The Amour of God # 5
(Shield of Faith)
“He who does not STAND against the Arrows cannot talk about the strength of the SHEILD”
How do you know how effective the shield of faith is, if you don’t stand?!
The one who stands firm under trials and temptation understands the strength of the shield.
We’re busy in a series on the armour of God – this is the fifth part to this series.
In the New Testament the Christian life is often described as a spiritual battle against good and evil, using war terms such as fight, conquer and overcome (destroy / defeat)
Christians are often compared to soldiers serving in enemy territory.
When you become born again the bible says God saved us from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light.
As a result you enter into a battle with the kingdom of darkness.
The devil becomes your enemy, because we are now in the Kingdom of light.
I’ve found if you don’t have the love of God pouring out of you and you’re not a threat to the devil, he’s not really going to bother with you, because he has got you where he wants you.
But if you love the Lord and you’re determined to make a difference with your life, then Stand firm and ready with the armour against the enemy.
You don’t have to be fearful or anxious about the devil because many think, I can’t stand against the devil. People are more scared of the devil than what they FEAR the LORD.
Matthew 10:28 (NIV) – Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Yes and no – in your own strength you can’t stand, but in His strength
you can……..be strong in the Lord and the power of His might.
Do you know where that scripture is found?
The apostle Paul starts off this passage in Ephesians 6 where he instructs us about the armour of God, he starts off with these words;
Ephesians 6:10 – 11 - 10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. 11Put on the full armour of God….
He’s reminding us that our strength lies in Him and Him alone.
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist.
with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
15 with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. The shoes of peace
16 In addition to all this, *take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (NIV)
*You do it!
When the enemy shoots arrows his intention is to destroy you not to play with you. He’s not playing games. His purpose is John 10:10a – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
- When he shoots an arrow of temptation it’s to destroy you.
It may cost you your marriage, it may cost you your job and your reputation and your family.
- When he shoots an arrow of fear it’s to destroy you.
You know how fear can paralyze you and keep you from moving forward.
That’s the kind of arrows that Satan fires at us.
That’s why God gives us the shield of faith.
You may be thinking; I’m not sure that I have much faith.
O yes you do, because the bible says in Romans 12:3 God has dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Notice it doesn’t say to some men, but to every man!
That includes young men, old men, women …….. we’ve all been dealt a measure of faith.
What does that mean – a measure of faith?
It means that God starts us all off with a little bit of faith, He gives all of us some faith.
Then it’s up to us to develop that faith.
Remember your faith can grow, because your faith is like a muscle.
The more you exercise that muscle the stronger it will become.
The more you exercise your faith the stronger your faith will become.
Every time you use your faith you’re exercising it, you’re growing your faith, you’re developing your faith.
Why is it so important to grow our faith?
You’re going to face challenges down the line that will require greater faith.
God is giving you opportunities now to develop your faith for then.
If God brought Goliath across David’s path before he had faced the lion and the bear, he would have probably had the fright of his life.
But after the lion and the bear he had the fight of his life.
It was the lion and the bear that put his faith on a completely different level.
If he had never faced the lion and the bear he may have never been able to face Goliath.
Satan uses problems to discourage and defeat us.
God uses problems to develop us.
2 Thessalonians 1:3-4 We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. Guess why their faith was growing?
Because they were going through some hardships – persecutions and trails.
We’ve said this before, but our faith grows the most during the tough times.
God often uses tough times to develop our faith.
Just like He was preparing David for the biggest battle of his life, God will prepare us for those battles in advance.
Maybe you’ve been praying and trusting God for a breakthrough in your business, in your marriage, in your health……keep praying, keep trusting God.
When the breakthrough comes it’s going to put your faith on a completely different level and you’ll be able to trust God for bigger breakthroughs. (New level different devil)
Ephesians 6:16 Hold up the shield of faith…..
A shield is only effective when it’s held up.
You’ve got to hold it up….. i.o.w. You’ve got to use it!
Many people have faith but they don’t use it.
NB: What I find interesting – some Christians can use their faith to trust God for salvation, but they battle to trust God for healing or for provision or for protection.
