June 10, 2013
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Ephesians 6:16 describes the fourth piece of armor the Christian must don if he or she is to engage the enemy in battle:
Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench
all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
First of all, what is faith? According to Hebrews 11:1 and 6,
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not
seen….But without faith it is impossible to please Him [God], for he that
comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of
those who diligently seek Him.
You can’t see God, you can’t hold His promises in your hand like a solid rock, but He – and they – are real! And you can hold in your hand the Bible which contains His promises to His children. But faith lays hold of God and His promises as solid fact, those promises already accomplished, even though they might not yet be received. True faith has to start with believing that the God of the Bible exists and He faithfully cares for each one of His children. It is the trust a child has in his or her good earthly father, a daddy who lovingly watches over his child and will provide for every need. It is kind of like that little boy or girl who will boast, “My daddy can do anything!” because they really believe that!
As a matter of fact, we are invited to call our Heavenly Father, “Abba Father,” as Jesus did in Mark 14:36, and as Paul tells us in Romans 8:14 and in Galatians 4:6. The God of all creation wants His son or daughter to trustingly cuddle up in His arms, hug Him around the neck, give Him a kiss on the cheek, and tell Him, “I love you, Daddy!” That is not blasphemous! It is dear to the heart of God! And it is a good example of trusting faith!
Now the shield of faith is not the smaller shield used to ward off the blows of the enemy. It is the large shield behind which a soldier could hunker down behind for protection as the arrows of the enemy come flying in. Those arrows will come! For Satan is always trying to wound God’s children and make them ineffective in God’s army. Those arrows are called “fiery darts” in our scripture, because such darts – or arrows – are designed to do maximum damage. Remember, as the Lord said in John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, to kill, and to destroy.” But sometimes in ancient warfare, the large, protecting shields were coated with flame-dowsing substance. The fiery darts would come flying in, and bury their heads in the coating of the shield, putting out the fire.
That’s what faith is supposed to do – extinguish the fire of the enemy! For instance, the devil would have you believe that you amount to nothing, and that you can accomplish nothing worthwhile in your life. Before God, if you are outside of His Son Jesus Christ, you will not amount to much eternally (Isaiah 64:6), and you can do nothing that richly counts in eternity (John 15:5). But in Christ you are everything to God (read carefully Acts 12:5-19), and, as Paul said in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”
So going into spiritual battle without your shield of faith is both dangerous and deadly! Make sure you have it, and make sure it is strong and ready “…to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” Now this is a subject for another series of blogs, but the way to build up your faith and make it strong and ready for battle is by getting into your Bible! For it says in Romans 10:17, “…faith comes…by the word of God.”
Get to the daily task of making your faith strong!