May 2014

In our previous post, we talked about the spiritual battle faced by Christians today. We talked about the need of having the power of God in our lives, and we introduced the first weapon used by Apostle Paul, which is Prayer

Now lets look at the second weapon

Weapon No 2: The Word Of God, The Sword Of The Spirit

Paul talks about his second weapon in Eph 6:17

“And take the helmet of salvation, and
  the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;” – Paul (Eph 6:17)

The Holy Spirit is not a sword, but the sword of the Spirit is the word of God. If one keep emphasizing on the Holy Spirit and not the word of God. It would be problematic. In fact this is what is happening to Christendom today.

Many churches emphasis on the need of receiving the Holy Spirit. Some also believe that speaking in tongues is the evidence of receiving it. They can be seen throughout the Pentecostal and the Charismatic branches

But yet when they explain the words of God, you can see this failure to talk about the truth in the bible. In fact once my friends ask me why do I regard my church as different from the other Charismatic and Pentecostal.

My point is simple
1. The Holy spirit is the spirit of truth, it guides us to all truth (Jn 16:13)
      a. He will never speak on his own authority
2. We have a faithful God who is never  yes and no (2 Cor 1:18-22) 
3. It is impossible for Church A to be thought one thing by Him, and Church B to learn something contrary by the same Holy Spirit

Therefore to me all the spirit in the churches are different, and there is a need to discern what spirit we are dealing with. The only way to discern the spirit is to compare the words he teach with the standard of the scriptures.

That is why we need the word of GOd, the sword of the spirit, without it, we cannot overcome our enemies and we would not be able to defend the truth.

The Word Of God And Organizational Power

Sadly, many churches now place emphasis on organizational structure and power.

Christian today need to understand that church organization is not a weapon in the spiritual battlefield. It is seen only as a administration method of the church. Indeed Organization is a good way to divide up responsibly among members of the church.

But this will not help us overcome our enemies in the spiritual realm. To fight that battle, we need the truth, which is the word of God, the sword of the spirit. This is the weapon that the church will need to fight this war, therefore Christians must place an emphasis on learning and pursuing after the truth. This is because

“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.” Author Of Hebrew (Heb 4:12 )

This is the effect of the word of God, which is sharper than a 2 edged sword. But do we still have this weapon?

The Real Enemy Within

Many  times we think about spiritual battle, we think our enemies must be the devil himself. But are we aware who are our enemies in this spiritual warfare?

Very often we think we are fighting against the devil, the Antichrist, the people who spread heresies. I do not deny that they are the enemies of the truth, and we need the sword of the spirit to defend ourselves and to attack them.

But sometimes, the biggest enemies to our own faith is ourselves. For often we are not submissive to God and sometimes we hold on to our incorrect concept about faith. There are times we are proud and greedy, and times when we give in to anger and jealousy.

These are all enemies of the truth as well. For Jesus once said

“What comes out of a man, that defiles a man.
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed
  evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 
thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, 
  an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.” – Jesus (Mk 7:20-22)

That is why we need the Holy spirit to change us, and that is why we need the word of God, that is sharper than the 2 edged sword.  Besides piercing the division of the soul and spirit, joints and marrow. If also divides the thoughts and intents of our heart.

Our heart often tells us of our needs and desires, but at the same time, our spirit calls out to us, telling us to pursue eternal life. He reminds us to look for things with eternal value.

God often looks at our heart, even though we often neglect it. For sometimes we perceive ourselves as spiritual and righteous, we often see the fault in others and not ourselves. We often accused others of being carnal and physical and we fail to see we are like that just as well.

Seeing Our Own Faults

That is why God spoke to the church in Laodicea

Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy,
  and have need of nothing’—and do not know that
  you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked”- Jesus (Rev 3:17)

As Human beings, we cannot see our own weakness, that is why we need the word of God to pierce into our hearts and discern our intents and thoughts

For when man comes face to face with the words of God, he is able to pinpoint his own fault. This is why many do not like to encounter it.

Sometimes when we hear sermon, we feel as if it is rebuking us, that is why we do not feel good after hearing them. But have we considered “Why are we not feeling good?”

Is a good sermon one that is full of jokes, heart warming stories? Or should it be on that tears our façade and our mask?  Should a good sermon help us see our faults and reveal the part of us that is not good?

Many modern churches refuse to point out the mistakes of the congregation. They hide behind the banner of being “Politically correct” and “Loving” . They only choose to talk about peace and love and forget justice and mercy.

