“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6: 10-12, 17
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any two-edged sword …” Hebrews 4:12a
The dream was short and sweet, its meaning crystal clear.
In the past I have been able to remember a staggering number of dreams – too many. While taking a class in dream interpretation taught by a Christian counselor, I had kept a dream journal, until I found I was spending about 45 minutes every morning just writing down the dreams I could remember, and even more time interpreting them. As this was taking too much time and attention away from my waking life, I stopped writing down everything and began just recording the ones that seemed the most relevant and important. Recently I have been daily asking the Lord to help me to remember only the dreams that were from Him, and to forget what our counselor/teacher called “enchilada dreams,” the subconscious ramblings of the brain as it processes information from the day before. Now, although I know I dream a lot every night, I remember on average only about one dream per week.
Recently in a dream someone was holding out a box to me, and as I lifted the lid I saw it was full of knives – beautiful, polished, sterling silver knives. They were the sort of knives Marty and I received as wedding gifts, back when that kind of elegance was fashionable. I could tell just by looking at the blades that each knife was sharp and ready to be used. What impressed me the most was the fact that every one of them had my name engraved on the handle!
I was invited to take one, but as I grasped the handle and lifted the knife, the blade hung limp; it was not securely fastened to the handle. I tried another one – also loose. Every one of those knives was unusable, as beautiful, valuable, and sharp as it was.
When I woke up, I knew exactly what the Lord had been telling me. My devotional habits had gotten into a bit of a rut. I would pray for a half hour or more in the morning, usually while walking my dog. (It’s the perfect time for me to pray. I leave my cell phone at home, there’s no housework distracting me, and as far as I know, the dog thinks I’m talking to him.) I would also pray at the end of the day, again usually about a half hour, before crashing into bed. But unless I was either in adult Sunday school or doing homework for the Wednesday Bible study with the ladies, there was no guarantee I would be reading the Scriptures every day. Usually when I got back from walking the dog there was something waiting to be done at home. It was almost never urgent, but that didn’t seem to stop my ADD mind from getting distracted. The Wednesday before this dream, the ladies’ Bible study had been cancelled due to weather, so I had had no “homework” to do for that particular week. My daily Bible reading was already not-so-daily and had come even closer to non-existent that particular week.
I knew the dream was God’s gentle reminder to me to keep a strong grip on His word – daily. The prayers are all good, and I shouldn’t lessen up on them, but reading the Bible is the chance for God to talk to me, and my chance to strengthen my grip on the “sword of the spirit.”
The word of God doesn’t change. It will always be precious, always powerful, always “sharper than any two-edged sword.” The question is, do we have a firm grasp of it, so we can personally fight the “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly [unseen] realms”?
Prayer: Father, thank You for providing us with everything we need to live the lives You have planned for us, including the armor and weapons to fight the evil one who would thwart every one of Your plans. Help us to take a firm hold of Your word, as soldiers ready for battle. We thank You that through Your word You have already given us the victory, in Jesus’ name, Amen