“All is fair in love and war.”
What a weird thing to say!
Love and war ought to be the complete opposites, but it sounds like some dirty play is at foot in both of them.
Both love and war are about challenges, conquest of sorts, and victory. When Stella agreed to marry me that was a great victory indeed!
The Bible, which is full of love, is also full of war. And I think there is one great battle scene that we all know. Little David, the underdog child of God versus the king of beasts, the foul-mouthed cursing God, behemoth of the dark, Goliath!
Goliath had all the armor and weapons that the Philistines version of Weapons R Us had. David went against Goliath with a sling. He picked up a stone and as Goliath bellowed at him, put it in the sling and spun it until it was just a blur, Then, at exactly the moment, He let the stone fly.
BAM! Right in the forehead! Goliath fell and the earth shook. What a great victory!
But David had practice with the sling. And he worked at it until he perfected his shot. God gave David the tools but he kept using them until he was a master of the sling. That’s a key to victory by the way.
One of my favorite weapons is the sword. When I was kid, I’d watch the sword fights in the movies and then fight epic battles with wrapping paper tubes and broom handles. I would get really excited if I managed to make the swoop sound of a sword cutting through the air.
David chose the sling as his weapon and it was effective. One of our greatest weapons in spiritual battles is the sword of truth and it is also effective. You see the sword of truth is the word of God. It is part of the armor of God that many of us know from Ephesians 6: 12-18.
But what exactly does this sword do? And why is it so effective?
Chuck Swindoll, the man behind Insight for Living Ministries, for whom I once worked, put it this way. This is from a comment on Hebrews 4:12:
- The sword of truth is the word of God.
- God’s word is alive spiritually speaking.
- God’s word is powerful.
- God’s word is sharp and pierces our barriers.
- God’s word exposes our inner most thoughts and desires.
He sums it up like this:
And this brings it back to love. Before we can receive God’s love, we must know what God’s love is. The sword of truth which is the Word of God tells us about the love of God and stirs up our spirit. Our sin and old ways can not stand against it. Even our own stupid thoughts about ourselves, that we’re not good enough, or we’re too bad, cannot stand against the truth of God’s love. Who we are is first exposed to us and then shown in the light of who God says we are. If we thought we were good, God would show us our evil. If we thought we were evil, God would show us how to move from being his enemy to his child.
We must choose the truth in out own hearts and minds. Then we get to experience the truth and power and love of God as it begins to free us from the bondage of our sin and negative self-image.
And that is how war, the war over our souls, connects with the love God has for our souls. So quit warring inside your self and accept the rescue party of the truth. Learn what the sword says about you and God. Accept the love of Christ and let God free you.
Andy Becker is a retired counselor and author of The Travelers, a fictionalized account of spiritual warfare (available on Amazon) as is, Stupid Thyroid, a book he co-wrote with his wife, Stella. He and his wife, Stella, lead Lighthouse Ministries which offers love, hope, and encouragement to one of Canada’s poorest and roughest neighborhoods, North Central Regina. His book, The Travelers, is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca