“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
I heard a story about a man who went to see a doctor because both of his ears were severely burned. The doctor said, “Oh my! I have never seen anything like this. Please tell me what happened.”
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The man said, “Doc, I was ironing and had my phone next to the iron. Someone called, and I answered the iron instead of the phone.”
“That is horrible!” the doctor said. “How did you burn your other ear?”
“Well, they called back.”
There are natural reflexes and conditioned reflexes. For instance, if you touch a hot iron and pull away, that’s a natural reflex. A conditioned reflex, however, is something you’ve taught yourself to do, like drive a car. When you’re first learning to drive, there are a lot of things to remember: put the car in gear, look over your shoulder, and use the turn signal. But after you’ve been driving for a while, you don’t have to think about those things anymore. You’ve learned to do them automatically.
We want to develop a conditioned reflex when it comes to our spiritual lives. In Ephesians 6, the last weapon Paul lists in the Christian’s spiritual arsenal is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. You can have all the greatest armor, but if you don’t have the sword, the enemy will take you out. We need to learn how to use the sword of the Spirit.
What shape is your sword in? Is it polished from daily use as you study the Scriptures on a regular basis and sharpen it on the anvil of experience as you obey what it says? Or, is it rusty and dull from disobedience?
If you neglect the Scriptures, your spiritual life will unravel. You need God’s Word in your life.