Wielding the Sword of Truth

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Years ago, we feasted during a dinner show at Medieval Times in Southern California.

Waitresses served our four course meal on metal platters piled high with large stalks of broccoli, a half of a chicken, and a baked potato the size of a nerf football.

Smiling barmaids poured soda refills before our large iron mugs reached the half-full mark.

Jousting knights faced one another in the center arena. Swordsmen performed an intricately choreographed dance of clashing metal. Clouds of dust rose and fell to the rhythm of each mighty steed’s pounding hooves.

We finished our meals and raised our mugs as the king led his army in a victory lap.

The crowd cheered louder.

Eyes wide, I appreciated the diligence of the knights in shining armor. They must have practiced daily to become master swordsmen.

As a follower of Christ, I understood the necessity of learning how to wield a mighty weapon.

The apostle Paul prepares believers for the war this world rages against the King of Kings.

Paul writes, “Take up the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17)

He says the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God, not like the Word of God.

He proclaims our need for the Holy Spirit in order to battle with courage, confidence, and clarity.

But before we practice, we must be nourished.

Our strength must be fueled as we recline at the King’s table, prayerfully feasting on God’s living and active Word.

Jesus says, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I said to you.” (John 14:26)

All three Persons in the Trinity are present in this one power-packed truth verse.

Jesus spoke, just as He continues to speak through Scripture now. The Father sends. The Holy Spirit teaches and reminds, just as He does while dwelling within Christ’s disciples today.

Power surges from the sword of the Spirit. And it’s our responsibility to learn how to use the sword the King has so graciously given to us.

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”  (Hebrews 4:12-13, NIV)

God’s Word reveals, transforms, empowers and brings understanding.

And Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, demonstrates how to stand firm on the mighty Word of God.

In Matthew 4, the Holy Spirt led Jesus into the wilderness. The devil tempted Jesus, twisting Scripture, challenging the Son of God by spouting the Father’s words out of context.

The lies didn’t stump Jesus, Creator of the Sword of Truth and Master of Swordsmen−Jesus, the Word, the Truth, the Way, and the Life. He battled satan with Scripture.

The enemy attacks relentlessly, seeking to devour, discourage, and destroy the people of God.

Like the valiant knights in the Medieval Times dinner theater, we need battle drills.

Our practice requires nourishing our spirits and developing muscle memory through the study of and obedience to God’s Word, daily.

The Holy Spirit strengthens our stride and arms us for battle, but we do not fight alone.

God fights for us and with us. He gives us troops to fight alongside us−the Body of Christ.

We need God. We need His Word. We need each other.

Running through daily drills, practicing and more practicing, familiarizes us with our trusty sword’s sharpened edge and prepares us for unexpected attacks.

By God’s grace and in His power, we can lift our hands in praise as our King leads us into victory, one battle at a time.

Lord, thank You for the honor and privilege of being invited to feast on Your Word. Thank You for empowering us to practice our swordsmanship through a lifestyle of worship and obedience. Please fill us with a sense of urgency and excitement to spend quality and quantity time with you every day. Arm us with clarity and understanding. Empower us to stand firm against the enemy’s attacks. And nourish our souls with Your Truth as we share Your story with boldness of faith and courageous confidence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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What is one thing you can do to make prayerfully reading and applying Scripture more of a priority in your life?

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“Wielding the Sword of Truth” by X. E. Dixon was previously published on the FBC Blog – June 11, 2015

A portion of “Wielding the Sword of Truth” by X. E. Dixon was previously published at www.xedixon.com on February 26, 2012

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Celebrating the Inspire Victory Book Launch

Inspire Victory Book CoverInspire Christian Writers is celebrating the launch of Inspire Victory during the month of May, 2014.

I’m praising God for the privilege of serving through this awesome ministry opportunity.

My short stories, Never Alone and The Apology, and one poem, Amazing By Grace, have been published in this year’s anthology.

Praise the Lord!

 

 

Inspire Victory - Book Launch - 2I pray God will use every writer in this anthology to inspire readers to rise up with victorious praise in all circumstances.

 

 

 

Please help us spread the word so we can continue spreading God’s Word through the art of storytelling and poetry.

 

Inspire Victory - Book Launch - 7You can order your copy at Barnes & Noble or Amazon today!

Thanks for your support.

 

 

 

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Writer’s Prayer: An Open Invitation

Feb to March 2013 267“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” Psalm 139:7-10, NIV

 

 

Thank You, Lord, for reminding us that You are Immanuel, God with us.

 

When we are facing uncertainty, You shine a light on our path.

 

When we are feeling isolated, lost, or alone, You hold us firmly in love everlasting.

 

You go before us and secure our flank.

 

Your presence overpowers the magnitude of our circumstances.

