I don’t know if any of you have had a similar experience to me, but every time I go to pick my boys up from my mum’s house it is inevitable they will come home with something different from the old toys my mum has hoarded over the years. A few months ago, my youngest, age 3 came home with a toy sword he had found at Nannys. It was like Christmas morning to him! He played with the sword non stop all evening and when he went to bed he was insistent it was placed alongside the bottom of his bed.
After we had all gone to bed that night for some reason I randomly woke in the middle of the night and noticed, there standing at the bottom of my bed was my wee man, in total silence, wide awake with the sword upright and him at attention. I fully believe it was a God moment as my first thought was not frustration at having been woken but rather I immediately heard in my head the phrase
‘Teach them to keep the sword close at all times.’
I dragged myself out of bed and put him back to bed with the sword placed beside the bed but when I woke in the morning I found him fast asleep with the sword tucked in beside him with him clinging to it. I was reminded again of the prompting I had during the night, ‘Teach them to keep the sword close at all times.’ Immediately I was reminded of the passage of Scripture in Ephesians 6:13-17 about the armour of God particularly verse 17, ‘Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.’ It was so strong I journaled what had happened and thought about it for days and days.
It got me thinking of my responsibility as a mum and as a leader, do I prioritise teaching them how to use the Bible to apply it to their lives? Do I pray and ask God to give them a love and hunger to know His Word?
The Bible says ‘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’(Ephesians 6:12). The battle is real for our girls and for us. These are not easy days our girls are living in. Anxiety, fear, pain, rejection, disappointment and suffering, all part of daily life for some of us and for our girls. Yet the Bible tells us in Hebrews 4:12 ‘For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow’.
WOW! Read that again. God’s Word is alive and active!
They are not meaningless words rather words that with the help of His Spirit will change our lives. We would be silly not to take the Sword He has given us and use it to its full capacity!! What warrior would go into battle without their sword? Or would go into battle not knowing how to use it?
I heard someone speak recently and what they said really challenged me. They said if we don’t disciple our kids, the world will do it for us. This is so true and I determined, ‘Not on my watch!’ We at GBNI, want our girls to be discipled as followers of Jesus, to know how to walk in His ways and to yield our sword, the Word of God, just like Jesus did when He was in the wilderness in Matthew 4. Every. Single. Time He used God’s Word to resist the devil. God’s Word hasn’t changed. We need to learn to do the same.
So the challenge to us as GB leaders beginning the new year is do we personally keep God’s Word (the Sword of the Spirit) by our side day and night? Are we intentional in taking time to read it, study it, ask God what He is saying to us and then apply it to our lives . Do we fully appreciate and understand the power of God’s Word and how we can use it to help us as followers of Jesus to be the best disciples we can be!
Can we take that a step further. Are we prioritising teaching our girls to know God’s Word and its power, to love reading it and to realise it’s alive and active. To understand how they can use God’s Word day and- in those sometimes long, dark, scary- nights to help them transform their lives, walk in freedom and light and live life in its abundance.