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Shield of Faith
*photo credit: Bibleinfo.com

*photo credit: Bibleinfo.com

I can vividly remember sitting in Sunday school class as a child and learning about the armor of God, making swords, shields, and helmets from our craft paper. I don’t remember exactly how I felt or what I thought about while I learned and crafted with my class, but I can imagine that I felt strong and powerful. God describes the faith of children as entirely admirable and what adults must strive for, and that’s because kids can trust and believe and love so fiercely. So, when my Sunday school teachers told me about this armor that God has provided for me to take up, you can bet that I put it right into action.

 

As little children tend to do, I grew up. I experienced a lot of wonderful things, but I also experienced a lot of difficult trials and tribulations as well. That is probably one of the biggest threats to our armor of faith. We experience difficult things in our life and start asking questions like ‘Why me, God?’, ‘How could you let this happen to me?’ and ‘Where are you?’. I know a lot of people who let those kinds of questions limit the capacity to their faith and burden or even destroy their relationship with God.

 

The thing is, I can’t answer those questions for you except to say that attacks are always from the Evil One (because loving Fathers do not attack their children), that God can use this for good (even though it may be hard to see now), and that God will lead you to the answers you need (even if they aren’t always THE answer) if only you will open the word to find them. Those tough times I am referring to are the times that we can really press into that foundational child-like faith to find our answers, find hope, and to develop a faith so bountiful that it can overflow into the lives of others – thus protecting them with your own shield of faith. I am so very fortunate that I have people in my life that showed monumental sized faith, even facing some pretty dire circumstances. Those people inspired me to dig in to my bible to access the protections and power they have found in Christ Jesus. The greatest thing that you can do for someone lacking in or struggling with faith is to guide them to their bibles! God left this amazing tool that was meant to lead us in our spiritual journeys and to expand our faith in order to defend ourselves against the Evil One. The bible says this:

 

“In every battle, take faith as your wrap-around shield, for it is able to extinguish the blazing arrows coming at you from the Evil One!” – Ephesians 6:16

 

“Now faith brings our hope into reality and becomes the foundation needed to acquire the things we long for. It is all the evidence required to prove what is still unseen. This testimony of faith is what previous generations were commended for.” - Hebrews 11:1-2

 

“And without faith living within us it would be impossible to please God. For we come to God in faith knowing that he is real and that he rewards the faith of those who give all their passion and strength into seeking him.” - Hebrews 11:6

 

“Then Jesus came close to them and said, “All the authority of the universe has been given to me. Now go in my authority and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And teach them to faithfully follow all that I have commanded you. And never forget that I am with you every day, even to the completion of this age.” - Matthew 28:18-20

 

My favorite part of all of this is that Jesus already won the battle! God sent his Son to die on the cross, providing our salvation and power to overcome the evil one! We aren’t only protecting ourselves with our shields, we are sharing the power Jesus has provided us! Every time Satan sends his fiery arrows into our lives, we will declare in Jesus name that the evil one must leave us/our family/our community alone. We must use our deep, growing faith to speak life every where we go and if one of our brothers or sisters is struggling, our overflowing faith will both protect and support them from the fiery arrows in their lives as well.

 

What fiery arrows is your shield of faith protecting you or your loved ones from today? Who in your life has protected you with their shield and/or furthered your faith because of their own faith? What verses/books has God placed in perfect timing into your life to help you learn and grow in your own faith?

 

God, I want to start by thanking you for the brothers and sisters you have sent into my life to shield me with their own shield of faith when I was struggling. I ask that you help the faith of my brothers and sisters to grow beyond all human capacity in order that we can please you, Father. I pray with those in my community who are currently praying for their children, family, friends, community, and our world as they face arrows and attacks from the evil one. We are so grateful for the armor you have provided and the power you have bestowed unto us when you sent your Son to save us. Please help us to take advantage of every opportunity to utilize our armor and power to further your kingdom. We love you. Amen.

 

Hannah

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The Helmet of Salvation
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In all honesty, I don’t think about my salvation very often.

 

I don’t have a fantastic salvation story, in fact I have no memory of ever being ”saved”…I have just always known Christ as my Savior.

 

I recently completed the Priscialla Shirer study “The Armor of God” and she impressed on me the importance of daily putting on all the armor on that Paul lists in Ephesians 6:10-19.

 

Many a morning I lay in bed and silently “put on” the armor and I always begin with the Helmet of Salvation because it is at the top of my head.

 

I would silently recite each piece picturing it in my mind, always starting with the helmet.

 

I learned in the study that our minds are the primary battlefield in our spiritual battle with satan because the evil one knows how unprotected our minds are as we innocently go about life 90% of the time.

 

I have never thought about using my salvation, applying it daily as a weapon; I would just recite the litany of the pieces of armor.

