The Shield of Faith
We are in the middle of learning how to put on the full armor of God. This is extremely important because the Bible tells us that we do not battle against flesh and blood but against the demonic forces of darkness. So, we need spiritual armor in this spiritual battle. Each of the 6 pieces of a Roman soldiers gear are mentioned as metaphors for what we are to be using.
- By knowing the truth and telling the truth we are protecting our loins, perhaps the most vulnerable spot on our body.
- By knowing that we have been given the righteousness of Christ we protect our heart can central organs but we must make the “right” choices during the day.
- By being prepared with the shoes of the gospel we let others know where we stand and we are prepared for battle each and every day.
Now, for the Shield of Faith, which is my personal favorite. When entering combat the shield was of value whether the enemy was shooting arrows, throwing spears or attacking you with a sword or ax. During a battle being behind your shield gave you the most protection and the shield that God gives us is faith.
Faith is a huge topic in general but in this passage, it is something specific. Our faith is to protect us from the flaming arrows or fiery darts of the evil one. What the heck are those? I have never had to pull a flaming arrow out of my chest but I have had many of them stick in my brain. These arrows or darts are thoughts that our enemy tries to stick in our thinking and when they find their mark they can cause all kinds of confusion and dismay.
If you struggle with discouragement, self-loathing, anxiety, depression I’m guessing you may have a few flaming arrows stuck in your thoughts. It is kind of like psychological warfare being used against you. In WWII, the Japanese used Tokyo Rose on the radio to tell lies to the American soldiers to get them to lose heart and not fight as well as they could. In the same way, our enemies use thoughts to keep us unstable and unwilling to fight.
How do we use our shield of faith to extinguish these arrows? The best way I have found is to believe what Scripture says instead of what my thoughts imply. Faith is simply believing what God says as truth. So, I take what I know to be true from God and use it as a shield to keep me safe from the flaming arrows.
For example, ever since I lost my job as a pastor I have been under financial strain. I had no job offers and my career of being a pastor was completely destroyed. So, where does a 52-year-old sexually addicted former pastor with 2 kids in college find the income needed to take care of his family and keep educating his kids? My shield of faith was Psalm 23.
The Lord IS my Shepherd
He makes me to lie down in green pastures
He Leads me beside the still waters
He Restored my Soul.
I would pray that passage and others and then by faith thank God that these words are true. That God is a shield around me (Psalm 3:3) and He will take care of me and provide for me. Now that is not to say that there are painful consequences to our sinful choices. However, I have learned that even in the aftermath of my sexual brokenness my God is with me and I need to keep my faith in Him at all times.