But lets say, if a church only preaches love and mercy, perhaps it can attract many to be baptized into the church.  But yet when Christ comes to judge the world, these poor believers ended up subjecting to it. Are we not cheating the truth seekers to becoming Christians.

IS this how we want the word of God to work?

Conclusion About Truth As A Weapon

Therefore, if we want truth to be our weapon in this spiritual war , are we willing to allow this 2 edged sword to discern our thoughts?

For whenever we are unwilling to listen to sermons that points out our mistakes, we are forbidden the word of God to pierce through our hearts.

At the same time, we are not allowing it to become our spiritual weapon, and if that continues what would happen to the church?

If we continue to paint a negative picture of “Fighting for the truth” in the name of preserving peace and unity within the church, we would ultimately lose the only offensive weapon the church has.

who do you think would be cheering at the background? God or the Devil?

The devil loves to see Christians who choose to keep quiet about the truth, they love to see it when we refuse to use the truth as our weapons. He loves to see a church defenseless without the weapon of the apostles

This is the reason why many of us are weak in faith.

If the church wants to be victorious in this spiritual battle, we need to be like the apostles. We need to hold the same spiritual weapons used by the apostles

Let prayer and Truth be our weapons to help us fight this good fight of faith.

As my custom is, every may 3rd I would post an entry on my blog.

May 3rd had always have a special day, and I remember I started this habits in May 3rd 2010

So far the following hymns were shared

What A Friend I have In Jesus” – May 3rd 2010
“Thanks to God” – May 3rd 2011
“Day By Day” – May 3rd 2012
“All The Way The Savior Leads Me” – May 3rd 2013

It is a time I take stock of what I going on. Every year there is always new surprises, and this year God gave me one of the biggest surprised I could get. For he had allowed me finally to have a wife.

Although the road to marriage is filled with many difficulties, misunderstandings, surprises. We thank God that we could come together. This year was pretty tough as one of my beloved uncle passed away just weeks before I could return to see him. There are also lots of accusations, and pain that we all need to lead through.

No matter how sad, or how grief we may be, we have to continue to get on with life. The world will not stop turning just because we are sad and hurt. All we could do, is to walk our wilderness journey with all our might. To rely on God to guide us as we move.

In fact, when the Israelites were treading in the wilderness, God lead them personally, he went before them to protect them as they moved.

“And the Lord went before them by
day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way,
and by night in a pillar of fire to give
them light, so as to go by day and night.” – Moses (Ex 13:21)

I remember there was once I was watching a documentary on how Bedouins survived in the wilderness of Sinai. In that show, they showed us what David meant by “Green Pastures  and Still Waters.  In fact, we often thought that it was a huge grasslands and lots of water. But the truth is, grasslands in the wilderness are a rarity. Hence Bedouin shepherd boys must look around for patches of grass for the livestock, and it once the animals finish the grass, they would need to scout for new ones.

So indeed, when God guide us in life. God did not promise us a worry free life. But God would always provide enough to help us overcome all the obstacles that we need.

This is the idea that is behind the hymn “Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer” .
This hymn was something I liked as a child. But strangely, as I found the hymn online, the tune was very different from what I know.

It was only later I realize that in my church, we rearranged the lyrics and sang them in the tune of a American folk song  “Go Tell Aunt Rhody” . The original folk song is about a Aunt Rhody who kept a old grey goose that she wanted to make a feather bed with. Unfortunately that goose died in a mill pond leaving behind an old gander and goslings.

The lyrics here I posted is edited in the way that I sing it since a child.

Title:  “Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer”
Lyrics: William Williams

(Stanza 1)
Guide me, O Thou great Redeemer,
Pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but Thou art mighty;
Hold me with Thy powerful hand.

Bread of Heaven, Bread of Heaven,
Feed me till I want no more;  (X2)

(Stanza 2)
Open now the crystal fountain,
Whence the healing stream doth flow;
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through.

Strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer,
Be Thou still my Strength and Shield; (X2)

(Stanza 3)
When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Bear Me through The Swelling Current
Land me safe on Canaan’s side.

Songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to Thee; (X2)

In the tradition of keeping to the original tune, I have decided to put the original tune  and the lyrics here

But for my friends who may not believe my comment about “Go Tell Aunt Rhody” I have decided to put the tune here as a proof.That is indeed how we sing this hymn.