Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Armor of God (Part 7)

Ephesians 6:16 "In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one."

In this verse, we are to take up the shield of faith. Faith is a major part of Christianity. Hebrews 1:11 tells us "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Here is what Matthew Henry's online commentary says about this: "Faith and hope go together; and the same things that are the object of our hope are the object of our faith...Christ dwells in the soul by faith, and the soul is filled with the fullness of God...Faith demonstrates to the eye of the mind the reality of those things that cannot be discerned by the eye of the body."

It is our shield of faith which will extinguish, that is to put out, the firey, stinging arrows or darts that Satan sends our way. He does this to try to get our minds off God, to stop us from praying, from spending any time with God and doing His work, etc. When Satan sends his darts our way, if we have our shield of faith in place, they will be put out and will not be able to do any damage to us. The Believer's Bible Commentary by William MacDonald (page 1952) says this about the verse: "Faith here is firm confidence in the Lord and in His word. When temptations burn, when circumstances are adverse, when doubts assail, when shipwreck threatens, faith looks up and says, I believe God."

Matthew Henry's online commentary for Ephesians 6:16 has this to say: "This is more necessary than any of them. Faith is all in all to us in an hour of temptation. We are to be fully persuaded of the truth of all God's promises...such a faith being of great use against temptations. Faith, as receiving Christ and the benefits of redemption, so deriving grace from him, is like a shield, a sort of universal defence. Our enemy the devil is here called 'the wicked one'. His temptations are called darts, because of their swift and undiscerned flight, and the deep wounds that they give to the soul. Violent temptations, by which the soul is set on fire [by the fire] of hell, are the darts which Satan shoots at us. Faith is the shield with which we must quench these firey darts, wherein we should receive them, and so render them ineffectual, that they may not hit us, or at least that they may not hurt us. Observe, faith, acted upon the word of God and applying that, acted upon the grace of Christ and improving that, quenches the darts of temptation."

So, without faith we cannot stop Satan's attacks on us. Mind you, he will continue to attack us at any and every possible moment. We need to be prepared! If your faith is wavering, or depleted, his attacks will hit hard and strong. I encourage you to get on your kneees and turn to God. Ask Him to help you increase your faith. Our God is so amazing and powerful! He is here to help and protect us, to guide and use us for His kingdom's work. He has provided us with an armor of protection that we need to have on every single day...in fact, we should not remove even one piece of the armor, lest Satan sends an attack and it hits its target rendering us wounded.

I also encourage those with a strong faith to move in closer to weaker brothers and sisters to encourage them and guide them in their walk. We are all in this together, and the battle calls for unity and dependance upon God. Without Him, we are useless and will not be able to stand against this spiritual battle which we all face daily.

May the Lord our God, the Father of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, guide you and protect you as you prepare for these spiritual battles that we face. May you turn to Jesus for strength, guidance, and protection. May you be blessed with the richness from knowing Jesus Christ, and may you be blessed as you help our brothers and sisters to stand strong in the battle against Satan. God loves each and every one of His children, and is here for us in these times of warfare, just as He is at all other times. He will strengthen us, guide us, and protect us, and He will not leave us! He will also equip us for our daily battles. I encourage you now to put on your shield of faith (along with the rest of the armor), for Satan is waiting just around the corner - don't let him have a foothold in the fight!


Joe said...

Well said! Faith in God and His Word is the essence of our defense against Satan and is exercised through prayer and scripture study.

STAG said...

Hey Shelley, nice blog you got here. I can see that you are really a devout person. Jennifer spoke highly of you, so I thought I would drop in. Nice articles.

Joe...I just gotta take issue with your statement. I can see that you are supportive, and thoughtful. And perfect right up to that word "and".
No Joe, you don't need Scripture Study to have faith. Faith exists without proof. Without even the Word. um, thats why its "faith". My dear old Ma hated reading the bible...it hurt her eyes...she just listened to the sermons. (She went to church 4 times a week and was considered to be quite devout.) As she said often enough to me "The devil can quote scripture too! So don't go by that book, go with what the priest says. He's a trained professional, an expert on the subject." Needless to say, she was VERY suspicious of bible study groups. "Four people meet to discuss the Word, that gives the devil 4 chances to pollute it."
Her armour was to do the church's work....scrubbing its floors, sewing the copes and altar cloths, washing the linens, and polishing the brass. That was just for starters. She catered funeral lunches, and sat vigil with the bereved. And a thousand other things I never even knew about until her death when grateful people came out of the woodwork.

But that was just her. But its not unheard of in parishes even today. Your mileage probably differs.

Faith IS exercised though prayer. Most things spiritual are. Scripture study is nice (though it IS playing with fire!), but hardly necessary to have faith.

Jennifer said...

Shelley, it’s been raining fiery darts for me. And I can attest firsthand that without my faith, I would have gone up in flames very quick!!! It is the only thing I have been holding onto. And just as Hebrews 1:11 says, it is faith in what I cannot see but know to be true. The devil tries to make me question what I believe, because he knows that as soon as I do, I’m a goner. So I am holding firmly to the shield. Thank you!

Now Stag, don't be starting trouble! I understand where you (and your mom) are coming from. But part of my faith comes from the firm foundation of scripture I received as a child. Although I hated being "forced" to memorize Bible verses, I'm so glad I did! Because when I am under spiritual attack, being able to recall scripture helps me hang on to that shield when the battle gets rough.

Dave said...

My spiritual armour is put every morning even before I get out of bed - I cannot go into the day without it!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Shelley...good subject...and I prasie the Lord, that faith the size of a mustard seed can grow into a huge overpowering trust in our Lord and Savior...Hmm, where'd I get that...oh, I know...I read it in the Word of God!

Reading the Word daily and praying helps to nourish my faith because God speaks to me through the verses. And He has never let me down. It is amazing that I can read the same passage a dozen times and still get new manna out of it each time I read it!

STAG said...

And did I mention what a pretty blog site this is!!!!

Maggie Ann said...

Shelley, thanks for an excellent post.