Being your Sword
To know what is your sword personally is to know how The Word is activated through your unique vessel and personality.
Each person is a unique expression or creation of God. At times, God uses or wields you as a spiritual weapon, or to minister Himself into another person or situation. When He does, it has many purposes. Often it is as much about you understanding and knowing more of who He is, as it is about helping the other person or fighting the enemy. Each person has a unique identity (Ephesians 2:10-for we are his poesias or craftsmanship). Each of us IS a unique path or way of God! Accordingly, each of us is used in unique ways and times to accomplish His purposes.
It is not just that each person has unique spiritual gifts, which we are given by God to accomplish His purposes in our lives; but it is also that the “gifts” flow through each person uniquely according to how we are made. You see that Jeremiah carried the spirit of prophecy in a different way than, say, Isaiah. They both moved in the prophetic parts of God, but they carried unique EXPRESSIONS of the prophetic.
As I believe that knowing one’s identity preceeds knowing one’s calling or appointment, it is important to see the contours of who we are, before we can understand what He has given us to “do” in our lives–identity preceeds vocation. Identity has to do with how we express the spiritual gifts out into our vocations or “jobs of the Lord”. Being able to discern between who we are, and what we “minister” is another way of talking about this subject.
To minster is always to offer some aspect of Christ’s Life into a person. When He picks up us as a sword or instrument to use to minister to someone else, we should know this. In this way, we learn His Wisdom. For He does not just pull out any old sword at any old moment, but He wields with precision and accuracy. So to know what kind of sword you are is good; for it is to know your identity. But to then be led by his Spirit, and “be wielded” when He chooses,to become a weapon in the hand of a mighty God, is to go further and learn His Wisdom.
Once, we know our gifts or our sword, we are tempted to use them willy nilly, or whenever our soul’s desire. But wisdom is to be led to use our sword only as and when He is using it. In this way, we learn more about the complexity of how God ministers. It is then less about ourselves and our gifts, and more about The Father’s ways and how HE ministers (“I only do what I see the father doing”, Jesus, the ultimate minister, said).
Most people do not know their swords. And they do not know that they ARE a sword. This is basic. When I speak of people as swords, I do not mean that we are ONLY weapons. I only mean to say, that God uses people to cut through flesh and carnal nature to minister to and address the spirit of others, to give it things it needs at a certain time on its journey.
If we continue to think of our swords as only external to ourselves, we will not learn how to use them! Yes, the Bible is the sword, but, even it must be wielded or made active by The Spirit. The Word, which is in the Bible, is also living in us, if we have Christ living in us! This Word must be made active in us for us to become swords wielded by God. A sword which is wielded by God is always wielded in love, for He is love. When we wield our own swords being led by our souls, we often lack love, and always lack wisdom! But it also does not end up ministering Christ AS he is being minstered. So we don’t learn how God is working in that situation. Our goal again is to know and love God!
The church largely has not understood the relationship between soul and spirit; nor has it understood the relationship then between identity and spiritual authority. I often go to the beginning of Jeremiah for this teaching, because that is how it was taught to me. First God told Jeremiah, that He formed him in his mother’s womb (this echoes what God told David in Psalm 139); then God told Jeremiah, that he was a prophet. The fact that God made and knew Jeremiah’s identity gave Him the authority to know exactly what Jeremiah was given to “do” or his spiritual profession or appointments.
Being shown who we are in Christ, comes before being told what we are to do or minister for God! Again, identity preceeds vocation.
Discernment, practically speaking, is a gift God gives us to be able to tell among other things, what is from the soul and what is of the spirit. When we are leading our lives from our souls, we will not be moving in the fullness of what God has for us. Our soul’s must be led by The Spirit in order to become “sons of God” (“for as many who are led by the spirit, these
The soul was meant to be led by and express the spirit! This is true even within an individual. So that the spirit of a person should lead the soul. A person’s spirit should in turn be led by The Spirit of God. This is the order. When we lead based on our soul, we place our gold in the wrong pots! And we do not get to see and know His Wisdom as we minister His gifts and life into people! Discernment, which has within it understanding, shows us the difference between what is soul and what is spirit. If we don’t move in discernment, we are unable to distinguish when we actually using our swords in alignment with how He is using them! And this is my point. To be wielded by God, is to know how God wields and why. This lead to understanding and knowing His Ways and His Wisdom! To know and love God is our goal in life, and is the goal of any helping of others we do on earth.
To not know when we are using our God given swords, is to get into all sort of messy situations! In this article, I am suggesting that knowing thyself comes first before ministering Christ to others. The reason is that we can be using our swords in places which God is not using them, and bring much damage to others rather than Life! For example, if your “sword” is to see deeply into people’s pain and minister His healing there; and you do not know when you are doing this; you may pop open deep life wounds, that you do not have the ointment to heal. People will end up feeling violated, and without the necessary support to walk through those issues you have just poked open!
I for instance, have a gift of words, to be able to speak deeply into people’s spirits and basically name their identities for them. Well, if a person is not ready to know their hidden heaven name, then this can suddenly throw someone into very deep waters. When I was younger, I often did this, and could not understand why it did not bear fruit, and instead, often just left that person confused, having been touched deeply and “seen”, but not able to walk that naming out and encouraged to life in it! I think that therapy often leaves people in this place. If you have the gift to see deeply into others and name what you see, then you really need to be led by The Spirit when and how to do that. Otherwise, you may prematurely open things in them which God is not opening! God does have great grace, and let me swing my sword around before I knew I had one; but there is a time to grow in wisdom and to be led by Him, allowing Him to use that sword when and how He sees fit!
The same holds for those who have the ability to build networks or structure events. Yes, you can build this or that bridge, but if you are not being led by His Spirit, people will not be ready to walk on those bridges or receive all that God has for them in those structures. So someone with that structure building “sword” may make many beautiful bridges between people, but forge the wrong relations or ones not in God’s timing etc. To know both what your sword is, and how HE is using it is the key to knowing His wisdom, and also to building AS He is building.
I do think there are seasons of Grace, when people are learning to use their gifts and swords; but then there is a time for greater maturity. To learn who we are in Him is the basic starting point to growth in what He has given us to do. As we give Him more and more of who we are, and ask Him to show us how He sees us, how He formed us, we will gradually come to see why and what He has asked us to “do”. Our vocations will pop freely from our beings, and we will become swords wielded from above by a great unseen Hand of wisdom and love! And we just might be more helpful in the long run!