Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. – Ephesians 6:10
You read and study the Bible in good times, so that you have the verses stored up and ready “in you” when the bad (hard, trying) times show up. You also memorize verses so that you have them available to you to use when you may not have a Bible handy, usually during a time of trial or tribulation.
The Word is described as the “Sword of the Spirit”, and it is part of the “Armor of God” that you need to put on as a Christian, to fend of the attacks and “fiery darts” of the enemy (lead by Satan).
This book cannot go into the full “Armor of God”, but please do read and study up on that subject as soon as you can. Never forget that we are in the middle of a war, a spiritual war. You are on the front line now as a Christian. The enemy will come and attack you as often as they can; the attacks come especially timed when you might be feeling weak, anxious, tired or doubtful about something. But also, the attacks come right after (or before) you are feeling very close to God, and perhaps about to do a good work for the Lord! The enemy hates that.
Jesus said that “those who take up [live] the sword shall perish [die] by the sword”. While this is true in a literal sense (which is how it was used by Jesus at that occasion), it is also be seen as symbolic, since the Word is described as the “Sword of the Spirit”, and “sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit”. For it is by and in the word of God that one finds life; and it is also this very same Word which will condemn the sinners on judgment day to eternal death. The Word cuts both ways.
The Word of God also is your only offensive weapon! You must have verses memorized to utilize this weapon! Do not underestimate the enemy. You will be attacked (spiritually), and you will need to use the Word to repel those attacks.
One time I was under a ferocious spiritual attack (yes, those are real, and yes, you will experience them also), that just wouldn’t stop. The “fiery darts” of the enemy (Satan) kept attacking me. It feels like these are your own thoughts and in nearly all cases, they are blasphemous, cause doubt and fear to start in your mind, etc. This is the enemy trying to turn you back or turn you away from some good work you are about to do. This particular attach was so ferocious it lasted for about an hour. I just couldn’t make the “blasphemous thoughts” stop. It’s then that Matthew 4:4 popped into my head. I confess I hadn’t really meant to memorize it prior to this point, but apparently, I had read it often enough that it was somewhere in my head. When I used that verse against the attack, the attack stopped immediately. I’ve found that particular verse to be one of the most powerful verses in the entire bible, especially for me, whenever there is a spiritual attack. Another one is simply: “Satan, get behind me”. You will notice that both verses were used even by Jesus in repelling the Satanic attacks on Him; this attests to their staggering power!
There is much more that could be written on this spiritual war, but this suffices for now. I’m pointing this episode that I had out so that you realize that you must have the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God in your head, ready to use, memorized, in order for it to be effective.
It’s a sad fact today that most Christians are badly out classed, out gunned, out manned, out studied and overmatched by Satan who knows and can (mis) quote Scripture way more than most Christians can today; remember that the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, is your only offensive weapon you have with witch to confront the spiritual forces of evil with! It is written that the Word is “sharper than any two-edged sword;”, but that’s only true if you actually know Scripture well enough to be able to wield it, and to use it accurately. Brother or sister in Christ, is your sword a sharp two-edged sword worthy of battle, or a dull kitchen butter knife?
You will also need the Word handy in you to help, correct, admonish, and also encourage your other brothers and sisters in Christ. This is another aspect of the two-edged sword.
A final aspect of the two-edged sword, is that whatever Scripture you wield at others (in admonishing them), can cut right back at you; in fact, I’ve found this helpful to locate my own weak spots and sinful behavior/heart. Whenever I admonish a brother or sister in Christ using a verse, I always first try to see how I myself am also convicted by that very same verse; generally, you will find that the verse cuts back at you also.
Below are some of the verses that I keep in mind, as these verses helped me most when I was starting out. You will soon have your own favorite set of verses to replace these, but these are a good starting point.
“It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” – Matthew 4:4
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows [fiery darts] of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. – Ephesians 6:10-17
But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” – Matthew 16:23
This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. – Joshua 1:8
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. – Colossians 3:16
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.” – Matthew 10:16