 

But salvation means to wear that helmet everyday as it protects the head and the eyes and the ears and the mouth, all entry ways to change a person’s salvation by what they allow to enter their minds.

 

Strapping on the helmet of salvation is to guard these avenues of the soul.

 

The helmet becomes the hope of salvation, the helmet of hope over our thoughts and oh how the devil loves to have any access to our mind.

 

By choosing not to strap it on each day, forgetting what my salvation means, I leave my mind exposed and unprotected, exposed to satan’s devious lies.

 

Priscilla Shirer writes: “Receiving salvation REDEEMS us.  Apply salvation RESTORES, PROTECTS AND SHIELDS  us daily from attacks of the enemy.

 

You know you may the right medicine to heal and protect an injury, but if you fail to apply it, you will not receive its healing effects.

 

That means owning your salvation everyday.

 

Can I repeat that?  You need to apply it every single day to your daily life.

 

It then becomes a defensive, protective device that covers you, shields you, and protects you against the schemes of the devil.

You are free to live a whole and healthy life not fractured by the enemy’s tricks and lies.

 

And I’ll tell you a secret…this is what the devil doesn’t want you to know.

 

Because as long as you don’t apply salvation to your life, you’ll still be vulnerable to satan’s attacks every day for the rest of your life, even you have been saved.

 

I don’t mean to scare anyone, but maybe I do.

 

The fact is that we are in a war and we can not afford to relax our guard or disengage from active warfare.

 

You need to do whatever it is you need to do to keep that helmet on and in position every day.

 

Lovingyougood…sd

 

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*photo credit above: Pinterest.com

This is how I fight my battles....
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Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place...Ephesians 6: 10-14 NIV

 

Today’s post continues our study of the Armor of God. And today we will look at the breastplate of righteousness…


First, let me say that I feel some days that I have desperately missed my calling. I’ve been given the nickname “Drill Sergeant” in certain circles of my life (though not at Children’s Check-in…I don’t think), so thinking about armor and studying this piece of Scripture has really spoken to me. ;)


Breastplate. The first thing that stands out to me is that this piece of armor covers the heart. What does the Lord say about guarding our hearts? (We’ll get to that below, but you probably already know)


And I realize that I have failed miserably at that. And failing takes its toll somedays. This life-giving, blood-pumping vital organ…carries oxygen throughout my body and keeps my soul in the here and now. It’s been broken and shattered, figuratively. He mends it back up, thankfully, over time. I ought to put on this breastplate EVERYDAY. But I forget. Or I am simply careless. Totally my fault.

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In medieval times, a breastplate would have been incredibly vital for survival. In a joust or in combat, taking a sword to the torso would have most certainly been fatal. And if it hit your heart, instantaneous death. So, why do I not cover myself, as though with a breastplate, in the Word, and by the Holy Spirit, each and every day? Why do I leave myself, my most vulnerable area, so open to attack?


If I stopped to consider that when I leave my house every day, I am in for a series of jousts, perhaps that would help me develop better habits and, ultimately, not leave myself so very open for attack. That doesn’t mean the attacks won’t come. It just means I’d be better prepared to fend them off, and/or repel them. When I don’t cover myself, I take things too much to heart and I let my heart react before more clearly responding with a third-party objectiveness, or (better yet) with God’s still small voice guiding me.


But what’s also important about this piece of God’s armor is that it’s not just a breastplate – it is the breastplate of righteousness. Real talk: what is that exactly? What is this “righteousness” we hear so often in church speak? *shrugging my shoulders*


My dear friend Merriam Webster has some intel for us:

righteous

 adjective

righ·teous | \ ˈrī-chəs  \

Definition of righteous

1: acting in accord with divine or moral law free from guilt or sin

2a: morally right or justifiable a righteous decision

b: arising from an outraged sense of justice or morality righteous indignation

3slang GENUINEEXCELLENT

 

Okay, so this breastplate, that I need to be more diligent in putting on each morning, is one that is aligned with God’s law. One that is free from sin. One that pursues excellence (note: it does NOT say perfection).


Well……..if I’m living each day trying to be more like Jesus, and trying to make Him famous, then the righteousness should just come on along already hitched to the breastplate. (I’m not saying it’s easy; but it is possible)  So, my morning routine should include, daily, the gentle reminder that I need to guard my heart with God’s Word (and law), so that He can pour outward from me to others, AND so His Word can be a barrier between my little ole heart and the attacks of the enemy.

 

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23 NIV

 

We are told to guard our hearts – plainly, clearly. What better way to do that than to cover it over in God’s Word, His love, His law that keeps us from sin?

 

So, Sisters…I say SUIT UP! I’m moving forward in greater awareness of the importance of God’s armor. Will you join me? It’s life-saving. And life-giving.

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Know today that I’ve got your six! (If you’ve got anything you’d like me, or our entire blog team, to lift up in prayer for you, holla atta girl!)

 

Much love, Jess

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