Over the last few weeks of our All Church Groups Experience, Spiritual Warfare And Tactics, we've been studying the Armor of God in Ephesians 6. Today, we're taking up the Shield of Faith! If you grew up watching Captain America like me, then you know the Captain's shield isn't just a tool for defense... the shield is an OFFENSIVE weapon in his fight against evil. If you want to win the war against the Enemy of your soul, it's NOT enough to simply believe... In fact, James 2:14 shows us that our faith needs to take action against the Enemy!
FAITH IS WHEN YOU ACT LIKE GOD IS TELLING THE TRUTH.
If you really believe God is trustworthy, then choosing to step out in faith is actually a determining factor to show whether you really believe our God is faithful. The bible is full of promises from God - over 8,000 - but often, these promises were not placed within our hand, but just within our REACH... which means we need to have active faith that propels us to reach out towards the promises of God in our everyday lives.
Now, in Paul's day, the Roman shield was so large that when a soldier crouched down, his entire body could be hidden behind it. These soldiers would actually form a line as they marched toward their enemy, holding their shields out to form an impenetrable wall. They would also soak their shields in water so they could resist the flaming arrows of enemy attack.
Likewise, Ephesians 6:16 instructs us to "Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one."
Like the enemies the Roman soldiers faced, the Enemy the devil sends flaming arrows into our lives - not necessarily to kill us, but to try and distract us! These arrows often take on the form of these "Deadly D's": Discouragement... doubt... distress... depression... and disappointment. He wants you to be so busy putting out fires in your home, family, and at work that you don't even have time to think about ADVANCING God's kingdom or TAKING GROUND against him!
Have you been convicted to walk forward in faith in a specific area of your life? Like the Roman soldiers, you can take up the Shield of Faith like a Turtle Shell to protect you from the Enemies' flaming arrows! When you face his attacks, you'll also want to remember this:
IF GOD'S CALLED YOU TO IT… HE'LL GET YOU THROUGH IT!
So, what is God is calling you to do? Don't be intimidated or afraid! Remember, there are blessings in obedience. In the face of Enemy attack, go to the FAITH PLACE - put yourself in a position for God to have to come through, because you don't know how the situation is going to turn out. This is when you don't have the patience... the money... the right connections that you think you need for something of significance to come to pass. When you step out into The Faith Place anyway, it activates God's shield over your life!
If you are a follower of Jesus, there will come a moment when God calls you to go deeper in your faith. Whatever you are facing this week, believe! Trust that if God called you to it... He will get you through it!