Updated: Jul 25
I recently did a word study on the word entrenchment. During my research, I came across an article about trench warfare:
“Trench warfare is warfare in which opposing armed forces attack, counterattack, and defend from relatively permanent systems of trenches dug into the ground. The opposing systems of trenches are usually close to one another. Trench warfare is resorted to when the superior firepower of the defense compels the opposing forces to “dig in” so extensively as to sacrifice their mobility to gain protection”.
Then came a definition that really caught my attention. And the Lord brought two different scriptures to my mind.
First, let’s look at the definition.
Entrenchment: the process or fact of an attitude, habit, or belief becoming so firmly established that change is very difficult or unlikely.
My spirit was stirred around this word as it relates to “spiritual” warfare. I thought, if anything in my mindset exalts itself over truth and love, I am likely to resort to faithless self-protection and a defensive attitude that robs me of intimate connection with Christ and others!
I imagined the troops in World War I from the article I had read. I thought about the conditions in the trenches. Trenches provided protection from bullets and shells, but they also carried their own risks. Trench foot, trench fever, dysentery, and cholera could inflict casualties as readily as any enemy. Rats, flies, and lice were also commonplace.
It is the same with spiritual warfare, if we do not move with the spirit, we can become stagnant and ineffective. If we hunker down in fear, we can become self-focused (self-protecting) instead of kingdom focused.
Now, let’s dig into the scriptures:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”
Ephesians 6:10-20 ESV
Let’s look closer at verse 17:
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,”
Ephesians 6:17 ESV
“The Greek word for “word of God” in this passage is rhema: that which is said or spoken, an utterance, in contrast to logos, which is the expression of a thought, a message, a discourse. Logos is the message; rhema is the communication of the message. In reference to the Bible, logos is the Bible in its entirety; rhema is a verse from the Bible. The meaning of rhema in distinction to logos is illustrated in Ephesians 6:17, where the reference is not to the Scriptures as a whole, but to that portion which the BELIEVER wields as a sword in a time of need”.
The first time Rhema is used in the New Testament is during Jesus' forty-day temptation by Satan. Jesus, after being tempted to feed himself through a miracle after fasting for a long period, responds with the following:
“But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Matthew 4:4 ESV
(Quoted by Jesus from Deuteronomy 8:3).
The word's second appearance in the New Testament occurs in Matthew 12 when some self-righteous religious leaders accuse the Lord of casting out demons by the power of Satan himself. He warns them that God will hold humans accountable for every idle (lazy, useless) word (Rhema) that is spoken.
“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,”
Matthew 12:36 ESV
Now, let’s take a look at the second scripture that came to mind during my research:
“For we have the living Word of God, which is full of energy, like a two-mouthed sword. It will even penetrate to the very core of our being where soul and spirit, bone and marrow meet! It interprets and reveals the true thoughts and secret motives of our hearts. There is not one person who can hide their thoughts from God, for nothing that we do remains a secret, and nothing created is concealed, but everything is exposed and defenseless before his eyes, to whom we must render an account.”
Hebrews 4:12-13 TPT
In verse 12, the Greek word for “word of God” is logos.
I invite you this week to spend time asking Holy Spirit to teach you more about rhema and logos.
Father, let us testify every day to Your love. Let the logos pierce our hearts and bring forth rhema in our time of need. Let our love and passion be like a consuming fire that melts every heart we come in contact with! Let us be the expression of Your heart and become so passionate that people are changed through Your presence in us!!! Find us faithful, Lord! Find us faithful by Your Holy Spirit!! In Jesus' name amen!