Shield of Faith
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.