(As featured on the Rebelution)
I got a sword recently.
Ok, not a real one, but one of those heavy-duty training swords, because that’s the kind of nerdy present that I love. It’s amazing, and cool, and wonderful, and — terrifying.
Because it’s heavy. It’s weighted. It is made to be used as a sword. It’s not a toy, like those little light sabe– *cough*, excuse me, “star swords” — that sat beside it beneath the tree. Those I can twirl and spin around and accidentally hit myself with multiple times, with little harm to anything, except my pride.
But not this. It is made to be used, as a sword.
And that’s terrifying. I can’t just spin this around. I can’t pick it up and jump into a impromptu sword-fight with my brother. I don’t know how to use it. And when I don’t know how to use this, someone will get hurt.
So I train myself.
Flailing this sword around isn’t an option. So I’ll go and learn the correct stance. (Hooray for those random You-tube videos that teach these things!) I’ll learn the moves and what they’re called. I’ll practice with my brother, slowly and carefully, every move choreographed and communicated to the other person. And I’ll work, to show myself an adept swordsman, in good control of both my weapon and my body.
But as Christians, we have another sword. And sometimes I wonder if we fear it enough.
Because a healthy fear of your weapon is required for proper use. That’s why guns have safety’s, that’s why you always double-check that it’s unloaded. Because when you’re irresponsible with your weapon, you are responsible for the damage.
But sometimes we’re most negligent with our most powerful weapon. A weapon that can pierce any, that divides between the bone and the marrow itself. The Word of God.
Because the Bible is powerful. The Scripture is potent. And the Gospel is dangerous. Not in the sense that it will hurt you — or rather, it will, since it tells you to kill the flesh — but because it will not let you be the same. As precise as a scalpel, it pierces between the joints and marrow. It slices open and lays bear the thoughts and intents of the heart. Its skill reaches even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, distinguishing between those invisible things that have puzzled philosophy of old. (Heb 4:12) The Word of God will lay you bear. Those webs of deceit and walls of self-righteousness don’t stand a chance.
But, even the weakest thread will stand forever, if nothing is ever used to cut it.
Because so often we don’t treat the Scripture as a weapon. It has some nice morals, some good stories. I’m feeling down, so I’ll go look at pretty verses to make me feel all fluffy. And you know, none of those are completely wrong. There are fantastic guides about right and wrong in there, some very comforting verses, and have you read about Gideon? Now there’s a story!
But that’s not what it’s really for.
Finish reading here on the Reb.