 

Your Word reminds us we can do nothing apart from You.

 

Even though we know You’re constantly present with us, we invite You into our day to day living, Lord.

 

We invite You into our writing process, too.

 

Please give us the story ideas that bring You glory.

 

Help us seek Your face before we sit down to write.

 

Help us bend to You as we craft each piece, allowing you to guide our word choices.

 

Help us praise You as we welcome You into the editing process.

 

Help us trust Your plan, even when it differs from our expectations.

 

May each piece we write be a reflection of our communion with You. We surrender our writing journey to You, Lord.

 

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

How do you invite God into your writing process?

 

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A portion of this prayer was previously published on the Inspire Christian Writers blog on May 6, 2012

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He is Here! – A Poem for Garden of Innocence

Baby Gripping Finger by LEP 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

He’s Here!

By Xochi E. Dixon

 

My life makes a difference, no matter the span.

I’m designed with a purpose, a part of God’s plan.

 

Every hair on my head, whether peach fuzz or long,

has been numbered by Jesus, to Whom I belong.

 

The depth of His love and the width of His grace,

will hold you up firm, as you remember my face.

 

Though I’m going before you, I mattered to God.

In His presence, protected by His staff and His rod.

 

No more pain. No more tears. No more worries. No fears.

I’m safe in the arms of my Savior. He’s here!

 

 

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I wrote this poem in response to a request through Inspire Christian Writers.

The service for the babies being buried by Garden of Innocence will be held on September 21, 2013. For more information, contact Brianna at Brianna.Spohr@gmail.com

Please pray for these babies and for this event, as the Holy Spirit leads and help spread the word about this ministry.

If you are a writer, please click on this link to a post written by Beth Thompson, president of Inspire Christian Writers, to read the details on how you can “contribute a poem (or several) for this event and help provide a dignified burial for these precious children.”

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Photo taken by Lauren Pfahlert

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A Writer’s Prayer: For God Is Who He Is

Cancun Aug 2012 253“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9, NIV

 

 

 

Almighty God, Creator of the heavens and the earth, we worship You.

 

You determine the boundaries for the land and the sea. You control each rolling wave and paint the skies with vibrant reflections of Your complete love for us.

 

Your mercies radiate through every sunrise.

 

“In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” (Psalm 5:3, NIV)

 

Nothing is hidden from You.

Nothing is impossible with You.

Nothing surprises You.

 

Help us reflect on Who You are as You reveal Yourself through the treasure of Your Word.

 

Through Abraham, You showed Yourself faithful.

Through Moses, You showed Yourself mighty.

Through Joshua, You showed Yourself sovereign.

Through David, You showed Yourself merciful.

And through us, You show Yourself still constant, unchanging, loving and always in control.

 

Remind us that writing is an expression of worship, a tool for ministry, a gift to be used for Your glory. Purify our motives, ignite our creativity, and help us trust You in our waiting seasons.

 

“For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.” (Psalm 90:4, NIV)

 

We acknowledge You, Lord. You are Who You are.

 

You will make our paths straight.

 

You are always right on time.

 

Hallelujah!

 

In Jesus’ name, Amen

 

In what aspect or season of your writing journey has it been difficult to trust God? How did the Lord help you through that tough time?

 

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Previously Published on the Inspire Christian Writers blog on April 22, 2012

 

For God Is Who He Is: A Prayer of Wholehearted Trust

By Xochi E. Dixon

Photo by X. E. Dixon

 

 

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A Writer’s Prayer: A Heart Surrendered

Cancun Aug 2012 289“But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.” Psalm 5:11, NIV

 

 

 

The world may tell us that surrendering means defeat. But, Lord, we are so grateful that You are not of this world. We serve a living and loving God! Hallelujah!

 

When we surrender to You, we rise up in victory. Praise the Lord!

 

Thank You for the times in our lives when we feel inadequate, weary, discouraged, and afraid. And thank You for using the Bible to empower us with truth during those dark and difficult times.

 

Thank You for those times of uncertainty and change that remind us we don’t have control over situations. And thank You for assuring us that we can trust You because You are sovereign and always in control.

 

Your Word reminds us that You created the Universe, planned each of our days, and will work all things out for the good of those who love you. Help us trust You as we remember Your plan involves the entire body of Christ, not just us.

 

Help us lay every fear at Your feet and cast every anxiety into Your capable hands. Give us an insatiable desire to know You and courage to depend on You.

 

“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” (Psalm 68:19, NIV)

 

With arms raised in worshipful surrender, we open our hearts to receive victory in the light of Your glorious love.

 

In Jesus’ name, Amen

 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-, NIV

 

What aspect of your writing journey is the hardest for you to surrender to God?

