PSALM 149:6-9: “Let the high praises of God be in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands, to execute vengeance on the nations and punishments on the peoples, to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron, to execute on them the judgment written! This is honor for all his godly ones. Praise the Lord!”

OBSERVATION: Should Christians take up arms? This may seem like an odd question, but many today do not understand the difference between the role of governments and the role of the individual believer. The Bible is clear that God has instituted governments to execute the “sword” (His judgment) on the ungodly (Romans 13). Whereas, Christians may be involved in taking up the “sword” (defense, judgment) in their role within the government, they are never called to take up the “sword” in their role as Christians in spreading the Gospel.

Jesus made this very clear when He was being questioned by Pontius Pilate. Jesus said:

“…My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” (John‬ ‭18:36‬ ‭ESV)‬‬

Paul reiterates this truth when he writes about our warfare as Christians:

“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.” (2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:3-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

This stands in stark contrast to radical forms of religion today which employ violence and the use of the “sword” in propagating their religions. The believer is called to a warfare, but his warfare is not against flesh and blood, and his weapons are not made of steel. The believer’s weapons are the high praises of God in his mouth, and a sharp two edged sword. This sharp two edged sword is the Word of God!

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm….and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…” (Ephesians‬ ‭6:13, 17‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

It is through praise and God’s Word that we overcome the strongholds of the enemy and take captive and overcome the deceptive lies of the enemy of our souls. The believer does not always win the argument, but he always wins the battle – even when standing for his faith leads him to the point of death. To the Church of Smyrna, embroiled in a battle against those who opposed the faith, Jesus says:

“Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’” (Revelation‬ ‭2:10-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

The weapons of the believer are “praise” to God in all things, and the “two-edged sword” of God’s Word, His Truth, proclaimed with boldness, and always with love. This bold praise and testimony will not always be received, but it will always lead to victory. Our call is to be faithful in our testimony until the Lord Jesus Christ returns. There is coming a day when Jesus will come as “The Sword” to bring judgment against those who have hardened their hearts and refused to believe. Until that day we overcome in ALL CIRCUMSTANCES as we walk with the “high praises” of God, and His “two-edged sword” in our hearts and mouths.

Onward Christian soldiers!  In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy-to-follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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