Have you ever had someone pressure you into something God didn’t tell you to do? Do you remember what it did to the peace in your heart?
The Pharisees did that to Jesus during His earthly ministry. And so did some of His closest loved ones.
Jesus came to earth to bring His peace to the hearts of those who would receive Him as Lord and Savior. But peace was purchased with spiritual warfare – including His own death and resurrection. And peace is maintained by what I call the “sword of the Lord.”
The Jews had been waiting for generations for the Messiah. They thought He would bring an earthly kingdom of peace. When Jesus arrived on the scene with power and miracles, they assumed He would build this utopia for them.
But Jesus came wielding a sword. This was a spiritual sword of truth, revealing the thoughts and intents of their hearts.
Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.
For I have come to "set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law';
and a man's enemies will be those of his own household. (Matthew 10:34-36)
That’s the reason the Pharisees became so angry with Jesus. He preached Life to hungry souls, and it exposed the death in the Pharisees’ own hearts. Jesus’ sword removed their yoke of Religious control from the necks of the people.
But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. (Matthew 23:13)
Jesus’ own family were nervous about this bold preaching. The Bible says, “…even His brothers did not believe in Him.” (John 7:5,6) At one point, they tried to get Him to just quietly come home.
Throughout the Bible, the “sword” represented Godly confrontation. Jesus confronted what Satan had done to God’s people through spiritual deception.
Jesus openly opposed the Legalism and hypocrisy in the Religious system of His day.
Therefore, the Pharisees called Him rebellious. And His family thought He was crazy.
He wielded the sword and it cut to their very hearts. Those who received His Word of Grace received spiritual Life and heart Peace. It set them free.
But to the others, the truth exposed their motives and shined the Light on the darkness in their hearts.
The sword of the Lord is still being wielded today. We see it in spiritual warfare when we speak God’s Word into situations. We feel its effect when we step out in faith and obedience to God.
Sometimes it takes a lot of courage, because there’s powerful opposition against those who choose to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:29) But notice, most of the opposition comes from the Religious system – even our brethren in the Lord.
You see, Grace exposes Legalism. Honesty exposes hypocrisy. Light and darkness just don’t mix.
It’s true, the sword of the Lord divides. Those who seek Religious control over you will likely get upset and may even persecute you.
But Jesus wasn’t afraid to confront it. Many Christians today are afraid to stand up for what’s right. They’ve been fed the lie that somehow it’s sinful to rock the boat or cause “dis-unity.”
But the sword of the Lord is God’s anointing on Godly confrontation. It is spiritual authority over ungodly attitudes and demons of Religious control.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. (Galatians 5:1)
As a pastor, prophet & apostle, I have a responsibility to teach God’s Word and instruct people to be followers of Jesus.
I desire that you recognize and stand fast in the Grace God has given you. Discover your unique spiritual giftedness and anointing. Experience the great joy of walking in your Destiny: Be who God created you to be and do what He’s called you to do!
Let me encourage you in your own life and family. Be obedient to the Lord and His Word. Don’t be brought under the control of Religiosity or Legalism. And maintain your peace with the sword of the Lord.
© 2003 Mike Thompson Ministries