Summary: Discusses the Shield of Faith
Faith Part 4: The Shield of Faith Part 2
Last week I got half way through this message on the shield of faith. The foundational scripture was found in Ephesians 6:16 which says “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all of the flaming arrows of the evil one.” I shared with you that the audience that Paul was primarily talking to were Greeks so they knew exactly what he meant when he talked about the shield of faith. The Romans had two shields, one for parades and ceremonies and one that they actually used on the battlefield. The shield that was used on the battlefield is the one Paul was referencing when he wrote Ephesians 6:16. Last week I talked about the Roman shields and how they were comparable to our faith shields. I also talked about how the shields were made and how the soldiers had to care for them. I only had time last week to briefly touch on the full purpose of the shields and the flaming arrows for our enemy. This morning we will look more closely at the purpose of the shield and those flaming arrows.
I. Purpose of the Shield of Faith
Last week I told you how the shield was used to block the flaming arrows of the enemy. The shield also had another purpose, to help the soldier gain ground on the enemy. I remember watching movies where the soldiers who had shields had advantages over their enemies who sometimes did not. The picture that stands out in my mind is the soldier running forward with his shield up, blocking the arrows of the enemy while he still advance to attack. Although the shield was used to block the arrows and the blows from the swords, it was also used to attacked, to push the enemy backwards. To put our shield up while we are running away is not the picture that Paul is trying to give us. The picture he is painting is one of a soldier holding his shield up for protection while he is steadily advancing and taking over the enemy’s territory. When we have the shield of faith that is anointed by the Holy Spirit and saturated with the Word of God, it positions us to move in power. Not backwards, but forwards as we face off with the enemy. We will stand our ground and having successfully defended it, move forward, not backwards. Our faith is supposed to be out front so that it can cover all. Our faith was never meant to be held next to our side, or behind our backs. It is meant to completely cover and protect us when we are marching forward to take new ground for the Kingdom of God. Consider what the Scripture says in 1 Peter 1:3-5.
1 Peter 1:3-5 says “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade, kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”
Focus on the line that says “who through faith are shielded by God’s power…” When you start using your shield of faith, through your faith you are shielded by God’s power, not your own. Do you understand the importance of this? Last week I told you how we have all been give the measure of faith by God. God placed within us the ability to have faith in Him. He did not want us to have to go seeking it, He gave it to us. All of you have faith that was given to you by God so that you could believe in Him and His willingness to aid you. Now Peter tells us that through that same faith that God has already given us, we are shielded under God’s power. Not my power, not your power, not your parent’s power, God’s power. And being shielded under God’s power our total victory is guaranteed. We may lose a battle now and then, but we cannot lose the war!
There is an unseen connection between the power of God and the operation of faith in your life. When these two are working hand in hand, they build a wall of defense against the tactics of the enemy that cannot be penetrated. When the power of God and faith get together, they become a shield to the believer. When you have these two elements working together in your life, you become fortified and invulnerable. Power and faith working together will spiritually equip you to hold an ironclad position against the enemy without taking any serious blows to yourself. Think of the power of God and your faith meshing together and forming a tank that protects you as you move forwards taking the enemy’s territory. As you are coming forward, do not think the devil will just lie down and hand over his territory, the devil will be on his job defending his territory. This is why Paul makes the statement “with which you can extinguish all of the flaming arrows of the evil one” in Ephesians 6:16. While you are advancing, Satan will be shooting at you with these flaming arrows. Let’s look more closely at these arrows.