Everybody has faith. It’s acting on our expectations. When you sit down in a chair, you expect that chair to hold your weight. When you turn on the light switch, you expect that the light will turn on. If it doesn’t, you begin to troubleshoot what went wrong.
We have a lot of expectations in life. We expect our family members to support and love us. When they don’t, our faith or trust in them is lost. And trust is hard to get back. When a person lets you down, even when you give them another shot, you expectations are much lower.
The Bible has a lot to say about faith. But you may never have thought of faith as a shield. It is a defensive part of God’s armor that protects against the attacks of the devil. In Ephesians 6:16 Paul introduces the shield of faith.
There are so many different ways to use the word “faith.” We could be talking about different religions. Perhaps the word refers to a set of doctrines that we follow. But when I talk about faith, I’m referring to the trust we put in Jesus.
Faith can have different definitions in different contexts of Scripture. But we are concerned with what it means to pick up the shield of faith and use it in spiritual warfare. Shields protect us from everything the devil throws at us. Let’s break down the importance of the shield of faith.
In All Circumstances
There is no situation in life that faith doesn’t apply. No matter what trial we face, we can always apply faith. But we don’t always rely on the Lord when we should. And we don’t always apply faith and trust to every situation.
As I write this post, we’re in the midst of staying at home because of a coronavirus warning. Many people are afraid of what is going to happen. But when we trust in Jesus, we have nothing to fear. The shield of faith puts fear in its place.
Take up the Shield of Faith
There were two types of shields that a Roman soldier utilized. One was a small circular shield soldiers would decorate and use when they were in the middle of parades. But the one they fought with was almost a full body shield. It was about 2’ x 4’, wooden slats wrapped together and covered in leather.
These larger shields also had latches on the sides so that they could be joined together to form a phalanx. This was like a wall of shields that would protect the entire line of soldiers. You can see why Paul chose the shield to represent faith in our lives.
The Bible tells us that without faith it’s impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). And it defines faith is trusting God for the things that we don’t yet see (Hebrews 11:1). It is a powerful engine that runs on the fuel of hope.
Faith protects us as part of a close relationship with Jesus. It is not only believing faith but the ability to know that God goes before us. There is nothing that Satan will bring against us God does not know about or have a response for.
Extinguish Flaming Darts
Soldiers dipped their leather shields in water to protect them from fiery arrows or any other type of flying fire. They were prepared for every attack the enemy could bring against them. The shield may have been the most important part of their armor.
Trusting God in every situation for all things protects us from the dangers that the enemy lays out for us. He is not on our side. He likes to see us fail. We must not listen to anything he has to say. His schemes involve our downfall if he can manage it.
But our trust in Jesus helps us to see what the devil has in store. It prepares us for anything he wants to bring against us. This is why faith is so important on the battlefield. Without our faith we would be vulnerable to anything he brings.
So how do we apply the shield of faith to the armor? How do we put on the shield of faith and strap it around our arm as we charge into battle? Prayer is a most excellent way to arm ourselves with faith.
When I pray for the shield of faith to be placed upon me, I bring every issue that I have to God. I asked Jesus to give me eyes of wisdom to see what the devil has planned against me. I asked the Lord to put his protective hedge around me. That hedge is part of faith. I know that God’s got my back.
If I come against a trial throughout the day, I place my trust in Jesus to work out the situation. I turned to him first and often. I proclaim the Scriptures that promise his protection over my life, health, finances, spiritual life, and anything else that applies to my situation.
It can’t be stressed enough that faith is part of a vibrant, continuous relationship with Jesus. Without that relationship, faith is much less effective. Faith always has an object, and the object of our faith is Jesus. I don’t mean that Jesus is an object, but that our trust is placed in him.
When you face trials, challenging situations, an attack of the devil or his demons, or any other threat, turn first and often to Jesus. Declare your trust in him and he will be your shield of protection, the hedge around you, and the one who goes before you, is beside you, and all around you.
Leave a comment and share how you put on the shield of faith in your life every day.