 

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Previously Published on the Inspire Christian Writers blog on April 15, 2012

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A Writer’s Prayer: Because God IS, I Will Trust Him

Cancun Aug 2012 258“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9, NIV

 

 

 

Almighty God, Creator of the heavens and the earth, we worship You.

 

You determine the boundaries for the land and the sea. You control each rolling wave and paint the skies with vibrant reflections of Your complete love for us.

 

Your mercies radiate through every sunrise.

 

“In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” (Psalm 5:3, NIV)

 

Nothing is hidden from You.

Nothing is impossible with You.

Nothing surprises You.

 

Help us reflect on Who You are as You reveal Yourself through the treasure of Your Word.

 

Through Abraham, You showed Yourself faithful.

Through Moses, You showed Yourself mighty.

Through Joshua, You showed Yourself sovereign.

Through David, You showed Yourself merciful.

And through us, You show Yourself still constant, unchanging, loving and always in control.

 

Remind us that writing is an expression of worship, a tool for ministry, a gift to be used for Your glory. Purify our motives, ignite our creativity, and help us trust You in our waiting seasons.

 

“For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.” (Psalm 90:4, NIV)

 

We acknowledge You, Lord. You are Who You are.

 

You will make our paths straight.

 

You are always right on time.

 

Hallelujah!

 

In Jesus’ name, Amen

In what aspect or season of your writing journey has it been difficult to trust God? How did the Lord help you through that tough time?

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Previously Published on the Inspire  Christian Writers blog on April 22, 2012

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A Writer’s Prayer: Clinging to You, Lord!

Shadows holding hands by Lindsie Nicole West - adobe edited“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 37:4, NIV

 

 

 

Thank You, Lord, for inspiring our dreams and igniting our passion to honor You with every word we write.

 

Help us delight in Your goodness, rejoicing as we acknowledge Your sovereignty.

 

Help us delight in Your faithfulness, praising You for revealing Your love to us in times of tears and times of laughter.

 

Help us delight in Who You are, and what You’ve done for us, as we place every moment of our lives on the altar as an offering of our devotion.

 

Help us follow in courage as we worship in joy that does not depend on our circumstances.

 

Help us cling to You alone, knowing You will bring to fruition the beautiful plan You’ve written for our lives.

 

May knowing You intimately be the ultimate desire of our hearts, Abba.

 

Align our desires with Yours, Lord.

 

Please, do what You will, loving Shepherd.

 

And help us trust You.

 

In Jesus’ name, Amen

 

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Portions of this prayer were previously published on the Inspire Christian Writer’s blog  on April 1, 2012

 

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A Writer’s Prayer: Let Your Mercy Flow

Rushing Water through the woods by LEP edited 2012“It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.” Deuteronomy 13:4, NIV

 

 

 

Thank You for welcoming us into Your presence, Lord.

 

You are transcendent and immanent. You are our faithful Shepherd and our Wise Counselor.

 

You call us to serve You and equip us for the work You have planned for us. Please give us discerning and obedient hearts as we seek Your will for us.

 

Identify anything we are placing above You in our lives and purge us of impure motives. Fill us with courage to follow You, even when the path looks impossible or doesn’t make sense.

 

Help us not to limit You by setting expectations or measuring our success by worldly standards.

 

No matter what we are facing or how we are feeling, empower us with Your truth.

 

Let Your mercy flow like a gushing river, through the moments that feel shadowed by our circumstances and the moments showered in Your Light.

 

Those who know Your name will trust in You, for You, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.” (Psalm 9:10, NIV)

 

Yes, Lord, it is You we are committed to serve with every breath we take and every word we write.

 

In Jesus’ name, Amen

 

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Previously Published on Inspire Christian Writers Website on March 25, 2012

Photo by Lauren Pfahlert

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A Writer’s Prayer: Writing with a Worry-Free Heart

Lilies and Roses Feb 2013

 

 

 

 

 

“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothed the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!” (Matthew 6:27-30, NASB )

 

Thank You, Lord, for blessing us with the power of the Holy Spirit Who opens our eyes with understanding and strengthens our resolve with the peace of knowing You’re in control.

 

Help us to remember You, our Provider, know and care about our deepest needs.

 

Align our will and our heart’s desires with Yours.

 

Keep our eyes steadfast on You.

 

Empty us of self so that we can experience the peace of trusting Your plan, Your provision, and Your timing.

 

Pluck worry from our minds and hearts so that we can serve You through writing, pursuing You above any form of publication.

 

Help us not to concern ourselves with the possibilities of rejections or acceptances, as we work toward excellence of craft and write for Your glory in obedience and faith.

 

May our main goals be to please You, to serve Your people, and to honor You through the ministry of love You’ve placed in our hearts.

 

In Jesus name, amen

 

What verse or verses does the Lord use to help you place your worries in the palm of His loving hand?

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