Posts Tagged Isaiah 54: 17

Sword

Ephesians 6: 17b

Take . . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Paul concludes his inventory of the armor of God with a sword, but not any old sword. This sword is the sword of the Holy Spirit. Paul reveals that the weapon of the Spirit is actually the Word of God. So here we are again, back to the Word. The Word is the only matter which is the source of multiple pieces of armor. This bespeaks of its importance. The Word of God is fundamental to our success in standing firm, warfare, and life. The consequence of time in the Word cannot be overrated or overstated and this one revelation has enormous potential to impact our lives. Eventually, we must all embrace the Word as meaningful to our everyday existence.

Why would Paul include a sword in a discussion about armor? The sword is an interesting piece of equipment. It is both defensive and offensive. With the sword, you can parry the attack of a foe. How does that look spiritually? Well, let’s watch Jesus fight with his sword. In the book of Matthew we see the temptation of Jesus. “And the tempter came and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.’ But He answered and said, ‘It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4: 3 – 4). Jesus responded to the devil’s trickery with the Word of God. The Word will always protect you. Jesus countered every move of Satan with his sword, the Word of God. It works the same way with us. When those thoughts come, the ones that have kept you bound for years, you can counter them by brandishing your sword. When the devil persecutes you with the mistakes of your past, you can remind him that you are the righteousness of God. For every problem, every situation there is a parry provided to you in the Word. Even a rookie warrior knows he needs to spend some time practicing with his sword. You and I are no different. When the enemy attacks, it is too late to learn how to handle your sword. Proficiency with the sword is accomplished with time so begin practicing now.

And there you have it, the armor of God. With this armor you can stand firm against all the attacks of the enemy. Jesus has forged this very effective armor for you but it is you who must put it on and wear it. You must learn to stand up to the enemy. He has no weapon which is effective against your armor (Isaiah 54: 17). No matter what challenge is assailing you right now, Father has a defense against it. He has provided everything we need and we are growing into this armor every day. May your victory be complete in the name of Jesus.

Gospel Boots

Romans 8:37           (NIV)

In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

In 2002, I went through a terrible time. It was months’ and months’ worth of crazy challenges. Just one of the situations I had to deal with was three car accidents in as many weeks. Then there were the big national banks whose checks to the Law Firm bounced. It went on and on like this, one thing after another. Then my pastor reminded me of Isaiah 54: 17 which reads, “No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper.”

That was the beginning of my breakthrough. I needed to be reminded that Jesus had made a way for me to overcome this turmoil. I began to recall the Word to my mind and mouth. It was if a ray of light broke through the darkness and all I had to do was follow it. Then I was able to open wide the crack through which that light shown and my life resurrected out of the chaos.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that I saved me but in remembering what Jesus had already done for me I was able to stand against the storms that were battering my life. I didn’t have to stand there and get battered by the storms, I had the rock and as soon as I began standing on the rock again, those storms had nothing for me and they went away. It is just as amazing and exciting looking back on it as it was then. I took quite a beating until I realized that my Father and my Jesus were well able to protect me and to defeat every weapon the enemy sent against me. I don’t know, but it seems like the devil just realized he couldn’t get at me any longer so, as he did Jesus, he left me for a more opportune time (Luke 4: 13). I am not saying I am bullet proof, I just have a clearer understanding of Jesus’ victory in my life and that I don’t have to tolerate the devil’s shenanigans. Now it is a matter of applying what I have learned.

It is a difficult paradigm to grasp in its fullness. There is a balance which must be struck between understanding that Jesus has already defeated the devil and knowing what we must do in order to live in that victory. It almost seems like it should be one or the other. If Jesus beat the devil, why do we have to fight at all? Here is an illustration that may help.

If you sue someone and win your case the Judge will enter a judgment in your favor. That judgment represents the victory. However, until the order is executed, it makes no practical impact. You have a judgment in your favor the minute the judge rules but the effect of it is not immediate. It will be of little or no value if not executed. This is the way it is with Jesus’ victory. You already have a judgment against the devil. You have an order entered in your favor against every one of his tricks, attacks or fiery missiles. However, if you do not enforce, or ask the authorities to enforce, your rights under the order then there is little practical effect.

We have the victory. Jesus already won it for us but we must hold that order up in the devil’s face and refuse him access to our lives. We have the choice whether to enforce the judgment or not. If we do not, the devil will run all over us. This is why knowing the truth is so important. Once you know that he does not have any legal authority over you, then you can push back and resist him. When you resist, he will flee as he did with Jesus and as he did even with me. You have to know your authority though. When you do, you are the overcomer Jesus gave you the right to be.

There is no demon or devil in hell that can overcome the blood of Jesus and you knowing that is the power of Christ in you. Overcoming the schemes of the devil is a partnership between you and Jesus. So, put on your armor. Shine up your gospel boots and stand against the schemes of the devil. Put him to flight because the one who is in you, already won. Yahoo!

Humpty Dumpty

Isaiah 54: 17

No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn.

This passage always reminds me of my former pastor. Some years ago when I was being challenged on almost every front he reminded me of this verse during a telephone conversation. Sure, I knew this verse before then or I should say, I knew of it but after we hung up I got out my Bible and read it anew. Something went off in me that day and I gained an entirely new perspective on my situation. I saw the verse perhaps for the first time and it changed my experience. From that time the parade of challenges began to recede. I got a revelation that I did not have to be trod upon by every wind of misfortune. I had something to say in these situations and even more importantly, my Father had already spoken. Nothing has authoritative power over us except the authority we give it and I chose to take back my power.

Jesus has already conquered every challenge, demon and obstacle. He has already won! He defeated every single weapon the devil had. The thing I so love about the prophet Isaiah is that he had such clear vision of the coming Messiah. He understood that no weapon formed against us could prosper because he knew that all authority in heaven and earth was given to the son. Father is our refuge but Jesus is our defender. He is our advocate and he will reveal the truth about those who accuse us. When someone speaks ill of you, back bites you or condemns you they have just signed their own prosecution. Since I have come to understand this verse I actually sometimes feel sorry for people who say bad things about me because I know what is coming. The conclusion is already written in the physical and spiritual laws of the universe. They are like Humpty Dumpty who had a great fall. You can see it coming; you can hear the plop as they hit the pavement.  Dad doesn’t even have to do anything.  It is already pre-programed.  Any weapon that is formed against you, that is pointed at you will back fire. It is going to blow up in the enemy’s face. You’ve just gotta feel sorry for the fools sometimes. Well, we can pray that they get a clue and step into the grace that Father has prepared for us all.

So, if someone has a bazooka leveled at you right now, just grin. Get out your book of Isaiah and read to them. Carry your 3 X 5 card with you so that you can deflect those shells all day long. They have no power over you. You have already won. Now that is what I call Good News!