While visiting a diabetic friend of mine, it time came for her daily dose of insulin. She slightly lifted her shirt and pressed the insulin pen firmly against her abdomen. She held it in place.
“What are you doing!?” I asked.
“I’m giving myself my insulin . . . it’s soaking in my skin,” she replied.
“No, it’s not,” I said.
“Yes, it is!” she insisted.
As a pharmacist, I was very familiar with the device she was using. The only way the insulin goes from the pen to the patient is by way of a pen needle. The needle must be screwed onto the pen. The insulin is then injected into the skin—not passively or osmotically infused into the skin.
My friend never screwed on a needle. Therefore, for who knows how long, she had not been receiving any medication.
Healthcare professionals are made aware of situations like this often. Patients misunderstand and therefore misuse medical devices. It’s one thing to have the insulin pen. It’s one thing to understand the purpose of the insulin. It is an entirely different thing to properly use the insulin pen.
This was a lesson I was happy to share in that moment with my friend.
A similar type of lesson was shared by the Apostle Paul as he wrapped up his message to the Ephesians regarding the Armor of God. Paul was well aware of the potential for the believers to have the Word of God and understand the Word of God, yet not properly use the Word of God.
Paul tells the Ephesians to ” . . . take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Side note: There are different Greek words that describe Scripture. Three of them are Graphe1, Logos2, and Rhema3.
Graphe refers to the written word, the physical book. It is the Bible itself. Graphe is the translation used in Luke 24:45, “Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.”
Logos is translated into English as “word.” Logos refers to the sayings of God. When you go to church, hear a sermon, and understand the sermon, you have just gotten the Logos, or the message of the Bible. We see this translation used in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word . . .”
That brings us to rhema, the very word Paul is using here in Ephesians 6:17b— “ . . . take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” This translation refers to an utterance, words spoken or declared.
It isn’t enough to own a Bible. It isn’t enough to study, read, and be taught to the point of understanding the message of the Bible. We don’t have a “weapon” until we use the actual recorded words of God to overcome Satan’s attacks. Not the words of our peers, our society, nor our own consciousness. We are to defeat our enemy by saying what God says about a matter.
This is exactly what Jesus did in Matthew chapter 4 while in the wilderness being tempted by Satan. Jesus stood his ground against Satan by saying, “it is written . . .” He got rid of the enemy, not just possessing or understanding what God said, but by uttering what God said regarding his situation.
That insulin was going to stay locked up in that pen until a needle was attached that could pierce the skin surface and serve as a delivery system of some much-needed medication.
The written word of God (graphe) contains a message (Logos) that, when spoken (rhema) has the power to pierce any situation our enemy throws our way. When we use and declare His word, we have, at that point, “screwed on the needle.” Hebrews 4:12 says this word is “sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit . . .”
The next time you find yourself in a trying situation, don’t just sit passively waiting on some process of osmosis to infuse some temporal change into your situation. Instead, make use of a weapon that actually has the power to allow the Holy Spirit to transform your situation in a real and redemptive way.
Tired of feeling defeated? Tired of being defeated?
Here is a suggestion: Own the written Word. Study to understand the message of the Word. Then declare the Word.
If someone asks, “What are you doing!?” unapologetically tell him or her that you are taking up your sword and using it as the powerful piece of armor that God’s Word says it is!