I was studying the scriptures this morning for understanding of just what the “Sword of my Spirit” is, referred to in Ephesians 6:17, and why it is referred to as a “sword.”

That scripture says the sword of the Spirit “is the word of God.” I noted that a sword cuts down, pierces through, and wards off. I wondered, how does the word of God do that in my life?

As I thought about it, I realized that if I’m reading it regularly, the word of God cuts down the amount of pride in my soul. I am humbled, and I can see more clearly where my tendency to judge gets in the way of my ability to love.

In Psalms 34:18 I read, “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart...”

I want the Lord to be near me. As I read the word of God, my heart is pierced through and broken as I recognize where I have been hard-hearted toward another of His children, and where I have said or done things that were hurtful or thoughtless. I feel a need to make amends, and to pray for a more compassionate response to those around me.

Finally, if I am consistent in my study of God’s word, it helps me ward off the attempts of the evil one to discourage me, to dissuade me from doing good, and to convince me I am of little worth. It helps me ward off indifference, and to grow in faith.

I love Neal A. Maxwell’s comment, “We must search the scriptures regularly. Unstudied, unapplied, dormant doctrines will seem to shrink in importance and relevance, for this is the atrophy that precedes indifference or apostasy.”

I am still searching for understanding. But I’m beginning to see that if I am to have any good effect on the world, I can’t just protect myself from harm. I need to study, and learn, and take up the sword. I need to cut down, pierce through, and ward off every influence that would have me live indifferent to others’ struggles and content with mediocrity.  

The hilt feels good in my hands. I pray for heavenly help as I learn to wield this sword ever more skillfully.  

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