Sunday, October 06, 2013

Swordplay


The other day I was watching a documentary on William Wallace.  The programme makers were debunking all the various myths that have sprung up about him.  I am sure that if Mel Gibson had just stuck to historical accuracy his film would not have stirred the imagination the way that it did. 

The programme looked carefully at the sword credited to belong to Wallace.  A big sword housed in a glass cabinet did not mean Wallace had to be a big man, as a wee man with a quick wrist and a jaunty step was keen to demonstrate.  However, a man with white gloves and a close up camera angle revealed that the sword wasn’t THE sword but three bits of swords welded together.  The handle, the middle bit and the end bit were all from different blades.  Another myth debunked.

I have been fascinated for the last few weeks with the sword of the Spirit. I think it possibly ranks as the most ignored weapon in our armoury as Christians.  It is the most magnificent sword ever forged but for many of us it is in the equivalent of a glass cabinet, handled with white gloves and possibly scrutinised by preachers with their various angles.  But is it wielded?  Is it doing the damage it is supposed to do to the enemy?

Write this letter to the angel of the church in Pergamum. This is the message from the one with the sharp two-edged sword:” Rev 2:12

“Repent of your sin, or I will come to you suddenly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” Rev 2:16.  The church in Pergamum lived “in the city where Satan has his throne “.  Jesus described Satan as a liar and the father of lies.  The church was being confronted with a lot of false teaching, so it was no surprise that Jesus came with a sword of truth.  

There is a scene in one of my favourite films, The Princess Bride, which involves a sword fight.  Two adversaries buckle their swash over the ruins of a castle.  As the swords flick and flash, there is a word duel that goes on also. 

There is something of that sword fight in the temptations in the wilderness.  Satan demonstrates an expert grasp of the Word of God.  He knows it well enough to manipulate it, take it out of context and spin it in a way that can be appealing.  Jesus is the better expert when it comes to swordplay.  He is not only the author of the Word, but He is the living Word.  He does not need to manipulate the Word.

“So, how good is your swordplay, Mel?” said God.

Just as in the natural world you need lessons to learn how to wield a sword you can’t just pick up the Sword of the Spirit and begin to fight the enemy.  He is an expert with the Word of God.  Too many Christians don’t know the word of God as well as the enemy.  We might learn by heart some of the more encouraging scriptures, but we don’t know enough of the tough stuff!  We certainly don’t know what to do with it to hurt the enemy.

So, God has been teaching me some swordplay!  As I have my quiet times, God asks me whether there is a sentence or phrase in what I read that can be wielded against the enemy.

“This is the message from the one who is holy and true the one who has the key of David. What he(Jesus) opens, no one can close; and what he closes, no one can open... I have opened a door for you that no one can close.” Rev 3:7-8

Grabbing hold of this word, I began to pray for open doors in people’s lives.  I very forcefully prayed a door slammed in Satan’s face when it came to all the damage he wanted to inflict in the lives of my friends and family.  I pictured myself using this key of David to open and lock a variety of doors.

“Nice idea,” said God, “but is that what the verse is really about?  What doors are being opened or closed here?  Is it a door to financial security?  Or complete health?  Is it a door to a better job? Exactly what door can Jesus open using the key of David?”

“Yes, I will drive you (Shebnah) out of office,” says the Lord. “I will pull you down from your high position. And then I will call my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah to replace you. I will dress him in your royal robes and will give him your title and your authority. And he will be a father to the people of Jerusalem and Judah. I will give him the key to the house of David—the highest position in the royal court. When he opens doors, no one will be able to close them; when he closes doors, no one will be able to open them.  Isaiah 22:19-22

I think the key of David opens door in the royal court – the place where the king resides.  That may include the doors to the storehouses – but it certainly includes a door into the presence of the King.  It doesn’t tell you what Shebnah did to get the keys taken off him.  He was making a beautiful tomb at the time and he had glorious chariots.  I may be joining up the dots wrong but I think he was open to bribery when it came to who got to see the king and who didn’t. He became rich.  The poor and needy that needed to see the king perhaps didn’t get a look in. 

The door Jesus opened with the key of David was the door to God’s presence. What people need more than financial security, more than good health and more than a better job is God himself.  He is the provider and the healer.  He is the one who lifts up and pulls down rulers. 

The door is open.  What is it that hampers people from entering into God’s presence? Work that one out and start praying more effectively.

I don’t appear to have any natural aptitude with the sword of the Spirit. Does anyone?  Like most things skill comes only with practice. 

I will learn how to use this sword.  I will become a threat to the enemy.  I will.

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