In a spiritual sense, YOU have an ENEMY that fires flaming missiles at you everyday! Your spiritual enemy wants to Discourage you, Discredit you, Defeat you, and Destroy you. The question is not, “do you have an enemy?” The real question is: “Do you have a shield?” Faith is a spiritual shield against the devil’s attacks. What would your life look like if you didn’t have faith?
Jim Cymbala put it this way, “What is faith? It is total dependence upon God that becomes supernatural in its working…Nothing else counts if faith is missing.”
Ephesians. 6:10-17 is the most well known passage on spiritual warfare and spiritual armor found in the New Testament. Paul describes six pieces of the Roman soldier’s armor and insists we have it too, in a spiritual sense.
-Belt of truth
-Breastplate of righteousness
-Shoes of the Gospel of Peace
-Shield of faith
-Helmet of salvation
-Sword of the Spirit/Word of God
Why do we need armor to live for Christ? Someone once said (and many have since repeated), “The Christian life is not a playground – it’s a battleground!” As a result, to be forewarned is to be forearmed! A quick review of Paul’s teaching about the shield of faith teaches a simple, but important truth…
FAITH PROVIDES UNLIMITED DEFENSE AGAINST EVERY SPIRITUAL ATTACK OF THE ENEMY!
“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” (Ep.6:16)
~Rick Warren commented on this and reminds us, “Put on the shield of faith….Trust God, no matter what you see, hear, or feel about the world around you. You need the certainty of God when you face the uncertainty of Satan’s fiery darts.” So, once I know I need to take up the shield of faith, how does it work? Here are 4 practical points to remember:
The shield of faith is…
a) pervasive (v.16)
The apostle said, “In ALL circumstances take up the shield of faith….” In other words you need faith everywhere, all the time, over every area of your life.
b) personal (v.16)
You are to “…TAKE UP the shield of faith…” You and I participate in the victory God has planned for us! We have to personally “take up” the shield of faith rather than passively wait for God to live the Christian life for us! He is sovereign, and He is Lord, but He calls us to action as He fulfills His plans for our lives!
c) protective (v.16)
You need to “take up the SHIELD of faith…” Why? You have an enemy who wants to take you out of the battle in disgrace. Faith defends against his deadly attacks!
d) purifying (v.16)
” …with which you can EXTINGUISH ALL THE FLAMING DARTS…” Faith keeps you off the spiritual casualty list by keeping your life holy. Don’t go “up in flames” through the devil’s temptations. Beat the devil when you meet the devil!
Today’s Take Aways:
1) What you believe matters
2) Spiritual warfare is real and constant
3) Faith protects you from spiritual failure
4) Faith assures spiritual victory
LAST SUNDAY’S MESSAGE: