Text: Psalm 119:81-104, Hebrews 4:12-13, Ephesians 6:10-17, Proverbs 30:5
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Ephesians 6:11-12 NIV
Why do we bother to memorize Scripture? If Jesus came and conquered death, is there anything else to worry about? We believe; we live as Christians; we go to heaven.
It’s not quite that simple, is it?
Our Christian lives are a constant struggle. The battle is ongoing and it won’t end until the day Jesus returns to complete the defeat of Satan. As the Reformation Study Bible notes, “The forces of darkness are defeated, but not yet harmless.”
In Ephesians, Paul instructs us on how to put on the “full armor of God,” covering ourselves with the things of God, from feet to head. In the end, we are told to “take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). The Bible does not need us to defend it. We need the Bible to help us stand firm in Christ.
Putting on the full armor of God is more than belief. It includes studying God’s Word, letting the Holy Spirit guide our hearts and minds as we read it, and being in prayer about having our hearts and lives changed through it. The Bible is meant to actively change us, actively change our world, and prepare us for the resistance we will meet in this Christian life.
We will fight, but we will not fight alone.
His Word is living and active, and it fights for us.
But that’s not all.
The writer of Hebrews also uses the imagery of the sword, describing God’s Word as “piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). This living, sacred text not only guards our hearts, it penetrates and knows them, too. Reading Scripture and meditating on it, storing it up in our hearts and minds, is not mere Christian duty. It is our privilege.