For the word of God is alive 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. t- Hebrews 4:12 NIV
Ironically, it is the most stolen book in the world (Exodus 20:15).
Some have literally died so others would have the privilege to read it for themselves. Even in the age of computers there are still men and women who long to own a copy of the Bible. Some are threatened by the Bible. Petty dictators everywhere lay awake at night and worry about what might happen if those who long to get their hands on a Bible actually do.
The Bible is more than a much-loved book. The Bible’s power goes beyond its ability to terrify the bejebbers out of insignificant tyrants with over-inflated egos.
The Bible is a weapon. It is the only weapon named in Ephesians 6-10-18 that is both offensive and defensive. Knowing it is protective but its words can be used defensively to do battle with the powers of darkness (Daniel 8:27 and 10:1-20, Ephesians 2:2, Ephesians 6:10-12, Colossians 2:13-15, 1st Peter 5:8). These powers act as puppet-masters to the unsaved. They harass, discourage and attempt to derail those who are saved (Romans 10:9-10). Christians are commanded to:
Take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17).
Jesus did this.
In Matthew 4:1-11 Jesus took hold of the sword of the Spirit (the Bible) when Satan tempted Him in the wilderness. Three separate times Jesus used quotations from the Old Testament to overcome any temptation He felt and neutralize Satan’s power. Jesus’ use of Scripture (the sword) was so threatening to Satan, he took off. He literally turned tail and ran (Matthew 4:11). The words of Scripture are powerful enough defeat the devil because the Bible embodies all the wisdom, understanding and knowledge of the maker of the universe.
Jesus gave His followers authority over Satan.
Therefore, we can use the sword of the Spirit (the Bible) the same way Jesus did (Matthew 10:1, Mark 6:7). Spiritual warfare is not hand-to-hand combat with demons. In its simplest (and most common) form spiritual warfare is applying scripture to satanic temptations and situations (Matthew 4:1-11). Spiritual warfare speaking truth to both people and the enemy. Discernment is a form of spiritual warfare, it tells us when to rebuke the enemy and move forward and when to change course. Spiritual warfare is examining every cultural trend and teaching we hear and running them through the filter of Scripture (Acts 17:11). Spiritual warfare is knowing the Bible well enough speak it out loud and to pray in a way that causes the power of darkness to flee.
There are some things we have to understand and do to be successful in this endeavor. Those things include:
Having a relationship with the author-
Spiritual power and authority is only promised to those who have a personal relationship with Jesus and worship Him as Lord. It is a pointless (and even dangerous) to attempt to do battle with Satan minus a relationship with Jesus (Acts 16:31, John 3:3, Acts 19:13-16).
Actually, reading it-
This point is super basic but needs to be said anyway. Mostly because it’s importance cannot be overstated. An unread Bible is very much like a weapon locked in a safe with an unknown combination. It’s useless.
Reading the Bible is essential. However, we must do more than simply read it. The Bible is not a Tom Clancy novel. We must think deeply about what it says and ponder what its instructions mean for us personally. We meditate on it so we know it well enough to apply its wisdom to every temptation and problem we come up against.
Believe it enough to do what it says-
In John 3:36, 3:16 and John 5:24 the Greek words for believe and obey essentially mean the same thing. In many cases they can be used interchangeably. Obedience to the commands in the Bible give us spiritual power and authority. Every time we obey a biblical command we draw close to God and our understanding of all things spiritual is heightened (James 4:8). Obedience grants us the ability to effectively rebuke Satan and bind his power, pray with authority, speak the word with wisdom, bring about true biblical justice and convert the lost (Matthew 10:7-8, Luke 9:2 2nd Timothy 4:2-5).
Give it the reverence its origin deserves-
In one very real sense the Bible was not written by human beings—although God did use humans to pen the words (2nd Timothy 3:16). The author is Jesus Himself. In John 1:1-3 the apostle John calls Jesus the word. Jesus is the originator of all things and source of all the wisdom, knowledge and understanding found in both the world and the Bible (Colossians 1:15-17, Hebrews 1:1-3). Any book whose author is the God of the universe deserves our reverence. Christians do not worship the Bible. However, Christians do hold the Bible in the highest esteem.
For Christians the Bible is our anchor and our true north. It guides us through the storms of life. When spoken out loud its words will reprimand Satan and defuse his power. Satan utterly despises Christians who know, understand and obey the Bible. These Christians are the most likely to stop him in his tracks with their prayers and the least likely to succumb to temptation and believe spiritual lies.