer TO God, was crucial. I dont know if you grasp what I am saying.

    I am in no way saying The Word is not alive. And Im not saying it isnt pertinent to helping us with our behavior. Perhaps being somewhat perfectionistic had me focusing too much on the aspect of me that was *behavior*, and not the aspect of me that was……well, ME.

    1. Hi there! Thank you thank you so much for posting this. I totally identify with what you say here ! AMEN! I’ve had the exact inclinations just like you say it here ! THANK YOU !

  2. This has REALLY spoken to me today. I’m fighting a spiritual battle and I never really thought about speaking the Word aloud. Thank you, Kelly. You have such wonderful insight.

  3. AM,

    I do *hear* you and I want to be sensitive to the experiences that have caused you to struggle with understanding God’s grace and forgiveness. That understanding must be the basis of it all.

    However, I must point out some things I feel are really important to understand.

    I agree that if you were struggling with understanding God’s grace, those verses may have needed to be recited more regularly.

    But you said, “Church brought guilt, the bible brought guilt, bible studies brought guilt.” If the Bible brings you guilt, there is reason for concern.

    “The Word of God is powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the inmost parts of man.”

    First of all, maybe the Bible is supposed to be painful at times, to show us our sin and keep us hating it. We have this idea that if we don’t have warm feelings about every aspect of Christianity, that something is wrong.

    Being forgiven is a wonderful place to be, and we are FREE from guilt and shame, but the Word is still there to remind us to pursue holiness and godliness, and to continue hating our sin, because we do still sin.

    I see Scripture saying something different.

    David said, “I will meditate in thy precepts all the day; thy law is my delight.”

    It is the “light unto our feet”, and without its constant use, we stumble.

    It is to be our DELIGHT!

    We are commanded to be immersed in the Word, and do you know why?

    You mentioned you had rather “experience who God is”. God’s Word IS who God is, and in order to know His true character, we have to know His divinely inspired Word. It has to become part of us.

    There is no shadiness about the importance of reading, learning, meditating and loving God’s Word for the believer. It is not left up to our own individual preferences. Yes, we can enjoy a personal relationship with Him, but our personal interpretations and experiences can never become larger than the rock of the truth of His Word.

    If the Bible says it, it is so. The minute we step away from immersing ourselves fully in those words and relying AT ALL on our experience, we stand in grave danger of deception.

    Experience will fail us; God’s Word remains constant.

  4. This reminds me of something we Catholic Christiand do during Mass (church service). When the priest announces the reading of the Gospel for the day, we respond, “Glory to You, O Lord” and we make three small crosses with our thumbs: first on our foreheads, then on our lips, finally on our hearts. The meaning of this simple ritual is: “I will learn it; I will speak it; I will believe it.” To me, this is the strength of the Gospel. When we learn it, we have the power (which you speak of here) to wield it through speech, and we will grow in both our knowledge and proclamation of God’s Holy Word.
    ~Bethany

  5. Hi Kelly. Thank you for taking the time to answer.

    What I was trying to relate was that I tend to be one of those people who ‘feels’ guilty even when not guilty. I recall at times of communion, me abstaining for over a year….not that that could not possibly EVER be necessary for someone, but in my case I think I just always felt BAD/ASHAMED. I could not move easily through the process. And even when I did, I would soon find myself feeling shamed agaain. My shame was an *internal* individual problem, but became aggravated by the church I was attending, people I was around, etc.

    My saying the bible caused me guilt, I am pretty sure that was directly linked to the way they bible was taught/preached, etc. Not the actually TRUTH of the bible. I should have said what I believe now was a mishandling of The Word….had possibly done a number on me.

    I DO agree-the bible and its words are there to BOTH point out wrongdoings, and to let us remember how God views us….I try to see the bible as a whole story now too, instead of always picking it apart, becasue someone like me could easily become unbalanced in only focusing one one aspect of how the bible is meant to help us. I used to constantly focus on overcoming…and pleasing God. It was usually about my behavior, and what things I had to change. and FAST. I am not looking to have warm experiences…but I am looking to have a deep inner contentedness, regardless of cards Im dealt. Living under a blanket of always feeling that i had to do, do do more to be accepted by God was such a sick place for me to be. I do think with a proper foundation of understanding Gods care for us, we should be able to look our issues/shortcomings/sin right in the eye. I see children today being scolded/punished/yelled at by their parents, and then withheld any love/touch/attentiveness from. Thus, these children only end up feeling terrible about who they are, instead of encouraged that they were seen in a light of worthiness, and valuableness, and therefore completely able to overcome their issues. But withholding love never helps anyone, IMO.

    Experience…sure, experience alone does not mirror truth. But I do think God allows people to go through experiences for a reason. Because we *are* human, we must live life, hence experiences happen. I do think it is possible, and healthy to learn from our experiences. Doesnt God use experiences, and life….to show us why we need Him, and His Word, absolutely?

    I do agree that Gods word shows who He is, but I think He is more than just His Word. Yes, everything in Gods word is who He is…..but there are good and Godly things that arent mentioned in His word, too. Thus, I happen to believe *HE* is more encompassing than His Word.

    I do not mean to sound like studying, reading, or memorizing the bible is a fruitless thing. I do read the bible, study it, and have verses hung in my home….and yes, recalling them to memory at times of weakness has given me strength. But using them as a constant tool to get me into shape, only discouraged me. Left me feeling that *all i was*, was *my behavior*. I believe people are so much more than just their behavior. I certainly dont view my children as just their *behavior*….I view them as so much more than that. I do not exist as a parent only to correct behavior…I am here for so much more type of encouragment/guiding than that!

    Possibly that gives you greater insight as to why I view this topic the way I do.

  6. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love, and of sound mind.’ 2 Timothy 1:7

    If the study or preaching and teaching of the Word gives cause for continuous shame (as in, never finding the power of love and sound mind) than it is being mishandled. I make of habit of saying ‘get behind me Satan’ when these feelings begin to creep into my life. As long as I read, study and live as scripture dictates, I can concentrate on the mercy I have received and live for Him.

    We all get bogged down by ‘bad’ emotions at times. However, the Word is the way out.

  7. I love love love your website! I’m just starting a blog with a similar focus. You are so insightful! Thank you for this 🙂 I tell my stepdaughter this when she has problems with other kids in her class.

  8. Kelly, have you ever used “Wise Words for Moms,” by Ginger Hubbard? We have this “tool” in our home that I can refer to. It’s so easy as busy mothers to simply holler at our kids, “Stop that! Just be nice to each other.” Instead, I have been convicted and reminded to use God’s word when addressing issues that arise with the kids. Our kids can’t “just be nice,” especially if they do not have the power of the Holy Spirit in them, but our responsibility as parents is to at least equip them with the right weapons.

    I think it’s really our (my) lack of trust that God’s word is as powerful as He says it is. We (I) hesitate to use it or somehow think it’s a magical formula. Just as any “behaviour” becomes ingrained after repeated episodes, so God’s word becomes hidden in our children’s heart when we use it to correct, affirm, exhort, and encourage them. Thank you for the reminder that God’s Word is sufficient, no self-help books needed or fancy slogans!

  9. Wow. For some reason I have never thought of handing the word to our nine children and teaching them how to face their sin and their temptations and their selfishness, etc. with the sword. I am so doing this.

  10. Yes. This. Pointing to Christ Jesus and the power we have in Him.

    Empowering and encouraging is the Living Word. An oasis in the desert and a mighty tool in battle.

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