Sword-fighting or fencing has always been a fascinating art to me. It is quite an impressive skill – anytime I see it performed, say on TV, I usually wish that was a skill I possessed. One of the most basic fundamentals (which probably goes without saying) is knowing which end of the sword is which! That would obviously be the first lesson to learn if one was trying to learn sword-fighting.
Now even though that basic piece of information may seem like something not even worth mentioning, it probably would be if we began to consider sword-fighting from a different perspective: spiritually. The Word of God is many times compared to a sword. Hebrews 4:12 says “…the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword…” In Ephesians 6:17, Paul refers to “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” In fact, out of all the comparisons to armor that Paul makes there in Ephesians 6, only the Word of God is compared to anything offensive – not just defensive. This comparison should communicate a couple of points to us. One being that the Word of God should be handled carefully – just as handling a sword should be done carefully. Also, another point might be that using the Word of God will require some practice and skill. Here is where I am afraid many of us fall down. We mentioned earlier that a swordsman has to know which end of a sword is which. But unfortunately, many do not know which end is which when it comes to God’s Word – the Bible!
Paul wrote to Timothy in II Timothy 2:15 about “…rightly dividing the word of truth.” This is something all of us should strive to do as well. Then the Hebrew writer in 5:14 refers to “…those who by reason of use…” are able to distinguish right and wrong. Only by diligent study and use of God’s Word will we be able to master it. The alternative to not mastering it is revealed in John 12:48: Jesus said “…the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” If you could transfer your spiritual “sword-fighting” skills into the physical realm, would people see a master swordsman, or someone who knows nothing about a sword – nor even which end is which? If you are not well acquainted with God’s precious Word, one of your goals should be to become more familiar with it. The Psalmist wrote in 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Is it this way to you? How much time did you spend this past week in God’s word, especially as compared to other activities which consumed your time? How well can you wield your “sword”?