In Ephesians 6, Paul describes "the whole armour of God."
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
This is a familiar passage, but how often do we neglect to heed it. Especially do we seem to forget the one item which stands out from the rest. The one which is not only defensive armor, but also a weapon: "the sword of the Spirit, the word of God."
We are commanded to take this sword unto us, and to pray that we will use it. But how many Christians walk daily about without their sword! And I do not mean that one must always carry a Bible, for the word may be hid in our heart (concealed carry!).
Psalms 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
But even of those who carry it, do they treat it like a soldier should? Do they whet the edge? (Ecclesiastes 10:10) Do they furbish it for the slaughter? (Ezekiel 21:9) Do they take it out and brandish it, and imagine plunging it into the enemy's heart? (1 Timothy 4:15) This is our calling as Christians. It is for this purpose that God has armed us with his word.
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
The nature of our weapon forces the battle to be an up-close and personal affair. It isn't like pulling the trigger and watching a body fall in the distance. It is like walking up to a devil and plunging the sword into his heart, seeing the pain and then death creep over his face, and then watching the body fall at your feet, and smelling the blood staining your blade.
Jeremiah 48:10 Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.
God gave us a short-range weapon, because that is the kind of fight that has to be fought. The nature of the weapon that God gave us indicates the nature of the fight that he wants us to engage in. A weapon that can pierce to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and discern the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12) It is a sword of the Spirit, to do battle in the spiritual realm, and circumcise the hearts of men. (Deuteronomy 30:6, Romans 2:29)
We are commanded to take it up, and to prayerfully join the battle. To ask that those God has appointed captains would speak it boldly, as they ought to speak.
But how can this be done, if the sword has perished? If the sword has grown dull, or been broken, is not the battle then lost? It is no wonder if the enemy advances, when the sword is no longer deemed fit for use, or when the word of God is thought too sharp, and replaced by the smoother words of men. (Isaiah 30:10)
But thanks be to the great Captain of our salvation (Hebrews 2:10), that his promise still rings true, for all those who test aright the blade:
Luke 21:33 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
We have but this one weapon. Let us not let the enemy take it from our hands. We must hold it fast, as we've been commanded, and with it press on to victory!