I once heard a preacher say that “faith is constant obedience to the Word of God regardless of circumstance or consequence”. That type of faith is enduring, lasting, tenacious. I want that! How about you, warrior? How do we have enduring faith? In Whom do we have this faith? Scripture tells us…
Romans 1:17 (NLT) “This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.””
Romans 3:22 (NLT) “We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.”
Romans 8:37 (NLT) “Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law, it is based on faith.“
The Roman soldier in Jesus’ day used large, curved shields to form an impenetrable barrier as they placed the shields side by side and overhead as defensive weapons. The shields had a mound of iron or bronze projecting from the center that could be used as an offensive weapon to smash into an enemy.
So, when Paul instructs us in Ephesians 6 to “hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil”, he is telling us that, through our faith in Jesus, God is our protective covering. Again, our armor involves putting on Christ! Notice that Paul says this covering STOPS (some translations say “quenches”) what is directed at us by the devil – it doesn’t just deflect attacks, it stops them cold! It is both a defensive and an offensive weapon for us.
Our faith is nurtured as we study God’s Word and pursue an intimate relationship with Him – understanding His nature and purposes better and better. [More on this to come as we consider our “helmet of salvation” in the next blog!] That increased understanding not only builds our faith, it affords us a defensive position based on the truth of Scripture and an offensive position based on the authority of Scripture. [More on this will be shared in the blog on our “sword of the Spirit”.]
We are told frequently in Scripture that God is our shield or covering. Here are a few of those references:
Proverbs 30:5 “Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.”
2 Samuel 22:3 “My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation… He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety…”
Hebrews 11 is a chapter which records many triumphs of faith of those who chose God as their shield based on His promises The chapter begins with, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old [those who placed their faith in God and in His promises before Christ came to earth] gained approval.” In verse 6 it notes, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Faith has always been a key to a relationship with God and to His protective covering. So, pick up your shield of faith, warrior of Christ!
Ephesians 6:13-16 (NLT) “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor [breastplate] of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”