Have you ever been hit in the eye with a sword?
My brother, Jamie, almost was! (Okay, it was a plastic sword, but it was still pretty dramatic!)
It was Christmas a few years ago and we were visiting some friends who have two little kids. These kids love playing with him. They think he's the funniest guy in the world. (I guess he's just a big kid at heart.)
While we were all in the living room playing, one of my little friends pulled out a plastic sword they got at a pirate show. While she was waving it around, pretending to stab Jamie in the arm, she missed her mark and the sword went right for his eye. Thankfully, she just missed and his eye wasn’t damaged. But it reminded me that even in the hands of a toddler, a sword can be powerful.
Perhaps that’s why Hebrews 4:12 describes God’s Word as a two-edged sword: For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (NIV)
This verse reminds us that God’s Word is more than just a book meant to sit on a shelf. It is practical, applicable, and at meant to make a difference in our lives.
Recently, I was reading this passage in my Fire Bible. The notes for this passage point out that, like a sword, the Bible cuts into our innermost being in order to discern whether our thoughts and motives are worthy or unworthy, spiritual or unspiritual.
It cuts away the spiritual corruption from our lives and brings healing and life to those who submit to it.
Like a warrior’s sword, God’s Word brings judgment and destruction on those who openly defy it.
Basically, the Holy Spirit uses the words of the Bible to teach us God’s ways, convict us when we are not following God’s ways, show us the motives inside of our hearts that are wrong, and lead us back to God’s truth.
Like a sword, the Holy Spirit uses God’s Word to cut through the garbage and noise of our excuses, our sinful desire and wrong motives, and say, “Stop the nonsense: this is God’s way—choose to obey.”
Personally, I've experienced many times when I've been reading the Bible when I felt the Holy Spirit say, "Hey, 'Des, this applies to you. Don't just read it--apply it to your life."
That's how it's supposed to be. The Bible isn’t just a boring book full of old stories and ideas. It’s living, it’s alive, and it’s meant to make a difference in your life. It’s designed to reveal your heart and create a response inside of you.
It’s supposed to bring conviction so you can correct your path and walk in God’s ways.
One of our dear friends, Pastor Phil Menditto says, “I rarely read the Bible that I don’t feel the Holy Spirit convicting me of something in my life.”
That’s how it’s supposed to be. Like a sword, it’s a powerful weapon designed to make a difference in our lives.
If we want to be strong, godly women who make a difference in the world around us, then we need to allow the Word of God to do it's work.
As we read it, we need to be open the Holy Spirit using it to correct us.
When this happens, our response should always be, "Thank you God, I'll do things your way."
That's how God uses His Word to change us, heal us, and shape us into the women He wants us to be.
Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.
When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry."