The spiritual war is a reality. We are in a battle, and God has given us the warning and equipped us with the armor to RELENTLESSLY STAND!
–Belt of Truth: Truth leads to freedom and “sets us free.” Foundational to the rest of the armor. Satan is a liar.
-Breastplate of Righteousness: We take on Christ’s righteousness… God sees us not as His enemy, but through the lens of Christ Jesus’ Righteousness.
-Shoes of Peace: Peace made possible through Christ. We can have the peace of God no matter our circumstances… “peace that passes all understanding!”
This Week: SHIELD OF FAITH
WHAT IS THE SHIELD OF FAITH?
What Faith is NOT: Blind faith
Roman shield :
It consisted of two layers of wood glued together, covered first with linen and then with a leather hide, and finally bound in iron. 2.5 feet wide, 4 feet tall (more like a door), you can hide your body behind, to protect all of you. So if the front line of the soldiers advanced with these shields (which went all the way to the ground), then the whole platoon would be protected. The men behind this front line of soldiers carried long lances that stuck out six feet in front of the shielded men. The armies of barbarians facing them were terrified at the sight. If they fired their arrows from a distance, they would bounce off the shields. They might fire flaming arrows that had been dipped in a gasoline substance and set ablaze, but these fireproof shields were too tough for arrows to penetrate.
When Satan fires his flaming arrows, you need an impenetrable shield, one that isn’t flammable… a shield that can even put out fires. Faith is the shield that can do just that. God promises that the shield of faith that he provides for every Christian “can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one,” and this isn’t just a possibility…it’s a certainty. These shields don’t just repel the arrows, making them bounce off, it actually puts them out. The shield of faith is a fire extinguisher; it can put out the fires of hell. The shield can handle the worst attacks from the prince of darkness.
– WHAT IS FAITH? Faith is transferring trust from self to Christ
There is an object!
Faith is telling God, “I know I’m not your enemy because you’ve brokered peace with me. Everything you give me is for my good. God, you are for me, not against me. You will not abandon me. You’re a good dad to me.”
Faith allows us to sit under the umbrella of what He’s already done for us and trust He will continue to provide. Jehovah Jireh (Lord our provider)
When we have the assurance that God is for us, then we become part of the heroes in the hall of faith in Hebrews 11. Men and women of great faith who have moved the mission of God forward.
Why is this shield so strong? Because God is so strong, and when faith is your shield, God is your shield.
God told Abraham, “I am your shield” (Genesis 15:1).
Moses told God’s people, “Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD? He is your shield” (Deuteronomy 33:29).
David said, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.” (Psalm 28:7)
When the arrows have been launched, and the sky is lit on fire with these arrows…are you gonna say, where’s my sword? No! Where’s the shield that can absorb all these arrows? This is the role of faith in the life of a Christian. The shield takes every assault, and your faith extinguishes them. Notice how arrows are assumed. This means they’re coming! The day of evil we see in verse 13 is imminent. You will have them shot at you. In other words, we need to live knowing that evil is not a surprise. Nowhere does God promise us an easy life. God wants to prepare us for life in a fallen and sinful world.
WHAT IS THE SHIELD’S PURPOSE?
Unbelief occurs with the knick of every arrow launched our way.
“Arrows are a sudden, unexpected attack on the mind, thoughts, and affections of the believer, weakening him, creating shame, spiritual paralysis, and terror. Some describe them as an onslaught of unworthiness, or even blasphemous thoughts coming to them. At other times the sudden memory of past sins seems to be like a match thrown on dry tinder. Panic and guilt overwhelm the believer, and he is overtaken by doubts that obscure the love of the Father.” — Sinclair Ferguson
These arrows come in many forms
• Doubt his goodness
• Doubt his existence
Here’s the thing about faith… your behavior is always based on your beliefs. Behavior is predicated on what you believe. Go back to Genesis 3… the arrows are not sent at Adam’s and Eve’s behavior, but their belief. This is how the enemy sounds…
“Are you sure you want to follow that? Are sure God has your best? Are you sure that God is for you and not holding out? Do God really say???”
The primary issue is not that they ate the fruit. It’s that they didn’t trust God!
So the shield means when the arrows are launched… and they will e launched… temptation, accusation, and suffering… I throw my life under God, I put my trust in Him (FAITH)
HOW DO WE HOLD UP THE SHIELD?
We don’t want to be reactive.
(Romans 10 gives us a blueprint)
Your shield of faith also protects the Church (Plural statement for the Church)
The protection of faith doesn’t come from the act of believing so much as it does from the one in whom we believe. The shield of faith is not faith in oneself, faith in positive thinking, or faith in faith; the only faith that can shield you from Satan’s attacks is trusting in this great and merciful God whom you have received as your Lord and Savior.
There are times when we experience great falls like Peter; there are occasions of utter moral failure in our lives so that we say to ourselves, how is it possible that we can be true believers when we are behaving like this? We feel utterly dead within, besieged by doubts and overwhelmed by unbelief. So what do we do? We do what we did when we first believed; we go to Christ. In the words of Charlotte Elliot:
“Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt
Fightings and fears within, without, O Lamb of God, I come!
Just as I am, Thou wilt receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve,
Because Thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God I come.”
We go to Jesus without any excuses. We go believing in his promises that he will accept us and be our shield and defender, not because we are worthy or good, but because we come to Him and find salvation in Him. He alone is our hope.
Pastor Matt Surber finishes up the series, Relentless, a study of the Armor of God in Ephesians 6.Read More /
Pastor Matt Surber continues in the series, Relentless, a study of the Armor of God in Ephesians 6.Read More /
Teaching Pastor Jeff Garner, of Mission City Church in San Antonio, TX, continues in the series, Relentless, a study of the Armor of God in Ephesians 6.Read More /