Cut to the Bone

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Armor of God

Sword of the Spirit

It’s Monday! (Don’t all groan at once.) At Guts on the Page, we actually like Mondays.

Mainly, because this month it means a new post on another piece of the Armor of God.

This week: The Sword of the Spirit.

If you know me at all, you know I love and own weapons of all kinds. And, I actually know how to use most of them. (We’re still working on the throwing knives.)

I have to say, though, blades are my favorite. There’s a certain elegant beauty to a well-made sword that is unmatched in any other weapon. Here’s a couple from our collection.

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Cutting Edge

Throughout history, blades have been a primary weapon for soldiers from all armies, in all corners of the world.

Here are some beauties from the past.

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Even today, though the blade is not generally the primary weapon, most every soldier carries one of some sort.

Modern combat knife. (Ka-bar)

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Blades are precise, close combat weapons. They require you to be in extreme proximity to your enemy. Even throwing blades are short range, and necessitate perfect aim. A warrior with a blade as his weapon of choice must close in on their opponent and strike strong and true. Which means they must be highly proficient in wielding said weapon. There is little room for error in face to face combat. Especially if your enemy is swinging a sword with fluid, effective maneuvers guaranteed to result in a kill.

Sword of the Spirit

The Ultimate Weapon

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~Ephesians 6:17:  …and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

As seen above, Hebrews tells us that the Word is living, it’s active, it’s sharper than any two-edged sword. It slices right to the heart of the matter, flaying it open and revealing the truth.

Walking into battle without a weapon is flat out stupid. No earthly warrior is going to charge against the enemy with nothing in his hands unless he has no other option. If one is forced into this situation, a smart fighter will survey the area, and find something to use. Of course, this makeshift weapon rarely, if ever, proves as useful as the real thing. So either way, the fighter without a proper means of defense and offense is left at a severe disadvantage.

The same holds true in spiritual battles. A weapon is necessary. Period. You go up against the enemy with empty hands and you will be annihilated.

The good news is, we have been given the ultimate weapon. The Word of God. It holds all truth, all power. Nothing and no one can stand against it.

Our enemy is not going to hold back. Satan’s battle plan is nothing but no holds barred, all out slaughter. No exceptions. We must be just as ruthless in the fight. Only in a different way.

So how do we wield this Sword?

That’s easy.  You tuck it in your heart. You not only know the words, but feel them down to your bones. Let them become a part of you, just as a good sword master will instruct his students to do with their physical blades.

This can only happen if you spend time IN the Word. Even when you don’t think you have time, make the time. Don’t just read, dig into it. Like with an actual blade, the more you study, the more you practice, the more comfortable you will be in using it. Only then can you wield it properly.

I’ve often laid my weapon down and let the dust gather on it. Other things seemed more important at the time than reading a book. But this isn’t just any book. When I didn’t spend with it, I found myself weak and defenseless. I had nothing readily available to counter the enemy’s attacks. When I make it a point to spend time in the Word, though, I find I am stronger. As attacks blast me, raining down fire and shrapnel, I’m able to fire back and stand my ground because I have a firm foundation.

Make it a priority to keep your sword handy and to be familiar with it. Make it a part of you and use it with precision. Face down the enemy with confidence, no matter how close he gets. You can make your stand with the ultimate Weapon.

It’s do or die and you’ve got Word of Life in your hands. Cut the enemy to the bone and claim your victory.

Ground Truth

The Armor of God

Belt of Truth

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Continuing our series on the Armor of God, today we are discussing the belt of truth.

~Ephesians 6:14: Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth.

History

The belt is a small, yet crucial part of a soldier’s armor. Most other pieces of weaponry and protection depend upon the belt being in its proper place. Many times, it is the first piece of gear a warrior dons.

Historically, the shield was connected to the belt, which kept it in place. Other purposes were to keep the tunic tight, or obviously, to keep the pants secure, and keeping clothing tight to the body to prevent accidents or the soldier being slowed. This allows the warrior to move freely and confidently. This piece also held the scabbard, knives, and sometimes rope, among other things.

