Heart Meditations Final - The Sword of the Spirit - David Mitts
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might." Eph 6:10 (NASB)
How do we “be strong in the Lord”? We do that by aligning the faith in our heart with the truth of His Word.
"Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." 1Ti 6:12 (NASB)
The “fight” of faith is an internal war. Paul tells Timothy that he needs to take hold of the eternal life to which he was called. Can you hear the effort suggested? Think of things you take hold of that have power in your life. If you ride horses, you take hold of the reins. If you ride motorcycles, you take hold of the handlebars. Taking hold of something of power means a conscious effort with much training involved especially if there is also great potential for danger.
How much power do you think there is in eternal life? Raising the dead, healing the sick, casting out demons, taking hold of deadly things which are rendered harmless, and all manner of signs and wonders!
"And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. “The one who has believed and has been baptized will be saved; but the one who has not believed will be condemned. “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”" Mar 16:15-18 (NASB)
This is the true gospel. This is gospel or good news that is exported. Prior to this true gospel, holiness or salvation came through separation from the world. This was man’s attempt to get close to God through exclusion. Through the death and resurrection, a new gospel came forth, one that brought holiness and salvation to others. We lay hands on the sick, we don’t avoid the sick in fear. We don’t have a gospel of socially distancing and self-protection. We don’t have a gospel of genetic manipulation. We have a gospel of holy power. We bring healing and deliverance by our words and touch. This implies interactions, not exclusions and censoring.
In Timothy’s case, it was validated by his confession before many witnesses. This is what is possible when we do the work in our heart to be in alignment with God’s Word of eternal power.
It is in the realm of the meditations of our heart that we fight the fight of faith. Why is it a fight? The scripture tells us that faith arises out of an inner conversation.
"So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." Rom 10:17 (NASB)
From this, we know that who or what we listen to inside of ourselves affects our faith. What are the choices? First, we can choose to listen to our own inner voice. This is basically us speaking from our experience to ourselves. We have learned certain things in our lives and this learning informs our inner discourse. We re-mind ourselves of certain truths we believe about life and our experiences in it. I separated the letters to emphasize it is the mind, our thoughts, our meditations, and rumination that we “re-“ or do our thoughts again. This is what reminding ourselves is all about.
The next voice is the voice of the Lord. He inspires us. Inspiration means to receive a new breath. His Spirit breathes eternal perspective into our time-bound experiences and our thoughts. Suddenly a flash of insight, ‘INNER SIGHT’, transforms our perspective. We also see the future or the unseen realm that has yet to manifest. Ideas come that is unpredictable based on our past. We believe for a new reality.
The third voice that we can listen to is the voice of our adversary, Satan. I have heard much teaching about how Satan doesn’t speak to Believers, but I want to suggest that this is simply not true. Look with me at Revelation 12:9-12.
"And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down, the one who accuses them before our God Day and night. “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. “For this reason, rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you with great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”" Rev 12:9-12 (NASB)
This picture is so supernatural that it can seem like it occurs in another dimension and since it is in the book of Revelation, it gets often placed in another realm. I would like to consider it however in the context of the meditations of our heart and the realm of spiritual warfare in our hearts.
First, let’s observe that Satan is named as the deceiver of the whole world. Now, we can argue about how that occurs, either through huge strategies on a geopolitical stage or on a personal level or maybe both, but what is certain is that this deception occurs on earth. It also tells us that it isn’t just Satan but includes his angels. I think if we look back over even just the most recent chaos in world events, we can see the handiwork of the forces of darkness. The book of Hebrews tells us:
"Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. For clearly, He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendants of Abraham." Heb 2:14-16 (NASB)
I think it is safe to extrapolate from this verse that Satan is about death and the fear of death. When you see people dying and more importantly, afraid of dying, you know Satan’s agency is at work. The fear of death makes us subject to death. What you fear, you ultimately serve. If you fear being broke, money becomes your God. If you fear being sick, sickness becomes your God. If you fear dying, then you will direct your worship, your time, your energy, your resources to trying to control dying and in that become a slave to dying.
But Revelation 12 gives us another powerful insight. A voice in heaven declares:
“Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down, the one who accuses them before our God Day and night.
I believe this is the crux of the matter. First the good stuff, salvation, power, kingdom of God, and the authority of Messiah. The accuser is thrown down. Where to? If we skip ahead, we find out, he has been cast down to the earth and the sea with great wrath. What is he doing here on earth? He is accusing the brothers and sisters before the throne of God. The location has changed but the job is the same.
