Miyamoto Musashi is a legendary Japanese sword-saint and philosopher who lived during Japan’s feudal period. He is undisputedly the greatest swordsman in the history of Japan, thanks to his record of 61 duels. He remained undefeated, and at the end of his life, Musashi crystalized all the wisdom he learned in his book, The Book of Five Rings. In it, this quote can be found:
“I must say that to die with one’s sword still sheathed is most regrettable.”
What is the sword of your spiritual warfare? Is it your talent? A surplus of resources? Wisdom? Knowledge? Experience? Of course, the Word of God is our sword (Eph. 6:17), but we have other resources, gifts, and privileges that we have in Christ. All of these to the Christian are tools that can be utilized in the spiritual warfare of our faith. Plus, no matter what it is that we have both within ourselves and within our possession, they are all given to us by someone—that someone being God (Deut. 10:14). We are mere stewards, allowed to use these blessings to fight the good fight (II Tim. 4:7). Our “blade” is not our own, but one that has been entrusted to us by our Father and our predecessors who have passed down their faith to us.
Then, how unfortunate is it, when we have been given swords for the spiritual battles we are to fight, that we fail to even unsheathe the blade? The one-talent servant in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 was rejected, not because he did not make profit, but because he failed to utilize that which was given to him. Ultimately, it was his inability to recognize the opportunity the talent presented and his duty as a servant to his master. The talent never got used, and the servant was cast out for it.
Our greatest failures and regrets often result from our hesitancy. Be it fear or lack of confidence in ourselves, we have many reasons for such a behavior. Yet, in a battle, a moment’s hesitation can mean the difference between life and death—especially when our adversary does not think twice before striking us down. Let us remember that we are in a spiritual battle with our sins, to fight the good fight and defend our faith. God has given us a blade sharp enough to cut through anything (Heb. 4:12). All we have to do is be willing enough to draw it.