How To Use God's Word As A Weapon In War
Adam Dollar - 20s Ministry Director
If we’re being real, life can feel like a constant war with one battle after the other. We face battles at home, at work, with family, and in our mind. Yet in the midst of these constant struggles, God is fully aware of what we’re going through and is ready to equip us for every battle. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul speaks to us as if we are soldiers preparing for these daily battles.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For 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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:10-17).
God has equipped us for battle! He has blessed us with spiritual armor to prepare us for the attacks we’ll face. But he has not just equipped us for defense in order to withstand attack. After all the defensive pieces, God finishes our equipping with a weapon… a weapon so that we do not have to constantly be under attack, but can go on the offensive! This weapon is the Word of God.
All Defense and No Offense is a Bad Game Plan
So often we go into battle with our only “weapon” being our willpower. However, after a while of fighting our battles like this, we are destined to become exhausted and fail. And there is nothing worse than the exhaustion of only ever playing defense in your faith. Imagine a sports team that decided to never play offense. There would certainly be exhaustion and very little victory for that team. The same goes for your faith. Inevitably, your willpower gives way, your defense grows exhausted, and all of this causes you or others to be wounded from the attack of your flesh, the world, and the Enemy. However, the battle against all of these grows so much easier when you’re fully equipped with God’s Word.
Committing God’s Word to Memory is Essential
God’s Word is the most powerful weapon we have in our fight against sin. It is “breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). It is living, active, and convicting (Hebrews 4:12). As we read God’s Word, meditate on it, and apply it, all of these truths can be realized. But, when you continue the day with all of your responsibilities, does your “sword” sit on your table at home? Or have you stored up God’s Word in your heart (Ps 119:11) so that it’s ready to conquer the day with you? This is the power of memorizing God’s Word!
So many battles each day could be won if only God’s Word had been ready and available in the moment. So where do you need more victory? With family strife? Relationships at work? Control over your thoughts? Through the memorization of God’s Word, the Spirit of God is faithful to use those verses to lead you to victory in whatever circumstance you may find yourself. Not in a magic spell sort of way, but as a Spirit-empowered reminder of who God is and what he’s done for us in Jesus Christ.
The Impact of Memorizing God’s Word in My Life
Two years ago, I memorized 1 Peter 5:6-7 — “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” While I was in a season of waiting on the Lord, this verse often kept me from anxiety or frustration. It wasn’t that these words fixed my situation, but they reminded me to trust God with my life and plans.
Another verse that the Spirit has been faithful to use in my life is 1 Peter 1:6-7 — “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” During this season of life, there were many people suffering around me that didn’t have answers, but God’s Word was able to provide hope. After memorizing this verse, God continued to bring people to me that needed to hear this truth! Verses that I have memorized have never gone to waste, but I have seen God use them faithfully to help myself or others around me see victory in every situation.
Use Tools to Help You Memorize God’s Word
However, there was a problem that I faced early on when I began to memorize God’s Word — I had never been good at memorization. It was my best excuse to avoid this discipline in the past. However, I found some helpful tools that aided in my memorization — post-it notes, flash cards, and an app called ScriptureTyper (It turns verse memorization into a game!). With some discipline and accountability from my small group, I was on my way to carrying the Sword of the Spirit with me at all times.
In every season or with each sin that I battle, I attempt to memorize a verse that speaks truth and encourages me towards obedience. This supplement to my regular reading of God’s Word has honestly been one of the most transforming disciplines in my life. Since beginning this discipline, my memorization has ebbed and flowed, but the one constant is that God has faithfully and consistently used verses I have committed to memory to speak into my life and encourage those around me.