SWORD (5 Levels of Bible reading)

The best way to adopt greater levels of truth is directly from the Bible. Here are my (Steve's) five levels of Bible-reading that I use to take my encounters with God and His truth to the next level. Use this SWORD acronym to defeat lies while infusing your spirit with truth. 

Level 1: SCAN-READING 

  • The washing of the water of the word (Ephesians 5:26).
  • This is quantity reading or listening. It is our daily spiritual shower, cleansing us from spiritual dirt we may have picked up.
  • “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (I Peter 2:2).

Level 2: WAIT AND MEDITATE

  • Notice and note what is standing out specifically to you. 
  • Mark up your Bible – underline, circle, etc. 
  • Think about and meditate on what you have read (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2-3).

Level 3: ONE PERSONAL WORD

  • We live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).
  • As we identify specific words/promises God makes real to us, we have a sword to move forward in life (Ephesians 6:17).
  • Remembering our “Aha!" moments in the Bible or sermons, and the unusual coincidence of repeated truths we hear, is key for us to truly live. 

Level 4: RESIST LIES

  • “Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one” (Ephesians 6:16).
  • The fiery darts of the wicked one are primarily lies.  When we resist the devil (James 4:7), we are resisting beliefs contrary to God’s Word. 
  • Our shield of faith is not positive thinking, but it is rooted in specific biblical truths God has made real to us. 

Level 5: DEFEAT LIES

  • Jesus persevered in Matthew 4:1-11 by repeatedly speaking “It is written . . . “
  • Jesus did not think His way out of the wilderness, but spoke His way out with God’s promises. He is our example of how to possess freedom. 
  • We pull down the strongholds of restrictive beliefs by taking every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).