The shield of faith
Ephesians chapter 6:10-6:2-
We are studying Ephesians chapter 6 and in the series of “putting on the full armor of God”.
We have looked at the importance of doing all that we know to do and then stand firm.
We have put on the belt of truth.
Breastplate of righteousness and it covering our heart and all of our vital organs.
The last one we looked at was putting on the battle shoes- “being fitted with the gospel of peace.”
We went over what it meant to put on the gospel of peace
As a Christian, it is to be ready to proclaim the gospel.
To tell others what Christ has done for us, and what Christ means to us?
The other side of God’s peace was being able to get through the hard times.
Those times you are standing firm.
Those times that you do not know what else to do and God gives you a peace that only He could give us.
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts.”
The devil can distract you, and he can even cause you to stumble, but he cannot steal the promises of God unless you let him.
Ephesians chapter 6:10-6:20
Key in on verse 16 this morning- “in addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
We have put on the belt of truth.
We have put on the breastplate of righteousness
We have been fitted for the gospel of peace.
But concerning our faith- we are to take it up!
They are trained.
They become physically fit.
They are taught disciplines, and then they are fundamentally combat ready.
The problem with that is you never know when you are ready and prepared until you go
That is both scary and life-changing! Think about it!
If you do not prepare like a soldier, you will lose every battle that you are in.
If you do prepare as a soldier, yet never face a battle, you will never get any victories.
You will never realize what the instructor has taught you.
Don’t believe me?
Why do we have 20 and 30 year Christians unprepared for battle and acting like a new recruit?
Because they have never prepared using the armor that God has provided all believers.
Why do we have Christians getting attacked and they never seem to be able to get victory. They go from one battle to another and live defeated.
Because they do not exercise their faith.
They do not give God an opportunity to work through their faith.
Let’s go back to the shield of faith that Apostle Paul is talking about.
Remember there are no bombs. There are no guns that shot miles away.
There was flaming arrows- arrows soaked in pitch and lit up before firing. Not even the speed of the arrow put this arrow out.
It was the weapon of choice.
It was a flaming missile.
It got the job done.
Even if the soldier blocked it, it could embed itself in the shield and begin to burn. If a soldier would throw down his shield of protection, it left him unprotected by other arrows and spheres.
The best defense of that attack was in the preparation of his shield.
The shield was made up of layers of wood, with linen sandwiched in between. On the outer layer was leather and or animal hide. There was a bronze strip of metal that wrapped up and held everything together. The soldier soaked the leather in water so that any arrow or sphere would not be able to ignite.
The best way of defending yourself is to know who is attacking you and protect yourself from their weapons.
As believers in the army of God, we need to pull our heads out of the sand and realize a few things.
Maybe you want to write some of this down.
Things Satan does not want you to know
1He does not want you to know that you are in a spiritual battle
If he can get you to believe it is just something you are going through- you will not be prepared and take steps to get a victory.
If he can get you focused on other people, you will nor realize it is spiritual.
2. Satan does not want you to know that he has a kingdom
Decisions that affect each one of us, are being made by some that have no regard for God and will do anything they can to destroy the things of God and the people of God.
For a believer, this is not home. It is only temporary. This is the best he will get, but for us, it will get better after this life.
3. Satan does not want you to know that he was thrown out of heaven.
He knows the end of the story, and he wants us to believe he can change the ending.
If you believe that he was thrown out of heaven, you have to believe that God is stronger and more powerful than him.
Your faith will be strengthened by putting your trust in the Lord
“And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lighting fall from heaven.”
If you understand the things that Satan does not want you to know
(1) You are in a spiritual battle
(2) He has set up his kingdom and he will fire fiery darts at us to stop us from making an impact in his kingdom.
(3) As believers, we know the end of the story- HE LOSSES! He is already defeated. He just has not fallen down yet.
There is much to be said about faith, but when it comes to holding up the shield of faith, it breaks down to 2 areas.
(1) What we have put our faith in.
(2) Who we have put our faith in.
It will determine for each of us if we are able to block the arrows of the enemy trying to destroy us.
I said last week that all of us seem to be getting attacked in areas of our lives. I stand behind that. I go away for a week and come back to hear some of the things that you have faced. My family right now is being attacked and I don’t like it.
Christian soldier, what have you put your faith in?
Faith by definition is a choice to believe. What to hope in, to be certain of something that is unseen.
Faith is strengthened when it is stretched.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
Faith is hearing and applying. As a believer it is strengthened by the truth of God’s word.
“So we fix our eyes not in what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Fixing our eyes on something is to focus.
We focus on the things unseen because what is unseen is what has eternal value.
People look for proof:
If you can’t touch it, feel it, see it, smell it, or hear it, it cannot exist. Yet faith requires none of those things to be present. If it did, it wouldn’t be faith.
We have faith that in the morning, we hit the light switch and the light will go on.
Even our money system is an element of faith. In order for a dollar to work, both the person spending it and the person receiving it must have faith that the little piece of paper has value.
Christian, who do you put your faith in?
Faith as we have used it here is the Greek word Pistis, meaning a moral conviction of the truthfulness of God and reliance upon Christ for salvation.
When we take up the shield of faith, we are holding our convictions and our reliance upon Christ up for the enemy to see.
When we stand with other Christians we create a wall of defense from the attacks of the enemy.
Faith is not fire insurance! When the enemy starts shooting his fiery darts, your passive faith won’t do. It is time to take up your shield of faith.
Think about this passage from the book of James 1:2-8
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have it perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
You have to take up the shield of faith- so that you will be able to stop the fiery arrows of the enemy of your soul.
Know who you are putting your faith in BEFORE YOU ARE IN A BATTLE!
Know God doesn’t bring evil , but will work through it to test and strengthen your faith.
Some of you have been through a lot- He sees and knows the struggles!
God blesses in proportion to our faith- could be why you have not seen much happening lately.
A parable is told of a community of ducks waddling off to duck church one Sunday to hear their duck preacher. After they waddled into the duck sanctuary, the service began and the duck preacher spoke eloquently of how God had given the ducks wings with which to fly.
He pounded the pulpit with his beak and said,
With these wings, there is nowhere we ducks cannot go!
There is no God-given task we ducks cannot accomplish!
With these wings we no longer need to walk through life.
We can soar high in the sky!
Shouts of amen! Were quacked throughout the duck congregation.
The duck preacher concluded his message by exclaiming,
with our wings we can fly through life!
We….Can…. Fly…..More ducks quacked out loud Amen!
Every duck loved the service.
In fact, all the dicks present commented on what a wonderful convicting message they had heard from their duck preacher.
And then they left the church and waddled all the way home.
Faith has to be taken up! Exercised, and stretched at times or it will never be of any good to you.
If you are continually being beaten up, maybe you need to stop quacking amen and put your shield of faith in action.