The Scripture was so accurate, I laughed aloud.
I lie in the dust;
revive me by your word.
I saw the picture immediately — me, lying face down in the dirt, too discouraged to even move. Just about as low as I could get. Almost ready to throw in the towel.
Yup, that’s how I felt that morning.
OK, I confess, before that morning, I don’t think I had ever read through the entire chapter of Psalm 119 at one sitting. Sometime long ago, I had learned the obvious fact that this is the longest chapter in the Bible. That could be why I’ve avoided sitting down and reading it, beginning to end.
I also know that every one of those 176 verses has a reference to God’s word.
God certainly got my attention by throwing that verse at me on that blue morning. As I read through all of chapter 119 (yes, I did) I began to notice all the things the Word of God does in our lives: It is a light for my path, it makes me wise, it guides my steps, it revives me (I needed that), it brings encouragement, renews my life, and leads me to joy and freedom.
Why not saturate myself with the power that does all those things?
And then my ten-year-old grandson wanted to teach me to play a new Wii game. When we were young, my siblings and I sat in front of the TV and watched Bugs Bunny blow up Yosemite Sam or Roadrunner smash Wile E Coyote. Now, two generations down, the kids are blowing up droids with a lightsaber. (Do I have those terms right?)
So on that day, I picked up the little white control thingie, trying to understand which button or movement makes me, the good guy on the screen, jump, twirl, kick, run, or change into some super-hero.
And then I discover a secret. One push at the right time on the right button shoots a shining, pulsating stream of light that looks like a sword (to my old-fashioned mind) straight toward the nasty creature advancing to attack me. I flick my wrist and … slice! slice! slice! I’ve chopped up the menace and dispensed with that danger. On to the next alien!
I was grinning as I sliced and chopped all advancing threats. (Oh dear, that’s a horrible thing for a Mennonite pacifist to admit!) But I was smiling because, in the middle of that Wii game, the Spirit was reminding me: “This is exactly what the Scriptures can do to all those things that attack you.”
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
The Spirit lives in me, and His weapon, that with which He does battle against my enemies, is the lightsaber of the Word of God. When I am under attack from things without and within, the Word can slice up and dispatch those threats.
The Word fights our discouragement, our doubt, our fears, our tendency toward envy and jealousy and anger and malice, our insecurities, our pride, our lack of faith, our blindness, our stubbornness, our bitterness, our hunger, our cynicism, our forgetfulness of God … I could go on and on.
All of those things that Satan, hoping for our defeat, sends to attack us, the Spirit can vanquish. His weapon is the Word.
Put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil … Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Scripture: Ephesians 6:13,17
Recommended Read: Psalm 18 is one of my favorites. It begins with the writer entangled by the ropes of death, overwhelmed, caught in a trap, helpless. He cries out to God, who dramatically comes to save him, and then God arms him with strength, trains him for battle, gives him a shield of victory. The psalm ends with the writer saying he chased down his enemies and struck them down, put his foot on their necks, ground them fine as dust, and swept them into the gutter like dirt. What a victory story!
Spirit, give us those victories, too!