Ever since I was young, I have always liked the idea of being a warrior fighting in a war with swords, shields, and the like. I have wanted to be a knight and storm the castle and fight against evil. There is one thing that I’ve learned on my journey with the Lord, and that is that life is a fight. Every day we are fighting in a battle against evil. Sometimes it can be hard to see that we’re fighting, but it’s in the big and small choices that we make in our everyday life. We are going to be tempted by the enemy, and it’s when we face temptation that we have a choice to make: fight against it or give in to it. When we choose to fight against temptations, we are going into battle, and what do you need to fight in a battle? You need weapons.
The Church offers a whole arsenal of effective weapons we can use to combat the enemy, but one of the most powerful is the Bible, or the Word of God. The Bible is described as being “living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12). The Bible is also described as being the “sword of the Spirit” by Saint Paul (Eph 6:17).
Jesus gives us an example of fighting with the sword of the Spirit in Matthew 4:1-11. Jesus goes off into the desert to be tempted. He goes to war with the enemy in the wilderness. What does Jesus do when the enemy tempts Him? He combats him with Scripture: with the Word of God, Jesus defeats the enemy. The Word was His weapon, His sword.
What is your sword? How do you fight against evil? So often I find that I use less than effective weapons. I use things like my earthly titles or my achievements. I like to say, “I’m strong because I’m a good athlete” or “look at all the great things I’ve done; I can handle this.” These “swords” that I use are dull and brittle, and the enemy will use that to his advantage. He’ll combat you with things like, “Remember when you lost that game and let the whole team down?” or “Remember that time you failed and were humiliated?” My “swords” can’t stand up to that.
You are going to be tempted, but with the Word, you can combat it. Including Scripture into daily prayer can make it easier to fight temptation and choose love. Some verses that I’ve found that help me when I’m facing temptation are: Psalm 27:1-2, Psalm 35, and Isaiah 42:1-9.
Pick up your sword and fight! Remember that “the battle belongs to the Lord” (1 Samuel 17:47).