Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Shield of Faith

...In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Ephesians 6:16

Rarely have women ever fought using swords and shields, but, ladies, we’re in a spiritual fight and we need some equipment. It may be heavy; pick up that shield anyway. The shield of faith will protect us from evil.

The world stands against us, but God is for us. Suited up in His armor and filled with His power, we CAN stand firm. Having girded the belt of truth, put on the breastplate of righteousness, and shod the shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace, we prepare to take up our defensive weapons in order to fight the good fight of faith. As Scripture tells us, “above all, take up the shield of faith”.

What exactly does that phrase mean in our daily lives? We tend to think of faith as some belief that groups people together; for example, we are of the Christian faith and we have a shared belief. That’s correct, but James 2:19 tells us that even demons believe and tremble. Shouldn’t that alert us to the fact that there’s more to faith than just having a belief? Faith is “believing God” and His Word; trusting Him completely which requires action. Taking up the shield of faith results in acting upon God’s truths, not lies from Satan. Taking up the shield of faith prompts us to trust in the promises of God, not worries from Satan. Taking up the shield of faith inspires us to wait upon the Lord, not anxiously fix our own situations. Taking up the shield of faith leads us to overcome Satan, not be overpowered by his schemes. Only true faith in God can overcome the powers of darkness.

The shield is one of the defensive weapons we use when fighting the good fight of faith. Because it stood about four feet long and three feet wide, the Roman shield was intended to guard the entire body of a soldier. Keeping the surface of the shield oiled reflected the sun’s rays, blinding the enemy. Not only did they fight individually, sometimes when in battle the Romans worked together using the “tortoise formation”. They held up their shields on all sides and overhead as they marched into battle. This formation worked to protect them just as a shell protects a tortoise.

For the Christian, the shield of faith is protection against temptation. The flaming arrows of Satan can be stopped by the shield. When Christians draw near to one another and strengthen each other, it’s as if we fight together in “tortoise formation”. Galatians 6:2 says that we should “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Working together in prayer makes us a powerfully strong contender against our enemies. Trusting in the God of our faith will overcome the powers of darkness. Be emboldened by the words of our Heavenly Commander.

Blessed are you, O Israel!
Who is like you,
a people saved by the LORD?
He is your shield and helper
and your glorious sword.
Your enemies will cower before you,
and you will trample down their high places.
Deuteronomy 33:29 (NIV)
Then David spoke to the LORD the words of this song, on the day when the LORD had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. And he said: “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
The God of my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation,
My stronghold and my refuge;
My Savior, You save me from violence.
I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.
2 Samuel 22:1-4 (NKJV)

As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the LORD is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
Psalm 18:30 (NKJV)
The LORD is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,
And with my song I will praise Him.
Psalm 28:7 (NKJV)
We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
Psalm 33:20 (NIV)
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
Psalm 91:4 (NJKV)
“Every word of God is flawless;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Proverbs 30:5 (NIV)
We live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV)
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22 (NIV)
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. James 1:6 (NIV)
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 (NIV)
...who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:5 (NIV)
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:7-10 (NIV)

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