Which one is easier, to get you to heaven and set you up for eternity or to heal you now, or to provide for you now?
The Bible tells us to ask for provision…….give us this day our daily bread.
You’ve got to use your faith….. Hold up the shield of faith.
If we don’t use our faith for provision the enemy can keep us in poverty.
If we don’t use our faith for protection the enemy can harass us.
God has given you a shield of faith, not to drag along but to lift up.
That’s why the bible says, The just shall live by faith.....Romans 1:17
God is saying, you better use that shield, every single day. (Know the truth)
- When the enemy fires fear at you …….No I won’t give in to fear, for He has not given me a spirit of fear……. you’re lifting your shield
- When the enemy fires poverty at you….. No, I won’t have poverty because my God shall supply all my needs ….. you’re lifting your shield
- When the enemy starts harassing your children.... No, the word says Proverbs 11:21 the seed of the righteous will be delivered
Isaiah 54:13 great shall be the peace of your children.
You’ve got to use your faith.....you’ve got to lift the shield
A shield has no benefit unless you raise it.
Faith has no benefit unless you release it, and the way to release it is through our thoughts, our words and our actions.
- You can’t sit around thinking thoughts of defeat and expect God to give you victory.
- You can’t walk around speaking negative things and expect God to do positive things.
We release our faith through the things we think, the things we say and the things we do.
We also release our faith through prayer.
There is nothing that we cannot pray about
There is no need that we can’t lift up to God.
Philippians 4:6 Pray about everything.
I’m not saying that God is going to give you everything, but God does respond to our faith expressed in prayer.
We’ve got to trust that He’s going to give us the right thing at the right time.
God responds to faith, He doesn’t respond to fear and discouragement.
Hebrews 11:6 “Without faith it’s impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”
A lack of faith will limit what God wants to do in our lives.
Remember how Jesus could do no miracles in His home town because of their lack of faith. Matthew 13:58
He wanted to but He couldn’t.
Faith is a key element if we’re going to see God’s power manifest in our lives.
Hebrews 3:10 “See to it brothers that none of you has a sinful unbelieving heart ……….”
One of the biggest enemies of faith is fear.
Hebrews 10:38 My righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back in fear, I will not be pleased with him.
God is not pleased when we’re fearful because fear is the opposite of faith. Fear is faith in reverse.
It’s almost as if we’re trusting for the wrong things to happen in our lives.
Remember what Job said; The thing I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me. Job 3:25
I wonder how many people have missed out on what God had for their lives because their faith has been in reverse.
Instead of raising their shield, they’ve given in to fear.
One of the enemy’s favourite ways to produce fear in our lives is through
- What if I get that sickness?
- What if I lose my job?
- What if I don’t have enough at retirement?
- What if something happens to one of my loved ones?
That’s the devil shooting arrows of fear, and if we don’t raise of shield of faith those things may happen to us. Faith closes the door, keeps the truth in.
Faith comes from God, fear comes from the devil.
Whenever God gives us something good, the enemy always tries to ruin it, he tries to poison it.
Another way to look at it – for every poison that Satan tries to bring into our lives, God gives us an anti-dote.
The anti-dote for fear is faith.
1 Peter 5:9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith
Whenever you sense you’re fearful about something or a bit anxious, turn to God’s word. (The Truth)
Philippians 4:6a – “Be anxious about nothing, but in every situation, by prayer and petition.”
When you look at your problems you’re seeing it from your perspective;
- How am I going to afford this?
- I can’t see a way out of this situation.
- What if that happens?
But when you turn to God’s word you start seeing it from a different perspective and suddenly you realize;
God can make a way where there is no way!
Nothing is too difficult for Him!
The moment you get into God’s word it gives you a different perspective and it gives you faith.
The enemy shoots those arrows of fear and doubt and discouragement but they can’t get through to you because you’ve got the shield of faith.
Romans 10:17 “Faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word of God.”
Somehow when we read God’s word again and again it helps us to start thinking as God thinks, to start seeing and understanding life as God sees it.