Now, where exactly is the throne of God that Satan is accusing us before? Well, we think in heaven. But Satan is not in heaven. He is cast down to earth. Where can he then access the throne of God on the earth? Only one place, in the heart of man. This is the true battleground. Yeshua describes this in the parable of the sower. Listen to the verse in the Amplified Bible.
"Listen then to the [meaning of the] parable of the sower: While anyone is hearing the Word of the kingdom and does not grasp and comprehend it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the roadside." Mat 13:18-19 (AMPC)
This parable is all about the inner war in the heart. Yeshua gives us a picture of the conflict between voices. The person is said not to understand, or in the amplified, to grasp and comprehend the word of the kingdom. In the absence of taking hold of the Word, another voice comes and snatches away the Word. How does this happen? It happens through an accusation. Satan works through deception. The deception is fueled by a voice whispering before the throne of God, the heart.
The imagery used of Satan is like a bird that comes and snatches away a seed before it can take root. The seed is casually scattered along the roadside.
What do we know about the roadside? It certainly isn’t the optimal environment. The optimal growing environment is in the field that is made ready for the crops through loving attention. The roadside is actually where a certain kind of seed can thrive, the kind that is immune to Satan. The roadside is where the Romans put the crosses. The roadside is where the fear of death was displayed to terrorize everyone. The roadside is the place of shame. Everything that can steal the voice of God and His goodness is displayed openly on the roadside.
Yeshua was crucified on the roadside. Golgotha wasn’t some special hidden place. No, it was at the crossroads. In fact, it is the source of the word crossroads. The roadside is where we place billboards. The crucifixion was the billboard for the fear of death. Yeshua triumphed openly over death and the fear of death on the cross. He faced death head-on, drank from its poisoned waters, and transformed its bitterness into the sweetness of eternal life.
"but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel," 2Ti 1:10 (NASB)
It is this place that we take hold of eternal life. How? By the conversation of our heart. We recognize the voice of the accuser, and we apply the sword of the Spirit to that voice. Hebrew 4:11-13 tells us:
"Therefore let’s make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, even penetrating as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him to whom we must answer." Heb 4:11-13 (NASB)
First, we are told of a place of rest, the purpose of which is to protect us from disobedience. The rest that protects is spoken of as a result of trusting God in the wilderness of life, the barren place by the side of the road.
"Therefore, we must fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also did; but the word they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united with those who listened with faith." Heb 4:1-2 (NASB)
To enter His rest and be set free from a disobedient heart, we need to trust in Him and His goodness. We have to listen from a place of love. It is God’s goodness that draws us to repentance, to trust in Him. You listen with an open heart when you know the speaker is for you. When we know that someone is totally there for us and has no agenda but for us to be our best to win in life then that place of honor opens up our heart and we can truly listen, sh’ma, and receive the Word with such power that it makes us alive in the hearing.
We have all had the experience of the high-level anticipation of critical truth, where we are on the literal edge of our seats to hear and receive what is being said. It opens the possibility of true transformation of our heart. This is what can happen when we open up to the sword of the spirit, the words of God.
In this place, we have a weapon that arms our heart with unshakable truth. It pierces and divides spirit and soul, joints and marrow, and reveals not only what we think but why we think it, the intentions behind our thinking. Intentions are the real warfare of the spirit. Another word for intentions is motivations. First-degree murder is called premeditated murder because it shows deliberate intent to kill. The motive to kill is judged as the most severe of heart intentions.
I only use this illustration, not to shock but to illustrate how important our intentions are. This is where we need the sword of the spirit to cleave away the evil intentions in our heart.
Coming full circle, we look at the last time of genetic manipulation of God’s seed and what it produced:
"Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of mankind was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually." Gen 6:5 (NASB)
It’s time for us to revolt against the darkness of this present time. We do this through the meditations of our heart. We fight the good fight of faith by protecting the seed. The seed of God’s Word, that seed which was purchased on the side of the road that protects us from the evil one snatching away His goodness in our heart.
Activation: Let’s meditate on how truly good He is. The key to showing this in our heart is how we listen to Him. People make mistakes. They disappoint us but God will never disappoint us in the long term. Ask the Lord, what do I need to hear? What is the most important thing that I need to hear about the motives of my heart?