Monday, September 21, 2009

Armour of God - Shield of Faith

Armour of God Series - Part 1, Part 2a, Part 2b, Part 2c, Part 3, Part 4

We’re halfway through the list of spiritual armour, so let’s quickly recap to make sure that armour is still fully in place, and not laying in heap in a corner of a room somewhere.

1. Loins girded with the Truth

Be prepared and alert for enemy attacks by knowing the truth through believing in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord; by knowing the truth set forth in God’s Word; by being a doer of that truth and living a life free of hypocrisy.

2. Breastplate of Righteousness

If you have received Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, know that you are clothed in His righteousness, and don’t allow the enemy to condemn you for sin that Christ has already paid for. Conviction, however, is from the Lord, and is a tap on the shoulder to maintain that right place with God by humbly acknowledging our sin and asking forgiveness for them.

3. Having your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace

Be prepared by starting each day on the sure foundation of Christ by bringing everything to God in prayer and by reading His Word; then take the Good News of Christ to the world.

The next piece of armour is the Shield of Faith.

“Above all, take the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (Ephesians 6:16)

This type of shield is a large, rectangular-shaped shield which measured approximately 2 feet wide and 4 feet tall. It was curved to fit around the body of the soldier to offer the most protection.

Interestingly, this verse specifically says that the enemy will throw at us, not just arrows, but fiery arrows. The word fiery here means to kindle, to be ignited, to be inflamed with anger, grief, lust.

We all know what that’s like - to be so inflamed with an emotion that, if we’re not careful, we can allow it to bring us to the point of sinning.

So what is your protection from giving in to that sin? Your own strength? God says that’s not enough. We need to take cover within our faith in the Lord.

“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” (Galatians 5:16)

I don’t know about you, but I don’t usually see temptation coming. I’m usually minding my own business and suddenly, it’s there. Remember, it’s not a sin to be tempted, but rather the sin comes after we have given place to the temptation in our minds and hearts and then we act upon them.

But if we are living in a state of continually walking with the Lord, abiding in Him, seeking Him and putting our trust and faith in Him, then when temptation stares us in the face, we’ll be filled with the power and strength of the Holy Spirit and our desires will be to do God’s will rather than the will of our flesh.

It’s interesting that these shields were so large that they afforded a soldier the most protection as they knelt. The shields were even more effective in giving protection to an entire legion of soldiers when they stood side by side overlapping their shields.

We are also most protected as we allow our faith in the Lord to drive us to humbly seek God in prayer when we’re tempted, asking Him to give us His strength to not give in to the temptation and to remove it. And, as the body of Christ, we are strongest as we stand together in prayer with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” (James 5:16a)

Is your faith in Jesus Christ alone today? 

"But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You. For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield."  (Psalm 5:11-12)

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Thanks for sharing!