This article is a continuation of our theme; the full armor of God that we have been covering all summer in Big City Clubhouse (children’s church). We have covered the commands that God has given to us, the enemy, and now we are focusing on the individual weapons.
Now we have come to the shield of faith. This shield is super important. What does it go?
16in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (Ephesians 6)
This shield helps us block the flaming arrows that the evil one shoots our way. Not only does he set traps to get us to hurt ourselves, he also directly attacks us with his deadly missiles. We have our breastplate of righteousness to protect us and we also have this awesome shield. In order to get a better understanding of what Paul meant, we need to learn about the Roman soldier’s shield.
I. The shield of faith
The Roman soldier’s shield was covered in an outer protection of leather. Before going into battle, the shield was dipped in water to keep the leather wet. This was super important because when the enemy shot flaming objects at the soldiers, not only could they be blocked by the shield but the wet leather also extinguished the flames of the burning objects. If a soldier forgot to dip his shield in water before entering the battle, the leather would dry out and his shield would actually become flammable. Instead of protection, it would become a weapon used against him and the other soldiers in his troop. What are the spiritual implications of all of this. Our faith is the shield that protects us but how do we “wet” it daily so that the flaming arrows can be extinguished?
II. Dipped in the water of the Word
The water in which we dip our faith is the Word of God. Here is what God teaches us about the Word and how it keeps our faith wet.
17 So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
2 But whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and whose mind is on his law day and night. 3 He will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
26 So that He might make it holy, having made it clean with the washing of water by the word,
According to Paul, in Romans, our faith comes from the Word of God. As we study and learn God’s Word, we discover what faith is and how to have it. This is how we get the shield in the first place. Once we have faith, we have to keep that faith wet, in other words, strengthening our faith on a daily basis. We keep it wet by the Word of God. Like the psalmist says, we meditate on God’s Word day and night. As we study, our faith is strengthened we become better and better equipped to resist the attacks of the evil one. If we do not constantly dip our faith in the Word of God then we become vulnerable to the flaming arrows of the evil one. Are you dipping your faith in the Word of God day by day so that your shield is good and wet, able to protect you from all the flaming missiles of the evil one? How much time do you spend in God’s Word on a daily basis? What does all of this look like practically?
III. Practical application
God’s Word help us stand firm against the attacks of the evil one. He shoots his flaming arrows in the form of ideas and thoughts. If allowed to penetrate our minds, they can set up strongholds that can destroy us by distorting our view of God and of the people around us. What does God’s Word have to teach on this subject that can help us on both fronts; the ideas and thoughts that have taken root and set up strongholds as well as the constant thoughts that bombard us on a daily basis? Paul has a great Word for us in II Corinthians 10.
3 For though we live in the body, we do not wage war in an unspiritual way,
4 since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments
5 and every high- minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ.
The first thing that the Word of God does when teaching us about faith is to teach us to distinguish truth from lies. Truth comes from God whereas lies come from the evil one in the form of direct attacks and subtle attack on the nature and character of God. God’s Word helps demolish the strongholds that these lies have set up in our minds by exposing them for what they are. Once we come to the knowledge of the truth, we are able to destroy the false arguments against the truth. We see lies for what they are and call them out. Things that contradict God and His Word or give you a distorted image of who God is, these are all things that have been planted in your mind by the evil one, either directly or indirectly. Once God’s Word cleans out all of the “junk” in our minds It then teaches us how to block all the new flaming arrows. Each new thought that comes into my mind each day, either my own thoughts, someone else’s thoughts, or the enemy’s thoughts must now be filtered through the Word of God. If it is a good thought, something that edifies the Lord and you, then you allow that thought to take root in your mind. If the thought does not glorify God or edify you and others then you must kick it out.
So my friend, have you received faith from the Word of God? Are you strengthening that faith on a daily basis by meditating on the Word of God? What are the strongholds that need to be torn down in your life/mind? What is your thought life like on a daily basis? Do you take every thought captive? If evil thoughts get in your mind, do you realize that they will torment you leading you to have a distorted opinion of God, of yourself, and others around you? God wants to set you free from these thoughts and ideas and protect you from future attacks. The way that it happens is by strengthening your faith through His Word on a daily basis. May the Lord help us learn to use the shield of faith that He has given to us.