It would be foolhardy to go into battle with only a sword. We should also carry a dagger on our belt, and the sheath for this dagger is our heart. “Your word I have treasured in my heart,” the great warrior, David, declared.
As we charge into the spiritual fray, with sword drawn, we are confident in our mighty weapon, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).
While we wade through the enemy’s ranks with drawn sword, the dagger is for close battle, hand-to-hand combat, like that fought in the trenches of life, the jungles of darkness in the wee hours of the night, the holes, caves, ambushes, and surprise attacks aimed at our back and neck. It is here we fight quickly, aggressively, and precisely using the sword of the Spirit hidden in our hearts.
We study the use of the broad, long blade from the entirety of God’s word (ref. 2 Tm. 2:15). We meditate in our heart upon the dagger of the Spirit (ref. Josh. 1:8). Proficiency in each comes from both practice in godly living (ref. Heb. 5:14) and mentoring by the Spirit of God (ref. Jn. 14:26).
In all ways, in every area of life, in each arena of battle, the Spirit teaches us to rightly divide His word. Unless we develop a healthy appreciation for the offensive capability of this implement of warfare, we will not develop the confidence needed to wage war against the spiritual forces formed about our position.
Next, Part 3 discusses the reality of a sword fight, the stakes, and the tactical imperative.