The Sword of the Spirit In Action

The Sword of the Spirit In Action

The Sword of the Spirit is the subject of the last two posts in this blog.  We’ve seen what the sword is, and how Jesus used it when tempted by the Enemy.  In this post we’re going to see the sword of the spirit in action in one particular situation.

The Background

I learned about the sword of the Spirit many years ago, though I didn’t identify it as such at the time.  I grew up in a family with a father who had a debilitating illness.  In spite of a severe case of spondylitis, causing him a great deal of pain and other symptoms, he went to work every day to support our family.  That was challenging.  He had 8 children, 7 of them boys.  Imagine the grocery bills!  So, he lived with pain.  One of the byproducts of the pain was that he was would get  angry when he would get frustrated with us kids, and express it both physically and verbally.

Unfortunately, I learned that response to frustration.

There was a period of time when the church I was pastoring was going through a relocation.  The costs skyrocketed into the millions of dollars.  Also, the city made it difficult to get the permits that we needed to begin construction on the 24 acres that we had purchased.

What It Did To Me

I became angry.  I remember yelling at drivers on the freeway in California as I drove around.  Thankfully, they never knew it.  However, my children did know it.  They  knew when I got frustrated with them and yelled.  One day I went to pick cup my daughter from school.  She wasn’t where she was supposed to be, so I had to park the car, get out, and look for her.  I think yelled all the way home, and then slammed the door for emphasis when we got there.  The look on her face made me realize that something had to change.  I needed to experience the sword of the Spirit in action in my life.

Using the Sword of the Spirit

I began looking for all the passages that mention anger in the New Testament.  There are 12 of them, but not all of them were relevant for use as my sword.  Here are the ones I found particularly helpful.

The first is from the great chapter on love, I Corinthians 13

I began reciting this any time I felt anger begin to well up in me.  I would say it out loud.  This was the sword of the spirit in action in my life, and I didn’t even realize that I was engaging in spiritual warfare at the time.

The Power of the Sword of the Spirit In Action

The next verse had power as well:

Ephesians 4:26

26 “In your anger do not sin” : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, lest you give the Devil a foothold.

This verse was particularly helpful to me, because I realized at this point that I could open a door for the Enemy in my life.  So, I recited the verse and prayed.

The next verse gave me clear direction

It’s a command.  I needed to get this under control to become more like Jesus.
Here are a couple more verses that I memorized in order to use as the sword of the Spirit in action in this battle:
I Timothy 2:8
8 Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.

James 1:20

20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

The Results

I am grateful today to be able to say that, though it took awhile, I was able to control my anger.  It is no longer my first response.  And I am especially grateful that my children were young enough that they don’t remember much of that period.


So, where do you need the Sword of the Spirit?  I have applied it in this case to my own personal life, but the same principles hold as you apply it to those places where you see the enemy at work around you as well.

If you are planning to preach on this subject, here’s a resource, a list of sermons on sermon

Here’s another reflection on this if you’re interested in going deeper.