The Spirit’s Sword
Today’s Scripture: Ephesians 6:17
“Take . . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
If you desire to appropriate God’s grace, you must have the sword of the Spirit—the Word of God—available in your mind for the Spirit to use. In fact the structure of Ephesians 6:17 provides a very instructive insight into the interaction between the Holy Spirit and the believer. Paul said we’re to take the sword of the Spirit. That’s something we must do. And yet it is the Spirit’s sword, not ours. He must make it effective. The bare quoting of Scripture does not make it effective in our hearts; only the Spirit can do that. But he will not make his sword effective unless we take it up.
Often God’s Word is not made effective immediately. In fact, there are many times when I struggle over an issue for a period of days, mulling over several pertinent passages of Scripture and crying out for grace, before the Holy Spirit finally makes them effective and gives his grace, helping in time of need. The Spirit of God is sovereign in his working, and we cannot squeeze him into the mold of our spiritual formulas: “Pray for grace, quote some verses, and receive a guaranteed answer.”
God also has his own timetable. Sometimes he grants grace to help almost immediately. At other times, he allows us to struggle for days, perhaps even weeks or months, before we receive the grace to help. Regardless of the delays he may impose, we must continue to come to the throne of grace believing his promise to grant grace to help, and we must continue to resort to appropriate Scripture until he makes it effective in our hearts. Our responsibility is to take up the sword of the Spirit; his prerogative is to make it effective. (Excerpt taken from Transforming Grace)