Tuesday 6 January 2015

Divine Weapons

(With minor edit from me) Hello everyone! My name is Wesley and I might not be a familiar face to most of you here, this being my very first guest post on Sean’s blog. Sean and I had discussed and shared about this topic a couple of weeks back and I was (pleasantly) surprised when he asked me to try writing a piece here on his blog. I hope that you, the readers, may be blessed and grow deeper in your understanding of God and as well as your desire to serve Him.

Btw if you're interested, this is from Sword Art Online :D

What is a Divine Weapon?

Before we get started on the post proper, it would be appropriate to first define what I mean by a divine weapon. A divine weapon with respect to what we are going to discuss in this post is simply a talent, gift, skill or even a characteristic that we can use to serve God and His purpose. The divine element comes not so much the form that designates a particular skill or gifting, but the intent to use it for the service of God’s Kingdom. Divine weapons may come from natural means such as a skill acquired through our particular life circumstances and experiences. For example, some Christians excel in teaching and mentoring while others might possess the ability to give good counsel. But it may also come about through supernatural intervention, something that God bestows supernaturally unto you. In this case, it doesn't matter whether the divine weapon itself is of a supernatural nature (prophecy, word of knowledge) or natural (superhuman self-control, for e.g.).

(Sean here!) A more familiar word for this can simply be 'spiritual gifts'. Firstly I would like to clarify something. In many Christian circles this term would refer to those specifically referred to in the Bible, mostly from 1 Corinthians 12:8-10,28, as well as in Ephesians 4:11 and Romans 12:6-8. I don't disagree with that, but here I am simply expanding the definition because my opinion is simply that "spiritual" refers to the things of God and "gifts" is the good stuff God gives us to serve Him with. I don't think there's anything wrong/right about keeping the definition of 'spiritual gifts' limited to those specified in the Bible, but for the purposes of this post, it refers to any gift, natural or supernatural, that is used for the glory of God. 

A Need for Weapons?

Some of you might be taken aback by the title of this post. A Christian with weapons sounds like an oxymoron in these times of modern Christian Teachings espousing Love and Peace. Indeed, the very idea of weapons has connotations of violence, war and fear. But we need look no further than The Bible itself to gain a proper understanding of the matter at hand.
Ephesians 6:12
For our struggles 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.
Paul puts it in no uncertain terms that God and his followers, are at war, a war against the devil and his minions. There is a civil uprising in God’s domain, seeking to overthrow Him as Lord of the Universe. It goes without saying that as Christians, we are drafted as soldiers in this spiritual war. Let us then put on the armor of God and equip ourselves with divine weapons for His service.

(Sean here!) I recently saw this verse:
Zechariah 9:13 From now on people are my swords (The Message)
Now that we have a clearer understanding of what a divine weapon is and why we as Christian need them, let us move on to the next question: What is my divine weapon?

Identifying Your Weapon

When Sean first broached this topic to me, I was to say the least, puzzled. It was only through the use of analogy (which I will now share with you) that I truly understood what he had meant. I am pretty sure most of us here would have had the experience of playing video games or watching superhero cartoons. The main character always had a trump card, secret weapon or ultimate move that not only decimated his/her foes but also defined him/her. It was their calling card, a badge that identified them. For Ryu, it was the Hadouken. For Pokemon, it was the legendary beasts. And my personal favourite, the Dempsey roll. (From the manga Hajime No Ippo!)

The first step then is to identify our killer move, our divine weapon that we can use in the service of God. Here, I present three potential ways to identify your divine weapon but take note that this is not exhaustive. Firstly, your divine weapon could be a desire that you have in your heart. If you feel a strong burden or calling to mentor others for example, mentoring people and the skills that it requires might be your divine weapon against the devil. (That is, how you cause damage to the dark kingdom.) We are all familiar with the notion that we are often good at the things we are passionate about. This notion applies equally when it comes to identifying our divine weapon. Secondly, one potential source of a divine weapon is in our familiarity and experience in a certain skill or attribute. God is always at work in honing the gifts and talents (and also providing opportunities for us to improve it) that He has given us so that we may better serve Him and His Kingdom. If circumstances and situations that you have experienced in your life have caused you to develop a certain attribute or skill, that could very well be your divine weapon. Lastly, if we enjoy doing something or have a very strong passion that glorifies God and advances His will on Earth, it is a strong suggestion that this could very well be our divine weapon. Of course, it could be your divine weapon meets all 3 criteria, in fact I would say it is only reasonable for that to happen eventually.

