When a man joins the military, whatever branch, the first thing that happens is he leaves for basic training. Here he has his mind renewed to the cause he has signed up for. He is taught the art of warfare because he has joined a battle that was raging before his time.
The training is a shock to his way of life, as he learns that his life is on the line. He has to trust in those who are training him. He has to trust them to teach him how to yield weapons of warfare.
When we join our spirits with God’s in acceptance of Christ we have undertaken a cause. One that is greater than ourselves. We are thrust into a spiritual war that began well before our lifetime. Our minds immediately begin basic training for a new way of life. We receive our weapons of warfare from Jesus Christ. They are not physical and they do not fight physical enemies. We are not familiar with them, and we must heavily rely on the training of Christ Jesus in order to use them properly. Learning to use the sword of the God’s Word is no different. We must rely on the example of Jesus.
When Jesus was young He was in the temple courts learning the word, and teaching it. He had trained in the Word of God. When He came of age, he was baptized, and came forth for the battle he was destined for before time began. Then immediately he was driven into the wilderness by the Spirit. Here his weapons of warfare would be tested.
In the wilderness Jesus fasted from all other resources, and underwent temptation by the devil for forty days and for forty nights. There he yielded his weapon against the enemy. What was that weapon?
4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[b]”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[c]”
7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[d]”
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[e]”
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. Matthew 4 NIV
When alone against the enemy in the wilderness the weapon Jesus used was the Word of God. He was in the midst of warfare that was close combat. He was under subjection to an enemy who also knew the Word of God. The enemy knew the weapon he yielded.
What can we learn from all of that?
1. Our weapon of choice in warfare of the mind is the Word of God.
2. It is used in fighting the lust of the flesh, bread in this passage, the lust of the eye, kingdoms here, and the pride of life, use of who we are for evil.
3. We have to know our weapon because the enemy will use it against us if we don’t.
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Training won the battle
In the wilderness the weapon of the Word was life to Jesus. It divided the flesh from the spirit. It gave him the heart attitude He needed to come out victorious in the battle.
That battle was heavy. Only the Word had the strength to penetrate the lies of the devil who used the word to manipulate with temptation. The training in the Word of God Jesus had before the battle is what made Him victorious.
What are you fighting now? Where are you being tempted, tried, and attacked? Do you know the Words of life that will penetrate through what is seen into the spiritual realm where the battle is actually taking place?
We can’t rely on a weapon given to someone else either. When we are alone their weapon can’t defend us. So get out your weapon. Is it clean? Rid it of any pollution. Does it need maintenance? Rust can dull the blade. Consistent use prevents rust. Remember battle is raging and you will have to rely on its strength and not your own.
Mind if I pray?
Thank you for the Word you have given us. It is Spirit and it is life. It is our strength in battle. All the other armor you have given us is for protection from the enemy. The sword of your Word is what we use to fight with. Help us know your word so that when in the midst of battle we know the truth that penetrates the devil’s lies. Thank you for not only providing the weapons, but the example to us in how to use them. Thank you that in your strength we have already won the battle. That you sent your son in the flesh who was the Word so we could be victorious. In our battle today lead us to the Word that speaks truth and cuts through to penetrate between this physical world and the spiritual one that is a greater reality. We also thank you for the refreshing that comes after the battle when we have used the weapon of the Word.
In Jesus name,