It Takes a Foil to Foil Temptation ~ blog
When you were growing up did you ever pick up a stick and pretend it was a sword? Whether it was fighting an imaginary foe or your best friend it was fun using make-believe as long as you didn’t poke someone’s eye out which our mothers would always remind us to not do.
I remember being in grade school and I found my dad’s sword which he received when he graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1943. When the house was empty, I would go get that sword, fasten a towel around my neck as a cape and suddenly I was Zorro. Defender of the weak bringing justice for the people against some evil tyrant. He was one of the first superheroes created in 1919. No super-powers just excellent swordsmanship.
So, the only offensive weapon God has given to us as part of the full armor of God is called the Sword of the Spirit and more specifically the Word of God. So, if it comes down to you using the Sword of the Spirit what kind of shape is your sword and swordsmanship in?
If we are lackadaisical in our learning the Bible and somewhat ignorant in what it teaches us, then your sword is more like a butter knife. Good luck with that in defeating the demonic forces seeking to wreak havoc in your life.
Most men view increasing their knowledge of the Bible as unimportant and not worth their time because the results are not immediately seen. Perhaps you are reading through the Bible in a year program or attend a men’s bible study every week. Has that been enough to help us use the Word of God to be defending yourself from demonic forces and helping you to stand strong? I think not or you would not be reading or listen to this message.
Look at this promise that we learn from 2 Peter 1:3-4;
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
He has given us already everything…everything we need for a godly life. And where does that come from? Our knowledge of Him. He has given us his very great and precious promises so that we can participate in the divine nature (which sounds incredibly great to me), and we can escape the corruption in our world caused by evil desires.
Did you get that??? We have everything we need to win this battle by knowing His Word and that knowledge helps us to escape the sinful and evil desires the world is trying to stuff into our brains on an everyday basis.
Now, I believe there are a number of ways we can gain in our knowledge of Him. Listening to sermons is good if the preacher delivers it in a way you learn it. Being part of a group of men studying the Bible is also good if the leader is gifted as a teacher helping you increase your knowledge of His very great and precious promises.
However, the greatest way for you to learn how to use this powerful sword is to put it in your hand or head and know what it means. To be able to use it when the moment of temptation comes your way you must store it in your mind and be able to remind yourself what it says and what is true. Look at Psalm 119:9 and 11
“How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
By living according to your word.
I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.”
When we are actually learning the Word of God so that we have it in our mind then we can use it when we are in a battle. And what it takes to do this is a matter of learning how to meditate on a passage to the point of memorization. I know that is scary for many men because you have convinced yourself that you cannot memorize. So, you have not tried for a long time, if ever.
Now there are ways to learn to memorize and you can find videos on how to do it online. However, here is what I do, and it is simple yet effective. I take a passage I want to memorize and recommend you write it out on a notecard by hand or print from your computer. Then place that card on your nightstand so it is there every night.
Then when I am in bed before turning off the light I lie there and read the verses over and over again…perhaps even 5 times trying to notice every part of the passage and how it all fits together. Then, I put the card on my chest and try to repeat what I just studied. I go as far as I can and when I get stuck, I look at the card again. I try and do this several times and then turn the light off. While lying there with my eyes closed as I drift off to sleep, I try to repeat the verse as far as I can and any time I get stuck I just go back to the beginning and start over.
Even if you do not memorize a passage word for word but you learn what it means then it can become an effective tool to use against the lies of the evil one and effective enough to help you in this daily battle.
The sword of the Spirit is effective against temptation and was exactly what Jesus used when He faced the devil after 40 days of fasting. If that is what the Lord resorted to…and it was…how much more do we need to grow in our knowledge of the Word and learning it well enough to uses in times of temptation.