Christians take up the sword of the Spirit when they speak the Word of God aloud in the authority of Jesus’ name. You wield the Sword when you speak out the verses of Scripture the Holy Spirit gives you.
The Sword of the Spirit Scripture
And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word [rhema] of God.
Ephesians 6:17 (NKJV)
The Active Element in the Sword of the Spirit
The Word of God, specifically the rhema Word of God, which is the spoken or declared Word.
What Does the Sword of the Spirit Protect Against?
Living in a defensive posture only, not knowing how to fight against the unseen realm. The Word is the offensive weapon for the child of God.
Why You Need the Sword of the Spirit
When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He declared, “It is written …” and quoted Scriptures that caused the devil to leave. He used the sword of the Spirit to repel the enemy. You can do the same as you speak Scripture aloud with the authority befitting a child of God. The Holy Spirit will give you specific verses to use in driving away the adversary.
Matthew 4:4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”
Matthew 4:7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ”
Matthew 4:10-11 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ” Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
The Sword Is an Offensive Weapon
The type of sword Paul referred to in Ephesians 6:17 was the Roman soldier’s short sword. It was primarily an offensive weapon to slay the opposition in hand-to-hand combat, capable of delivering armor-piercing, lethal blows.
The Holy Spirit’s Weapon of Choice
Ephesians 6:17 calls the Word of God “the Spirit’s sword. The spoken Word of God is the Holy Spirit’s weapon of choice. The devil cannot stand before the authoritative Word of God, which judges him every time it is spoken.
There Is Power in God’s Spoken Word
In the beginning, God created all things by the Word of His mouth. (Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, etc.) By that same Word, all things consist and are upheld. (Colossians 1:17, Hebrews 1:2) In the end, all things will be judged by the Word. (John 12:46-50)
God made you in His image. When you put His Word in your mouth, you release the spiritual breath (Spirit) encapsulated in that Word. (John 6:63) Declaring the Word unleashes the Spirit's power to accomplish His will.
Practice using the Spirit’s sword. Speak boldly in the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Declare the Word that God gives you for each situation. Speak consistently in faith and authority, and you will see the opposition crumble.
The Sword of the Spirit Is the Rhema Word of God.
God’s complete written Word is called the logos. But the Spirit’s sword is the rhema of God—a spoken, uttered, or declared Word. The sword of the Spirit is not the whole Word of God but a specific verse or passage. The rhema is the Word preached, proclaimed, and quoted in the face of the adversary. A rhema word is given by divine revelation. (Luke 3:2)
In spiritual warfare, having the Bible on your bedstand is not enough. It must abide within you. It becomes a logos fire burning in your heart as the Spirit gives you understanding. Then, out of the overflow of your heart, your mouth must speak. The sword is not the written Word or the understood Word; it is the spoken Word.
Understanding the Word Is Not Enough
“Understanding the Word is not enough. It can deliver lethal blows only when we utter it aloud, like the Roman soldier’s short sword in personal combat. The spoken word releases God’s power into the atmosphere around us. … We release the burning logos in our hearts with a fiery proclamation, an authoritative rhema command inspired by the Holy Spirit. If you’ve never spoken the Word of God into the invisible realm like a military commander with great authority, you have not yet taken up the sword of the Spirit.” (The Armor of Light, pp. 159-160)
The rhema word is not every Bible verse, nor just any verse. The Holy Spirit will give you specific verses relevant to your situation. When you declare the inspired Word of promise, you slash with the sword of the Spirit and push the enemy out of your life.
God’s Word Carries Authority When You Speak
God’s Word carries the same authority no matter who speaks it, whether God or His children. Psalm 103:20 tells us the angels listen for the sound of God’s Word. Do you want your angels active in your life? Speak the Word, and you will loose your angels! But if you contradict God's Word by speaking doubt and unbelief, you bind your angels and force them to sit idly by.
Psalm 103:20 (NKJV) Bless the LORD, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word.
Psalm 103:20 (NLT) Praise the LORD, you angels, you mighty ones who carry out his plans, listening for each of his commands.
Psalm 103:20 (TPT) So bless the Lord, all his messengers of power, for you are his mighty heroes who listen intently to the voice of his word to do it.
The Spoken Word Slays the Enemy
Consider the power of the spoken Word. Paul declared that the Lord will consume the lawless one (Satan) with the breath of His mouth—with the Word uttered on that breath.
2 Thessalonians 2:8 (ESV) And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.
2 Thessalonians 2:8 (NLT) Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by the splendor of his coming.
John saw a vision of Jesus on His white horse, and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword that destroyed the adversaries.
Revelation 19:15 (NASB95) From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.
Again, the Word had power over its enemies. God’s Word is living, powerful, and sharper than a two-edged sword. It is our most potent weapon.
Hebrews 4:12 (ESV) For 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.
Hebrews 4:12 (NLT) For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
God’s Word is two-edged. It brings conviction and conversion to believers but judgment to unbelievers.
Don’t Stop There
As Christians, we don’t have to stop at “It is written” and quoting Scripture. We can also say, “In the name of Jesus!” and the devil must flee. Jesus’ name has authority in every realm, in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. (Philippians 2:9-11) Quote the Word and declare “In the name of Jesus” when you stand up against the enemy. You and the Word have authority over him, not the other way around. (Luke 10:19)
Wielding the offensive weapon allows you to push back the forces of evil and advance on the battlefield. God calls you to take new ground for Jesus. Listen for the Lord's instructions. If He gives you a rhema word, do what He tells you. (Acts 16:9-10) The battle can only be won by each of us doing our part.