Equipping the Sword of the Spirit: A Guide to Scripture Memory and Applying it to Your Faith
The Bible is described as the Sword of the Spirit, a living and active weapon used to fight against sin and help us grow closer to God. Here’s how we can equip it for the spiritual battles we face each day!
Why do we need Scripture?
Regardless of whether you have grown up Christian, or are a completely new believer, it is important to understand that the Bible is vital to your life. It is the living and active Word of God that speaks to us and through us. It helps us learn about who God is and what He has done. Also, the Bible is used to teach, correct, and train all believers in righteousness (2 Timothy, 3:16-17). The Bible is God’s truth that cannot be changed and will never fade away (John 17:17, Isaiah 40:8). When we are unsure or doubting, the Bible is a guide for us (Psalm 119:9). But did you know that the Bible is also a weapon – the Sword of the Spirit, in fact?
The Sword of the Spirit
In Hebrews 4:12, it says “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” The Bible is described as a weapon used to separate the good and evil intentions of our heart. Also, it is living and active in our lives to grow us closer to God and to help us in our fight against sin! Pretty cool right?
Additionally, Ephesians 6:12 says, “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” This means that all of us are like knights in a battle. But instead of fighting real people, we are fighting against the powers of darkness. And instead of using a physical sword, we use the Bible – the Sword of the Spirit!
Imagine a knight in the middle of a battlefield, in the thick of the fight, but when he reaches for his sword, it’s not there! He would be in huge trouble. This is exactly the case for us when we are found in spiritual battles without the Word of God at our side. Our enemy is very crafty and will do everything he can to tear you away from God and His will for your life. So, it is crucial that we prepare ourselves to defend against our enemy’s attacks.
Equip Your Sword: The Importance of Scripture Memory
You wouldn’t run into a battle without a weapon, so bring your Bible with you wherever you go! The enemy can attack you anywhere, at any time. So, our first recommendation is to keep your Bible with you wherever you go. Hardly anyone has the whole Bible memorized so we encourage you to bring your Bible with you so that you can quickly turn to relevant passages of scripture when the enemy attacks.
Now a sword is only useful if we know how to use it. Carrying your Bible is a great way to spark conversation with others. But unless we keep it close to our hearts and learn how to handle it well, we might as well be carrying any ordinary book around. There are many spiritual practices that can grow your affections for God and train you how to use your Sword of the Spirit.
Next, an important step is that you simply start reading your Bible!
- Begin with prayer. Ask God to guide you when reading the Bible.
- Spend time each day reading the Bible.
- Make the time to think about what you read.
- Take notes and write down your thoughts about the passages you read.
- Talk about your notes and thoughts with a mentor or parent.
To support your Scripture Memory, take the passages that have a profound impact on you and memorize them. Then, when somebody asks you about that topic you are passionate about, you’ll know exactly what to say and where it comes from. When it comes to seeking advice for yourself or others, there is no better book to know than the Bible.
Train for Battle: Where Should I Start?
If you’re wondering where a good place would be to start training with your sword, then try walking through our checklist!
- Pick one passage from our 25 Impactful Bible Verses List.
- Read the entire chapter around the verse and try to seek to understand why it was written.
- Write down your thoughts in a journal or notebook.
- Discuss what you find with family and friends.
- Ask questions when you discuss.
- Break your target verse down by groups of words or topics and begin memorizing those chunks.
- Test yourself: When would you use that scripture? When would it be helpful to have memorized? Write that down!
At Focus on the Family, we have heard countless testimonies of how Scripture Memory impacts the lives of Christians everywhere. From sneaking Bibles over borders by memory, to the everyday fight against sin, Scripture Memory has proven to be a very useful tool for believers.
In the Fight: How Do I Apply Scripture Memory in My Faith?
The Word of God extends into every aspect of our faith, so if you’re just getting started then don’t worry. The more you seek the Lord in reading and prayer, the more He will affect your life. He promises us that if we seek Him with all that we have, we will find Him. So, keep seeking. And you’ll find that His scripture will change how you live.
For example, whenever you feel tempted or overwhelmed by sin, it is helpful to remember Psalm 61 where it says, “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.” This is how you use the Sword of the Spirit! Remembering God’s words to us and knowing that he is with and in us provides peace when we feel overwhelmed or hopeless.
What if I Mess Up?
Regardless of how hard you fight, everyone falls to sin at some point in this battle. Take heart, if you believe in Christ, then you have not been defeated! Romans 3:23-25 tells us that we are all guilty of sin but have been given Christ’s righteousness through His sacrifice.
Praise the Lord! The God of the universe died for you so that you would not be defeated by your sin. Rather, you can come before the presence of God without shame and experience eternal life.
When you have fallen to sin or temptation, run to Jesus like the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32 and receive grace from God, who is faithful to forgive (1 John 1:9). He will strengthen you in your time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16, 2 Corinthians 12:9), and be your guiding light (Psalm 119:105). Apply your Scripture Memory strategies with these passages. Train with your Bible – the Sword of the Spirit. Then, you will dwell on God’s Word and be encouraged the next time you are tempted!