Ephesians 6:10-20 – “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, 15 and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; 16 in 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. 17 And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” NASU
We have considered the BELT of TRUTH, the BREASTPLATE of RIGHTEOUSNESS, and the GOSPEL SHOES. Now we turn our attention to the SHIELD of FAITH. It would seem, on the surface that the listing of this piece of armor is out of place. One would not anticipate taking up the shield before being fully clothed with armor but this is interposed between the GOSPEL SHOES and the HELMET of SALVATION. Could there be a reason? I can answer that in a simplistic fashion and realize that it will not fully suffice but what is one element required for Salvation? It is Faith, right? The Bible tells us that it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God without faith. We are told that God has given to every man a, or the measure of faith and we are told that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Faith is more a heart commodity than one of the head but the mind cannot be omitted for we are told that we are TRANSFORMED by the ‘renewing’ of our minds.
Faith is more than believing in the existence of God it is holding firm to the promises, precepts, and principles of God. When our faith is strong our love is strong and our sense of security in His Grace is strong. We know and believe that God is Who He says He is, will do what He says He will do and Keeps His Covenant to a thousand generations. When our faith is strong in the Power of God it is impossible for the devil to break through and steal, kill, or destroy. With the SHIELD of FAITH, we are able to protect the entire body, heart, soul, mind, spirit and being from the flaming missiles of the enemy. Those thoughts that are to be brought captive to the obedience of Christ are protected and those foreign destructive doubtful thoughts are kept out or blocked by our SHIELD.
Faith is an incredible protector for it leads us into the Presence of God and covers us like a shroud or shield us from the onslaught of the enemy. Remember Daniel in the lion’s den, faith kept him safe. Remember the three Hebrew Children in the furnace, faith kept them from the flames. Remember Paul being shipwrecked, faith kept the serpent from harming him as well as countless other times. The SHIELD of FAITH is not just personal protection, for when understood as the armor of a Roman Soldier, the shields would be joined together and protected the entire squad, troop, or legion. We are iron sharpening iron and we draw from each other’s strength. With the SHIELD of FAITH, we are able to protect each other as well as protect ourselves and the life that we now live in the flesh we live by the faith of the Son of God. With faith, we can face any challenge, confident of the outcome because our Lord has already won the victory.
The SHIELD of FAITH enables us to take on the HELMET of SALVATION and take up the SWORD of the SPIRIT. Let the faith of God rise in your heart and seek first Him and His kingdom. Invest yourself in His word for we do not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. That Word produces faith. I have said it this way, “Faith is a product of heaven, not earth. When God speaks, faith is transmitted. When man hears, faith is received. When man acts, faith is released. When God acts, faith is complete.” It is a product that begins and ends in God and He has given it to us through His Spirit and His Word.
We need to delve into the next piece of armor the HELMET of SALVATION but that will have to wait until next time. Until then, God bless you richly is my prayer and desire!