Word of the Month

The weapons of the Holy Spirit

June 2014

We celebrate Pentecost in commemoration of the day when God poured out the Holy Spirit upon the believers in Jerusalem.

We fondly refer to this event as the “birthday of the church of Christ” and as a feast of joy over the fact that the Holy Spirit is still active in the church even today. How does the Holy Spirit accomplish this? The letter to the Ephesians mentions that God equips us with a special kind of weaponry (cf. Ephesians 6: 11-19). I understand this to be the weaponry of the Holy Spirit. His weapons serve to help us overcome and endure until the day of Christ’s return.

The first weapon of the Holy Spirit which we are to put to use is prayer. After all, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of prayer: He tells us what to pray for and how we are to pray. Anyone who prays out of the Holy Spirit engages in dialogue with God. Let us allow ourselves to be inspired by the Holy Spirit, and let us speak to our heavenly Father in prayer.

The weapons of the Holy Spirit include the ability to recognise the spirits and distinguish between them—even when they disguise their true nature. It can all be attributed to the activity of these spirits when we go through difficult situations and think: “But I am a child of God! I have been faithful for so many years. It is just not right that I must live in poverty.” At such times we must apply this weapon of the Holy Spirit. We recognise these spirits and discern between their intentions and the will of God: God wants us to remain faithful even in sickness and poverty.

Others may say that this way of dealing with the problem has done nothing to alleviate the situation. In that case we must engage another weapon of the Holy Spirit, namely the wonderful weapon of courage of faith. After all, Satan, the prince of these spirits, summons up all his power to make us think that it is quite impossible to do the will of God. Here I am reminded of the Bible passage that Chief Apostle Leber once laid into our hearts: “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18: 27). That is confidence. That is courage of faith.

On one occasion the devil approached Jesus and tempted Him (cf. Matthew 4). He proposed a number of things which he wanted the Lord to do, and the Son of God gave him a very clear answer each time. The devil offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the earth and probably even harboured the hope that He would agree. But Jesus said no. Here He deployed the weapon of the fear of God. He knew that anything given by God is always better than any offer of the devil. The fear of God shows us what comes from God. The fear of God is another one of these important weapons of the Holy Spirit.

Our heavenly Father has given us weapons of the Holy Spirit such as prayer, the ability to discern the spirits, courage of faith, and the fear of God—and He has poured out His love into our hearts (Romans 5: 5) so that we may be able to love our neighbour even in difficult situations. The love we have for our neighbour is the sharpest of all the weapons of the Holy Spirit.

(From a divine service by the Chief Apostle)