…and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; Eph 6:17 NKJV
I love great movies; actually, I love great storytelling. As Joe Kovacs points out*, God continually tells His Story, the Gospel, even through secular movies, stories, books, commercials, and every venue possible. I especially love father-son or father-daughter stories. I get halfway through them and I’m saying, “oh yeah…this’ll preach!” Two movies relate to our topic…a martial arts movie and a Christian themed one!
In the first one, KILL BILL, we meet the Bride, played by Uma Thurman. She is almost killed on her wedding day; indeed, she is the only one of the wedding party who survives, even losing her baby. Her recovery, after being a coma for years, is miraculous. She has a new life! Aware that her life is still in danger, she goes on the offensive against Bill, played by David Carradine, and his team of assassins, who killed everyone on her wedding day. Remember, martial arts movies, especially directed by Quintain Tarantino, tend to be a little ‘over the top’…
She has a legendary Japanese sword maker make her a custom-made classic sword, and she begins to train to use it. (Are you with me? Do you see gospel parallels? Before you were born again, your Enemy did some terrible things through you and to you, but then you got born again, a new life, right? And then, hopefully, you learned to fight, to train with the sword of the Spirit, to resist him and destroy his works!) At one point she is surrounded by fifty assassins with swords, and she fights through it. Remember Samson and the jawbone of an ass? Heaps upon heaps (Judges 15:16). The idea of fighting seems repugnant in contemporary Christian circles, but the soldier analogy, the one who fights, is all through the New Testament.
Do you realize that the first shot in the first scene of the great Academy Award winning movie ROCKY is of a mural of Jesus arising from the tomb? Then the camera pans to ‘Resurrection Athletic Club’ and we see Rocky fighting Spyder Ricco. ROCKY – ‘oh yeah, this’ll preach!’
In the second, THE WAR ROOM, which is my favorite Christian themed movie, right up there with AMAZING GRACE, and just ahead of CHARIOTS OF FIRE, we meet the Intercessor Miss Clara, played by Karen Abercrombie, who is walking the streets with her baby Christian student Elizabeth, played by Priscilla Shirer, and her daughter when they are accosted by a mugger with a knife. Elizabeth wilts but Miss Clara rebukes the mugger in Jesus’ name. I loved it! In the next scene Miss Clara is happily eating ice cream while Elizabeth and the daughter are still recovering…operating in spiritual authority using the sword of the Spirit is normal for Miss Clara!
Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why have you not brought Him?” The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!” John 7:45-46 NKJV
The pastor said, Wherever you go, make an impact! How do you do that? There is an actual NT Greek word KRATOS which means power with an impact, like a pebble hitting a pond. Think back to the conversations that really impacted your life. Maybe they weren’t even full-blown conversations but snippets of thought and communication – what made them so powerful? The sword pierced through the walls of apathy or inertia and touched your heart. The sword makes all the difference!
What is the sword? I was taught that it was the Bible, and I memorized Bible verses pertaining generally to certain situations, thinking that if I quoted them at the right time I would be using the sword of the Spirit. No! Sorry if you were taught that, but it’s not true. The sword is the spoken word of God, the right word at the right time which HS gives you to deliver in that moment. The word can come hours or days before you need it, so you are prepared – preparation is one of the highest forms of faith – but it’s coming for you to deliver it at that moment.
Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”
And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:17-19 NKJV
How does the Bible relate to the sword of the Spirit? One thing is that the Bible backstops the sword of the Spirit. God will never tell you to say something that contradicts or denies the written Word. That word didn’t come from God, and there are demonic swords, even fiery arrows that come against you as spoken words. Now think of Miss Clara! Did she quote a verse to the mugger? No! But I’m sure verses like Luke backstopped her faith. By the way, why do we surrender to muggers, giving power over us to them? We surrender because we think if we show weakness, they will show mercy. No! These people aren’t sane. Take authority over their demons!
Arise, for this matter is your responsibility… Be of good courage and do it.” Ezra 10:4 NKJV
In getting my black belt, I was continually challenged to address my courage. I was watching SKYFALL last night, when a wounded ‘M’, played by Judi Dench, said of her enemy, “I will not show him my back!” Oh yeah, this’ll preach!
How do you learn to operate with the sword of the Spirit? You may never meet a mugger, but you will continually be in situations when you need the sword of the Spirit! If you’re in business, you work for a living, do you think there might be times when you need to say the right things to make a sale, or solve a problem, or diffuse a conflict? What about in your family? What about witnessing? Do you ACTUALLY use a script? That is so pathetic, that’s like telling someone to say ‘shouldaboughtahonda’ over and over to get them to start speaking in tongues! I’ve been around some master evangelists, and they are amazing. Trust me, there’s no scripts!
Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying… Matt 5:2 NKJV
The sword of the spirit comes out of your heart, not out of your mind. To ‘open your mouth’ is to open your heart. Look in your heart for what to say. You may begin talking just to say something but internally you are looking for that word, that idea, that concept of what to specifically speak into that situation. The reason why most conversations – let alone most sermons dear preachers – are forgotten moments after they are spoken is because they came from the head, practiced, rehearsed, scripted if you will, and not from the heart. They weren’t the sword!
Here’s the secret! Prepare your heart, early in the morning in your time of devotion to the Lord, that you will speak and do what He directs your heart to do that day. Then go get them – ‘let ‘er rip, tater chip!’
Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Rev 19:10-11 NKJV
Like the Bride and Miss Clara and even ‘M’, three tough ladies, we must learn to use the sword of the Spirit. Jesus said, Without Me you can do nothing! Christ is in you, but He’s not in your mind, He is in your heart. Put the word of God in your mind so that your mind will be directed to your heart, and not to external circumstances, or demonic baloney. When Elizabeth spoke the right word at the right time to Mary it changed her life and changed the world (Luke 1:39-45). You can be just like Elizabeth. You can change someones life and change the world. Trust me, it’s fun to do, too! Go get ‘em, son or daughter of God. Love you!
Remember dear one, we must be about our Father’s business…
*WHISTLEBLOWER, WND.COM ‘Reaching God Speed’ Kovacs, Feb 2022