loving the sword
"Whoever fulfills and teaches these commands shall be great in the kingdom of God." —Matthew 5:19
During Lent, we especially try to imitate Jesus when He was led by the Holy Spirit into the desert. There Jesus overcame the temptations of the evil one by using God's word. We also should use God's word to have victory over temptations.
However, to do this, we must deeply believe that the Bible is much more than "the word of men, but...truly is, the word of God at work within (we) who believe" (1 Thes 2:13). We won't use God's word in our temptations if we don't hear, read, pray, live, and share it at other times. Even if we do quote the Scriptures, why should the devil tremble if we don't tremble at God's word (Is 66:2), but only give it lip service? Victory through God's word is based on living in God's word. When we know, cherish, and obey every letter and part of a letter of God's law and word (see Mt 5:18), the Lord will bring down the strongholds, "sophistries and every proud pretension that raises itself against the knowledge of God" (2 Cor 10:4-5). When our obedience to the Lord's word is complete, we will have the power to "bring every thought into captivity to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Cor 10:5). Before we use God's word as a sword (see Heb 4:12), we must first cherish it as the "joy and the happiness" of our hearts (Jer 15:16).
Love, live, obey, and share God's word. Then you can use it to fight the evil one.
Prayer: Father, first teach me to love Your word and then to use it as a weapon.
Promise: "Take care and be earnestly on your guard not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live, but teach them to your children and to your children's children." —Dt 4:9
Praise: When confronted with an angry co-worker, Frank kept calm because he had formed the habit of letting the Lord guide his thoughts through the Scriptures (see Jas 1:19).
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 23, 1998
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 27, 1998