Summary: The shield has been called the most important armour for a Roman soldier. In the same way, we need to take up our shield of faith. Based in Mark 4:35-41.
As people of faith, we need to:
1) Allow Jesus to Get On Our Boat
2) Understand The Storms Will Come
3) Believe Christ Will Bring Us Through the Storm Changed
We serve a great King, amen? Do you see why I get chills when I watch this? I can’t even explain it, but these declarations of victory in Christ culminating in the declaration of our great King just gets me every time. We serve a great King! Yea!
Now, like you’ve seen on the overhead and I’ve mentioned, this is kind of a two-part message. I say kind of because, really, it should be a six-week series, but I’m pulling it into two messages. In fact, I wrestled this week with which direction the Lord wanted me to go because there’s so much that we need to pull from the passage we shared last week.
As a short recap, last week, we went through a spiritual warrior boot camp. We shared how we can be a spiritual warrior and three characteristics of a spiritual warrior. Does anybody remember them? I’m seeing some nodding. This is good. They were a spiritual warrior knows his enemy. A spiritual warrior trains for battle, and a spiritual warrior knows the outcome.
This week, we are going to pick back up in the passage and add a new one for our discussion this morning.
If you have your Bibles with you, would you turn with me to Ephesians chapter 6, starting in verse 14: (NIV used, read v 14-18)
Now, turn with me back to the Gospel of Mark, chapter 4. We’re going to look at verses 35-41 together. And see if you can pick out the characteristic I want us to focus on this morning in this passage. (Read Passage)
Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
When I was at Bethany Bible College, I was part of a worship team for the student-led Sunday evening services called “Encounter”. On our first meeting, our leader brought us out to the tiled entryway and went into the bathroom. When she came out, she was carrying a big mop bucket full of water. If that’s not odd enough, she told us to all lay down on our back with our feet in the air. Our feet had to be touching each other. She then said that she would set the bucket on our feet and the goal of the exercise was to have each of us remove on foot from the bucket, but keep the bucket in the air. Well, let me tell you something. I loved everyone on my team, but as for my faith in them, I couldn’t say I trusted them not to soak me. Somehow, we made it through the exercise dry, but looking back on it, it has implications in our day-to-day lives.
Have you ever taken part in a trust exercise? Like you stand in front of a co-worker or friend and the friend is supposed to catch you. Have you ever done that? It takes a lot of faith that that person is not going to let you fall and smack your head. I’ve seen this happen to people and it hurts.
The truth of the matter is, we live in a world where faith in each other; faith in “humanity” is gone. And our nature is now to distrust. And in a way, it has snuck even into our spiritual lives.
Now, sure, we say we have faith in God. And yes, we do believe, but so often it is in the good times that we make this claim. And so often, when the storms come; when the attacks come, we panic. Our faith is shown to be shallow.
In our passage from Ephesians, the New King James Version puts verse 16 like this: “above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one”.
In this verse, it is believed that Paul is utilizing the imagery of the scutum, which was a shield with which a soldier could completely conceal himself behind.
Adam Clarke, the great commentator, said on this subject, “And as faith is the grace by which all others are preserved and rendered active, so it is properly represented here under the notion of a shield, by which the whole body is covered and protected.”
Without faith, all of the other pieces of armor are rendered useless. When the disciples were on that boat and the storms raged up, they had righteousness, they had salvation, they had the word of God, but when their faith faltered, they went into despair.