Paul’s description of the armour we are provided with isn’t there to finish the book off nicely (Ephesians 6), it is there because we need it as a real and necessary provision.
Much as I’d like to look at each part of the armour and the strong protection they give; for now, let’s think about the sword of the Spirit.
In a battle the sword is used forcefully and swiftly, it is ready in the hand of the warrior who has been trained to use it well.
I haven’t always used what he has given me as he intended me to. If some of my responses to a battle were in a film scenario it might look more like I didn’t have a clue what my sword was for as it hung at my side, though I imagine most of us have been a bit useless in our weapon wielding at times.
So how are we supposed to use the words God gives us?
Is it enough to change our thinking with them?
Paul places the instruction: ‘Take the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God‘, right alongside ‘Praying at all times in the Spirit‘, so at least some of the answer must be that we are to shape our praying around the word of God, and in specific situations to use the particular promises he has given us.
How about using the prophecies he has given you to focus and energise your praying?
If there are still promises ‘outstanding’ then don’t imagine they are lost to you, or you were mistaken to believe them, the fruit of many promises can take years to come into being.
We could ask God to remember what he said to us and to bring it about.
We could go after him for more of what at the moment, we only see in seed form.
In a recent post I mentioned a man who persevered through many disappointments and delays until he saw a much greater measure of fruit in answer to his prayers for healing.
Remembering him has made me more alert to opportunities for God to touch someone through me. So recently, I have prayed for people who need healing and have been encouraged by some of the results I’ve been told of, which of course makes me even more eager to look out for others to pray for.
If I look a fool more often than before, I have to say, I’m not sure I care that much, and if it turns out I do care, then I’ll get over it.
But my cry is ‘More, Lord.’