Thursdays With Oswald—Using The Sword For Good And Not Harm

Oswald ChambersThis is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Using The Sword For Good And Not Harm

     The priest replied, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here.…” David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.” (1 Samuel 21:9)

     Now it seems quite obvious that if you are not David and are trying to use Goliath’s sword, you will do far more harm to yourself than damage to the enemy. You must be in the direct line of succession to David. … What is the same family connection in this dispensation? Why, those who are born again of the Spirit of God, and those who are so identified with the Lord Jesus that they have entered into the experience of entire sanctification. When they use the Word of God they do not damage themselves, nor hurt other souls; but they do great damage to the kingdom of the devil and bring benefit to the souls of men. …

    The Christian worker must rely on the Holy Spirit to direct them as to what to say in the case of every soul that comes. Do not rely on your memory, do not remember how you dealt with cases in the past, but recognize and rely on the Holy Spirit that He will bring to your remembrance the particular verse for you to apply at this time. … Beware of anything that does not fling you straight back in reliance on the Holy Spirit as the most practical factor you know in bringing it to your remembrance the Word of God and how to apply it. … 

     For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

     A remarkable thing about this Book of God is that for every type of human being we come across there is a distinct, clear line laid down here as to the way to apply God’s truth to it. 

From Workmen Of God

If Christians are going to help others, they have to start with helping themselves. They do this by immersing themselves in the Word of God and allowing the Holy Spirit to show them how to live out the biblical principles. This equips us to help others.

Then when someone in need comes to us, don’t be too quick to draw your spiritual sword. Listen to them and listen to the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God can direct you to the right Word of God for that person’s need. This is the only way to use the sword of the Spirit in a way that will help others, glorify God, and make you unashamed before God of your conduct.

Sword Drills

© kpmoorse.deviantart.com

© kpmoorse.deviantart.com

When I was a kid in Sunday School, we used to have “sword drills.” Anyone remember those? We would hold our Bibles up in the air until the teacher gave us a reference to look up. The first one to find it, and stand up and read it, won that drill. For that, we received a sticker to put inside the front cover of our Bibles. I loved sword drills, and it showed: the front cover of my Bible was filled with stickers!

Oh, that we were as quick to pull out the Sword God has given us today! I wish we were as quick to flip open our Bibles as we seem to be to turn to something else. We call friends, consult a pastor or a counselor, pray about it, talk about, plan how to overcome it; but we are slow on pulling out our Swords. 

  • The writer of Hebrews tells us that the Word of God is sharper than a sword (Hebrews 4:12).
  • Paul told Timothy that the Bible was the premier place for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training (2 Timothy 3:16).
  • He told the Corinthians that God’s Word is what helps us capture wrong thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:5).
  • In Revelation we see satan defeated by the blood of the Lamb and the use of the Word (Revelation 12:11).
  • Jesus Himself demonstrated the power to defeat satan’s temptations when He used the Word to ward off every attack (Luke 4:1-13).
  • And Paul said the Sword is the weapon we should arm ourselves with every single day (Ephesians 6:17).

I love the story John Knox (1514-1572) told about defeating satan’s temptations by the Sword of the Word—

“All my life I have been tested and assaulted of satan. But my present test has assailed me most fearfully. He has set to devour me, and make an end of me. Before, he often would place all my sins before my eyes. He tried to ensnare me with the allurements of this world. But the Spirit broke those attacks. Now he has attacked me another way. This cunning devil has labored to persuade me that I have earned heaven by my faithfulness to my ministry! … Blessed be God who has enabled me to beat down and quench this fiery dart by passages from the Scripture. By the grace of God, I am what I am, not I, but the grace of God in me. Through Jesus Christ I have gained the victory.” (emphasis added)

What do you think? Is it time to brush up on our Sword-handling skills? Get some Sword drills in today, and see how God’s Word will help you!

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