The Sword of the Spirit is a defensive and offensive weapon to be used against the enemy. It is used defensively when the enemy comes at you and attacks. It is used offensively when you are advancing and invading the enemy's territory to conquer. It is used to cut the enemy's head off (cut off the authority he tries to make believers think he has). In offensive mode it is used to claim territory for the Lord by sharing the Gospel message and deliverance with others.
In looking at Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus used the Word of God in defense against the attacks of Satan. If a person whips out a sword in front of someone, he or she will step back or even run away. When we raise the Sword of the Spirit against the enemy he must step back or run away. Our spiritual weapon, the Word of God, is the only equipment that can drive the enemy away from our presence.
Why does the Sword of the Spirit drive the enemy away?
First, notice that in Matthew 4:1-11 neither Jesus nor Satan question the authority of Scripture. They both knew the authority and the almighty power of the true Word of God. The Word of God is powerful.
Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
God says He is omnipotent. The definition of omnipotent is: "Having unlimited or universal power, authority, or force; all-powerful."
Revelation 19:6 says, "And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!"
Praise God, He is all-powerful above all with all authority over the enemy!. So, that means that His Word is also. Through the work of Jesus on the cross of Calvary God has given us that same power and authority through the name of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Luke 9:1 says, "Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases."
The Big "D" Word (Doubt)!
Next, notice that the basis of every temptation against Jesus in Matthew 4:1-11, was a temptation to doubt. Think about most of the battles you deal with in life. For example, if you wonder or worry about having enough money to pay the house, car, or utility bill, that is doubt in God's provision for you. But with every temptation He encountered, Jesus always used the Word of God, the Sword of the Spirit against Satan. Jesus repeatedly said, "It is written..."
We have that same weapon as Jesus!
Satan is defeated when we speak the Word of God against him. But in order to speak the Word, we must know Scripture thoroughly. It is important to study, memorize, and embed the Word of God deep within our hearts. We must also know how to apply Scripture if we are going to be able to handle the devil and the demonic spirits. As we study the Word of God and as we are sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, He will teach us how to apply His Word to defeat the enemy.
In Ephesians 6:17, where Paul spoke about this strategic weapon("And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God"), the Greek word he used for "Word" is rhema, which primarily means a "spoken word." It is a word that is spoken and applies to a specific need, situation, or season in your life. This rhema word, or Sword of the Spirit, is not an idle Word. It is not a Bible on a bookshelf or on the nightstand. It is not a Word that stays idle in your mind and not spoken out against the enemy. That kind of Word does not scare or defeat the devil or demonic spirits. But when you take the Scriptures, that rhema Word, that is relevant to a specific battle that is being faced, and release it out of your mouth and speak it with authority directly at the enemy, then the Sword of the Spirit becomes an active weapon.
Cooperating With the Holy Spirit
Notice the significance of the phrase "the Sword of the Spirit." This indicates cooperation between the believer and the Holy Spirit. A sword does not move on its own. Such a mighty weapon is useless when it is laying on the ground, on a shelf, or even in its sheath (what holds the sword on the hip). We have to be the ones to take up the sword. The Holy Spirit will not do that for us. But when we take up the Sword of the Spirit, then the Holy Spirit gives us the power, ability, and wisdom to use it.
Its Time to Pick Up the Sword of the Spirit!
Body of Christ, it is time to actively put our Swords to use. Pick up the Sword of the Spirit! Go forth in might and power through the anointing of the Holy Spirit destroying the works of the enemy in Jesus name!