Summary: The fourth piece of armor neccesary for victory in our spiritual battles is the Shield of Faith.
Christian Warfare - Pt. 5
We continue, today, with the fifth installment of our series on Christian Warfare. Brethren, there are few matters that we can study that can have such a crucial impact in determining whether we succeed or fail as a Christian. Whether we remain steadfast in the Lord and bear fruit or we find ourselves recaptured and vanquished by Satan is going to be decided by how seriously and earnestly we seek to understand and apply Paul’s instruction in this passage. Straight forward, whether we end up in Heaven or Hell will revolve around whether or not we daily suit-up in the whole armor of God.
We have learned that we need to wear a belt of sincerity, a breastplate of righteousness and a helmet of the hope of salvation. Today, we consider the shield of faith.
I. The Shield.
The Roman soldier was equipped with a shield large enough so that they were able to hide behind it and not be exposed in any way. The shield (made of plywood covered by leather and bound together on the edges by iron or bronze) was slightly curved for two reasons: (1) so that the soldier had room to move about behind it as his movement changed in battle and (2) so that spears and arrows would hit it at an angle and bounce off. The soldier was safe when he was willing to hide behind his shield - safe even from the scariest weapons...arrows and spears that were set aflame and acted like Molotov cocktails..
Paul says that the Christian’s shield is faith. Faith is our knowledge of and confidence in God to fulfill his Word to us. It is trust that God is Who He has revealed Himself to be and relying on Him to fulfill His promises in our lives.
III. Faith As Our Shield.
Now, we could spend weeks, if not months, exploring the role of faith in the life of a Christian. Today, however, we are only concerned about how faith corresponds to a shield in our spiritual warfare...how faith can resist or beat back the spiritual attacks of the Evil One. 1 Peter 5:8-9, "Your adversary, the Devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith." James 4:7, "Resist the Devil and he will flee from you."
Satan realizes that if you have a strong faith, he does not have a chance to defeat us Therefore, his top priority is to undermine our faith. If, during temptation or trial, he can shake our confidence in God and His faithfulness or if he can confuse us so as to distract us from God’s promises, he knows that he can have his way with us. He has nothing to fear.
This morning, I am going to share with you three truths that Satan does not want you to understand, let alone build your faith upon. If you put your complete trust in these truths and use them as the framework for your life, you will be blessed beyond measure. Your life will be shielded from the fiery missiles of doubt, fear, discouragement, and despair when temptation and trial comes your way.
Truth # 1 The Lord Is Always With Us and Will Never Forsake Us.
Whenever a strong temptation or a heavy trial comes upon us, Satan would have us to think that we must face it alone. He would have us to think or feel that God is afar off somewhere. He would not want us to know the truth that, if we are a child of God, the Lord is with us. Hebrews 13:5, "He [the Lord] Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.’"
When the Lord says "never" He means "never". He is with us in good times and He, unlike some, sticks with us in times of crisis or danger. John 10:11-14, "‘I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.’"
Truth # 2 The Lord Protects Us.
Now, brethren, the Lord just doesn’t hang-out with us. He is with us busy working on our behalf. One way that He works on our behalf is that the Lord protects His own from Satan. 1 Thessalonians 3:3, "But the Lord is faithful, and He will … protect you from the evil one." 1 Peter 1:5, we "are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." The forces of evil are powerful Satan is greater in might than we. However, the Lord is almighty. He is omnipotent He can and He will protect us from the powerful assaults of the Enemy. This you can rely upon.