Shield of Faith
|By: Nancy Missler; ©2001|
|Are you ever overwhelmed by Satan’s “arrows” in your life? Nancy Missler describes how and when we should don the “shield of faith.”|
Every morning I prayerfully put on the “whole” armor of God. (Ephesians 6) But over the last couple of years, I have come to especially appreciate the Shield of Faith as one of the more important pieces of armor. I know that “all,” the pieces are essential, but I have found a special benefit in taking up the Shield of Faith. This is the piece of armor that prevents Satan’s arrows from piercing my heart and life. Whenever I neglect to pick up and “put on” my Shield, I immediately sense the mounting attack of the enemy.
It’s a known fact, that if we love Jesus and if we want more of Him, we will be attacked. Satan’s game plan is to do everything in his power to undermine our faith so that we drop our shields and leave ourselves wide open for his arrows. Thus, when we lose faith in God and His promises, we will experience the sharp thrust of the enemy’s killing sword.
When we learn to make faith choices, however, and trust in God no matter what is happening all around us, we hold up that Shield of Faith and it protects our hearts. Faith choices, remember, are non-feeling choices that give God the freedom to work in our lives. The wonderful thing about faith choices is that God, in His perfect timing and His perfect way, will eventually align our feelings with what we have chosen to believe and make us genuine.
- “The Lord is my strength and my shield.” (Psalm 28:7; cf. Psa. 5:12; 30:20; 59:11; 84:9, 11; Prov. 30:5; Gen. 15:1)
Note something very important: Faith seems to have two parts to it:
First, there is the portion of faith that God places in our hearts when we are first born again. As Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” The second aspect of faith, however, is only activated by our own personal choice to, moment by moment, trust and believe. This is called the Shield of Faith. (Ephesians 6:16) It’s Jesus’ faith, yes. But, we must choose, moment by moment, to put it on. In other words, we literally raise this shield by making faith choices (non-feeling choices) to believe what God’s Word says. (Prov. 30:5)
Even though this Shield of Faith belongs to every single believer, many have gone off to battle, having left their shield at home.
Name of Jesus, Word of God and Blood of Christ
Although the Bible assures us that the battle belongs to the Lord (1 Sam. 17:47), the battle is only won if we make faith choices and hold our shields high in place. This is the only way we can deflect the blows of the enemy. So, yes, God will fight our battles for us, but we must constantly make those faith choices to shield ourselves from the onslaughts of the enemy. (1 Pet. 5:8) James 4:7)
A few other things we can do to shield ourselves are:
- Humble ourselves and cast ourselves upon the Lord in complete trust. (Isaiah 37:1)
- Pray constantly. (2 Kings 19:14-16)
- Run to the Word of God because it’s our only hope.
- Use our weapons of warfare (the Name of Jesus, the Word of God and the Blood of Christ).
What Does Faith Do?
What exactly is the “work of faith” that is spoken about in 2 Thessalonians 1:11? (cf. John 6:28-29; 1 Thess. 1:3) The work of faith that Paul is referring to here, I believe, is simply choosing, moment by moment, to believe upon, trust in and walk out the promises of God. An active faith is made up of a series of moment-by-moment choices. Only by the work of faith can we fully embrace God’s promises, even though we may never see them fulfilled in our lifetime.
I know this is a difficult statement, but look at the lives of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Sarah. Hebrews 11:13 tells us that all of these saints “died in faith, not having received [God’s] promises but having seen them afar off.” In other words, they fully embraced God’s promises even though they couldn’t see them yet. This is our work of faith.
One of the lessons that God is teaching me in my own life is that His promises are true, but they will be fulfilled in His timing and in His way. My work of faith is simply to believe and trust in His faithfulness to do so. God is in charge of the means, the manner and the way in which those promises will be answered, and I am learning to accept this by faith. I am learning how to “hide” the promises that God gave me on that mountaintop seven years ago in my heart just like Mary did in Luke 2:19. “Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.” As I keep my eyes totally focused on the Lord, He will show me when I can bring those promises out and say, “This was foretold me by the Lord, and now it’s come to pass.” This is my “work of faith.”
Faith lightens our path and leads us from the realm of the visible to the realm of the Spirit. Hope is what turns our attention forward to what we do not possess. And Love is what centers our affection on God, so that we can live the rest of our lives to His commands and to His will.
- “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His Holy Place. He that hath clean hands [soul] and a pure heart [spirit].” (Psalm 24:3-4)