“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
The book of Hebrews goes even deeper into the metaphor of the word as the sword of the Spirit. The word of God is not a mere book. It is Spirit-inspired, and therefore dynamic and powerful. It is “living and active” as this Hebrews passage says, and it cuts through our attempts to hide or rationalize.
The bible is the only book that when you read it, the Author is always present. The Lord uses the word to penetrate deep into our lives, reaching places within us that we fear to go. The word exposes “the thoughts and intentions of the heart” and calls us to be completely honest and open before God.
The Lord uses the word to speak truth into our life and cut to the heart of what is most important. However, he does not force his word on us. We must invest the time to read, study, reflect, and pray. We must choose to submit and obey. The Spirit prompts, moves, and convicts, but he does not force.
Amazingly, the Lord allows us to say no to him. Even though it grieves the Spirit, the Lord allows us to use the gift of choice to resist the truth of his word.
The message in Hebrews 4 is that the sword of the Spirit is not only for fighting external battles with the devil; it is also for fighting internal battles with yourself. With your old nature. With the part of you that enjoys sin. With your deepest thoughts and intentions.
God invites you into a relationship with himself, and when you respond to that invitation he will leave not part of your life untouched. The Lord invites you to follow him all the time in everything.
May we hear the voice of the Lord and obey. May we allow the sword of the Spirit to pierce us and transform us.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts. And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139.23-24)