To give an example, I personally feel that my divine weapon is 'relatability' – I find it easy to relate to others and understand their concerns and issues, which helps me to start and build friendships (familiarity and experience). In recent years, God has placed a burden on my heart to know people on a deeper level and truly be a blessing in their lives. (strong burden/calling) He has also placed me in divine appointments and opportunities to hone the skill of 'relatability'. Not to mention that I very much enjoy getting to know and interact with others (enjoyment/passion). These indications have led me to embrace 'relatability' as my own divine weapon. Again, it is crucial to note that the difference between what makes it a divine weapon or simply a talent I have been blessed with is intent. I have to actively use my talent in a way that serves and honors God or what Sean eloquently put as “making waves in the Kingdom of God”. After all, a sword that has not been maintained and used for battle is but a piece of metal, not to mention that it will eventually rust and become less and less useful, eventually being obsolete. 

Once you have identified your divine weapon, you should then harness and equip it well, for it will be your pride and joy and honor in your service towards the Lord and it will help you to fell obstacles that once seemed insurmountable. Imagine if all the Christians you know actively use their greatest strengths - their divine weapons to serve God, the impact will definitely bring a smile to God's face. 

But I Don't Have a Weapon?!

For those who came to that conclusion, I believe that it is one made in haste and not a true reflection of reality.

Firstly, I cannot believe that God in His wisdom, grace and mercy would leave His people ill-equipped to cope with the trials to come and deny them the very tools they require to carry out His work.

Secondly, often our divine weapons are hidden from us by the devil, masked by self-doubt or perhaps because of a lack of use. Just as muscles atrophies when it is not used, our weapon too rusts when we don't maintain it. I would also urge you against adopting a false sense of humility. In all honesty, as humans, all of us are inadequate to serve. We should then serve out of a desire, longing and hunger to please God in spite of our inadequacies. But of course, if you are absolutely clueless, well, just ask the Giver of all good things and pray that this will be revealed to you.

Thirdly, it may be that God is currently working to forge the weapon within you, just like how iron is smelted into a sword through fire, God is the blacksmith forging the divine weapon that is in you. It was only through the constant teaching and guidance (as well as many, many rebukes) of Jesus before the disciples developed skills and weapons that they used to do the Work of God effectively.

Some of you may find yourselves asking a different question: What if I don't feel the need to have a weapon/use it? While it is certainly true that we need not possess any unique skill or talent to serve God, there is benefit to having and using a divine weapon. First and foremost, it will allow us to serve the Kingdom of God more effectively. This reminds me of yet another saying: “Don't bring a knife to a gun fight.” The dark forces that we are against are using every means in their disposal to undermine God’s authority in Heaven and Earth and if we are to stand a fighting chance against scheming forces, we must equip ourselves adequately. On a lighter note, it will make our service a less boring journey but rather the excitement of wanting to actively hone and use our divine weapon will make our walk with God more joyful and eventful.

(Sean here!) Thanks to Desmond, he reminded me that in Ephesians 4:7 (emphasis mine), Paul writes: "But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it." Since he is talking in the context of gifts and special offices/responsibilities later on in verse 11, it is implied that everyone has a gift. Hopefully this resolves your doubt, if any, that you have a divine weapon as well! :D

Mastering the Divine Weapon

Next, I would like to share on why we should and also how we can master the usage of our divine weapon after we have identified it. 

