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, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:13-17)
The shield of faith is the final piece of armor, but we don’t “put it on” exactly. We may hang it on our belt when it is not being actively used, but normally, we would hold it in our left, or non-dominant, hand, because our right, or dominant hand, is gripping our sword. (That is the next post.)
There are different kinds of shields. We often picture the round shield, worn and used by our left hand / arm and used in hand-to-hand combat. Think Captain America. It would slip over our arm and be held by our hand and arm, making it more stable when defending ourselves. It also can move up, down, forward, overhead, down low, to the right or left – all depending on from what direction the attack is coming. And it can be moved quickly. It needs to be moved quickly. If it doesn’t, the enemy’s blows can injure us or cause us to be knocked off our feet.
This is not a protection of metal, because we aren’t fighting physical arrows and clubs, but we are fighting spiritual attacks. Lies. Sickness. Fear. Calamities. These come from various directions – from the world, from demonic entities, from the mouths of family, friends, coworkers, etc. This is why our shield must move swiftly to the direction of the attack.
But what is a shield of faith? Does it sound solid enough to withstand an attack?
Strong’s G4102 gives this definition.
Faith is the conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it.
Faith is a strong belief in something. When I get on an airplane, I believe the pilot knows how to fly that huge plane, through good weather and bad – and how to land! That part is very important!
The shield of faith requires faith in God and His word. Remember the man in Mark 9, who asked the disciples to heal his son? They couldn’t, but he didn’t give up. The father brought his boy to Jesus?
Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:21-24)
The question is how? How do we overcome our unbelief? Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans,
Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. (Romans 10:17)
Our faith grows by reading the message in the Word of God. What does God say? When the devil, who is the accuser, (see Revelation 12:10) tries to take us down with his lies, we can say “Liar, liar, pants on fire! That is not true. God says…. “
How does that work? How does the enemy attack? Most often in our thoughts. Here is an example.
- His lie – “You are worthless, incapable, and weak. You failed again. God is tired of all your blunders. He’s going to find someone else and leave you helpless and alone.”
- Your response – “Oh no! God chose me before the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 1:4) and He paid a very high price for me because I am valued by Him. (John 3:16; Ephesians 2; etc.) I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13) And He will never leave me nor give up on me. (Hebrews 13:5) And Jesus never gives up on me. He finishes what He starts. (Philippians 1:6)
Be aware, the enemy doesn’t attack from the same direction. Sometimes it is through what someone says or does. This is especially hurtful if it is a friend who betrays us. Forgiveness is extremely important here, and it is essential to our healing.
Shame and guilt are also favorite tools. Remember, Jesus took our guilt and shame. (See Isaiah 53)
Sometimes he attacks our identity in Jesus. He has made us all unique for a reason. You aren’t like anyone else – on purpose! Not everyone is wired the same way, with the same gifts or the same calling. The enemy loves to use the lies of comparison. Thank the Lord for who YOU ARE – fearfully and wonderfully made. (See Psalm 139)
OK, enough about using our shield to fend off the arrows of the enemy. Our shield is larger than Captain America’s. It is more rectangular in shape. We can still wield it to block the enemy’s attacks, but it has additional properties.
The shield was often covered in leather and soaked in water. Any fiery arrows shot by the enemy would be extinguished. Plus, the shield had rolled edges so the edge of my shield can interlock with the edge of your shield. What a beautiful picture of believers agreeing in prayer and standing together against the onslaught of the enemy!
Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you. (Leviticus 25:8)
“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. (Matthew 18:19)
Take up your shield of faith.
Protect yourself from the enemy’s attacks!
Join with other believers and stand together.
Commander of Angel Armies,
Teach us to how to be your warriors!