In Roman armor, and others, the belt often included strips of leather or sometimes metal and chain mail, which hung down the thighs, protecting the femoral arteries.

Even in modern military gear, the belt is vital. Communications equipment, rations, weapons, ammo, and various necessary objects are carried in pouches on the belt. This frees the soldier’s hands and keeps all their tools within easy reach.

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Encircled by Truth

The belt of truth mentioned in Ephesians 6 performs these same functions, in a different context.

A belt encircles the body. It forms a complete. never ending loop. So it must be with truth. It must be complete and strong, holding all we need for our battle and keeping all other armor in place. Our principles and beliefs have to be rooted in this truth, otherwise they are not useful. We will find ourselves unarmed and the rest of our armor sliding from its place, leaving us unprotected and vulnerable to the enemy.

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What is truth?

Though there are different kinds of truth, they all flow from the same source.

~Psalm 33:4- For the Word of the Lord is right, and all His work is done in truth.

~Absolute truth

     Absolute truth is defined as: Inflexible reality; fixed, invariable, unalterable facts.

Lately, absolute truth has fallen out of fashion. Not many seem to want to accept absolute truth, choosing instead to follow the idea of moral relativism; that truth is different for everyone and according to every situation.

This is not a good guidance system. If there is no absolute truth, then there are no moral absolutes, and therefore, everything is permissible. If we do not have a compass showing us true North and helping guide our way, then what are we to align with? What direction are we to go? Do we simply wander aimlessly, flitting from one place to the next, never having guiding truths shining like a beacon and pointing us the right way?

No. There is one truth from which all other truth springs. A foundation that keeps us secure. A belt to hold our weapons and armor in place.

~John 14:6- Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

He is our foundation. Our starting point for all truth. Everything we need can be found in Him. His words are absolute truth.

~Ground Truth

Ground truth is a military slang term that describes the reality of a tactical situation. This may differ from the original mission plan. Now this is where we get down to brass tacks. This is the place where we apply those absolute truths.

Ground truth does not mean that the guiding principles have changed. It does not mean that the end goal has changed. What it does mean is that the plan must adapt. That the objective must still be achieved, using the foundational principles that are our absolute truth, but methods must be improvised.

In battle, unforeseen circumstances arise. You may encounter an ambush. You may sustain wounds that make your former plan useless. You may have followed wrong directions and ended up several clicks South of your target.  The enemy may be stronger in number than intel stated.

When things go awry and your original plan goes out the window, you have your guiding principles, your primary objective, and your training to guide you. You must adapt. Change tactics.

You can only do this if you are able to fully utilize the tools at your disposal.

It’s the same with spiritual warfare and our daily lives.

Let’s face it, life is a battle. We are constantly bombarded by the enemy. Often, things don’t go as planned and we are left wondering what we do next, where we should go, how we’re ever going to get out of this mess of a surprise that’s been tossed in our lap.

That is when our absolute truth, THE Truth, can shine the brightest. This is when our belt of truth really does its job, providing necessary support. Everything we need for any situation will be instantly at our disposal.  But, it can only function properly if we maintain it.

How do we do that?

His Word is absolute truth, given to us in detail and there for us to consume. If we constantly devour His word, and then apply it to our lives, our armor is kept intact and in top working order. Our hearts are strengthened, our minds sharpened. We keep the word, His truth, at the forefront of all we do, and it is there and ready for action when we need it most. So study the battle plans, implement them in your own life, and maintain constant communication with Him. Hold to His truth. That’s the only way you can ever hope to win the coming battles.

I must admit, there are times when I fail to maintain my own armor. I let my devotional time in the word slide down the list. And, boy, can I feel the repercussions. Situations arise that throw me for a loop and it takes me longer to get back on track because I don’t have everything I need to battle at the forefront.

Does this happen to you? Have there been times when you have been tempted to forgo what you know is absolute in favor of the relative truth offered by the world? How do you get back on track? Share with us below.