They say that a chopstick in the hands of a skilled assassin is better than a sharp sword in the hands of a novice. While we Christian use our weapons to build and bless rather than to destroy, the concept of mastery applies all the same when it comes to divine weapons: you must know how to wield it effectively to create the most impact, and this also shows your reverence to God as you serve Him. That is, you want to give Him nothing but YOUR BEST! For example, the gift of the word of knowledge must be spoken to another soberly, in the right manner and at the right time, not loosely mentioned and let it be disregarded by the listener. The key element to mastering your divine weapon is simple: Practice, Practice and more Practice. (or if you prefer, serve, serve and serve more ^^) Always strive and seek to use your divine weapon in every applicable circumstance, be it in church ministry or in school or your workplace or any public place. The talents and gifts that the Lord has blessed us with will languish and go to waste if we do not learn to harness and use them effectively. Conversely, as our skill in using our divine weapon improves, we can use the weapon more effectively and in more varied ways and situations. More specifically, we can expand on how our divine weapon can be used and when/where we can use it.

Again using myself as an example, by constantly using my divine weapon of 'relatability', I expanded the ways I can use it. As I get better in relating to others, I can move beyond conversing and communicating to mentoring others, encouraging and motivating others, even lovingly correcting and rebuking if need be. Notice that the three ways of using my divine weapon that I have described. Although they are clearly distinct from one another, each requiring a different tone and having different intended outcomes, they are essentially different expressions and derivatives of my divine weapon: relatability.

At the same time, another main benefit that arises from constant use of our divine weapons is that our weapons 'level up!', the gift itself becomes more potent. For example, in the past, I was able to relate easily with people who are more logical by nature but had difficulty relating to those who were wired emotionally. (Read Sean’s previous post: Understanding emotional and logical tendencies) It was only after years of meeting new people and constantly practicing the skill of relating to others was I able to find a breakthrough and start to get better in relating to those who have a tendency towards being more emotional as compared to being logical. Now I can do the same as above: communicating, mentoring, and encouraging people, but with the added effect of a much larger variety of people.

What’s next?

Now that we have learned to identify and hone our divine weapon, why stop at one? I encourage those who are already comfortable and confident in their existing divine weapon to seek out other divine weapons and form an arsenal of weapons. Not only will you become a well rounded Christian that can serve in a multitude of ways and in various circumstances, your divine weapons can build upon one another and create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. I am currently working on developing another divine weapon: showing care and concern for others, which can compliment my existing divine weapon of 'relatability'.

A word of caution

(Sean here!) 
It is God who makes the plant grow.
1 Corinthians 3:6-8I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.
Remember that we are merely servants and instruments of God. We have a part to play, an essential part, but also a minor part. Our divine weapon ultimately brings glory to God, not simply ourselves. By extension, I also want to add that we shouldn't be superstar Christians who only want to wield the prominent weapons and refuse to serve in 'smaller', background areas. Let us be humble and serve where it is needed, with or without specific divine weapons, as we fulfill our role as a particular part of the body of Christ, for
Proverbs 3:34 He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.
Also, be open to try out different roles and skills. After all, this could be how you discover a gift/weapon/passion that you never knew you have been given. Don't be overly-selective! (all the more if you're clueless about your divine weapon) Divine weapons will show itself at the appropriate time, don't rush it, just serve and please God, and He will give you gifts beyond your wildest imagination ^^

Lastly, Job 1:21a says: "the Lord gives and the Lord takes away." Though this applies more to the blessings of Job (children, wealth etc), I believe that the same can be said for divine weapons, which are some sort of a gift as well.  that are not stewarded correctly or honed, God may choose to take it back. So be very wise in how you use these! Another example is in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. (thanks Marial)


I cannot stress enough how beneficial it is to identify your divine weapon and develop it. It will not only make your walk with God so much more fruitful, fun and exciting but it can allow God to do greater things with and through you so that His name will be exalted and glorified. I hope that this post has enlightened you, the reader in some way. If there is any inconsistencies or errors, the blame is entirely mine while any credit and good that comes from this blog post goes to Our Heavenly Father. Once again, I thank Sean for letting me write on his blog. Continue to stay tune to future posts by him!

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