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God’s Armor – The Shield of Faith

In talking about God’s Armor, the next piece we’ll see is the Shield of Faith.  That’s probably one of the most preached about in our generation.

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Ephesians 6:16

There are some assumptions being made in this verse.  Paul says that this is in addition to the pieces already talked about. This assumes that you’re already standing firm in the Word, walking in righteousness, and prepared to do God’s will.

We can stand firm in just these.  What we have to realize is that when we take up the shield, we’re going from defense to offense in the spiritual battle.  Up until this point, your goal is to keep the enemy from harming you.

You add the shield so that you can now defeat the enemy.  You take up the Shield of Faith because you’re now going into the part of the battle where the arrows are flying.

Please understand that I’m not talking about saving faith.  You’ve already trusted Christ for that.  I’m also not talking about faith in the promises of God.  I’m looking at using faith in the middle of the battle as a shield.

It’s your protection against the flaming arrows of the evil one.  This means that there’s more than just one arrow headed in your direction.

That brings me to the word, shield, itself.  The Greek word used in this verse is not the little one that looks like a trashcan cover.  Get that picture out of your mind, even though most of the illustrations for the Christian armor look like that.

The word Paul uses comes from the word door.  That’s because this shield is as big as a door.  The soldier could hide behind it and be totally protected from these arrows as long as he stayed there.

That tells me that faith protects my whole life.  So far, the armor has protected my mind, my heart, and my will.  This piece protects everything else.

This shield protects me from evil.  What kind of evil?  I’m talking about the random evil that’s flying in the front lines.  The archers on the wall loose a volley of arrows against those who are advancing.  These are simply flying to take out whoever they can hit.

You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day…
Psalms 91:5

If the enemy can hit our flesh with evil, then our flesh will take us out of the fight.  We’ll end up battling our own sin nature instead of defeating the devil’s kingdom.

However, there’s one more purpose of the shield other than for protection.  In the Roman army, everybody’s shield was painted differently.  They did this because your shield identified your family.  Members of the same family had the same design on their shields.

But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house.  And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.
Hebrews 3:6

The fact is that we’re now in God’s family.  This verse tells us that we can show it by our outspokenness.  When we walk in faith, we can boldly declare our expectation in Christ.  In that way, we show what family we belong to.

This is the shield that protects us from evil.  In my next post, I’ll talk about how to use and apply this piece of armor.

Question: How has God shielded you from the enemy’s attacks?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2019 in Faith, Spiritual Walk, Spiritual Warfare

 

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Hope and Our Inheritance

BeamI’ve been posting about the living hope we have in Christ. In my last post I talked about how the Lord’s mercy brings about hope in us.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you…
1 Peter 1:3-4

So far we’ve seen that this hope is birthed by mercy through the resurrection of Christ. But we also need to see that this Living Hope brings us into an inheritance.

The fact is that this hope points to an inheritance that we didn’t deserve. There was nothing we could have done to lay hold of it. It was all a work of Jesus Christ for us.

In the above verse there are three nots associated with this inheritance. First of all, it does not perish or decay. Praise God! That means that my inheritance in Christ is not affected by inflation.

It also says that it will not spoil. That means that it will not become soiled or dirty. It will always remain pure and new to us.

Finally, our inheritance will never fade. That means that it will never be used up or become worthless over time. Nothing on this earth meets those criteria. That’s why our hope, our treasure, is in Christ alone. I can look forward to His blessing in my life.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Colossians 3:23-24

It’s because of this hope of the inheritance that we can work for God with all our heart. But there’s more. The above verse from Peter doesn’t end there.

…who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Peter 1:5

Yes, we are birthed by mercy, through the resurrection, into an inheritance; but this Living Hope shields us by God’s power. I don’t need to remind you about the shield of faith. It keeps us secure in times of trial.

But it’s fed by the living expectation that’s fresh and new every morning. Paul puts it this way…

…a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time…
Titus 1:2

Paul mentions both faith and knowledge in this verse. Faith is our trust in God’s Word; while knowledge is what we have once our faith has been proven. It’s through these that we can rest on the hope of eternal life.

…so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
Titus 3:7

It’s this hope of eternal life that gives us joy in the trials that we face. This is because we know that the Lord is going to show up and work on our behalf. Never give up your hope; it will be richly rewarded.

Question: How has God proven Himself in your life?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2016 in Faith, Power of God, Spiritual Walk

 

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Is Faith Enough?

Different AnointingIn my last post I began talking about the spiritual helmet and sword. I said that they correspond to our power and authority in the Holy Spirit.

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Ephesians 6:17

The truth is that power and authority must be used together. I believe that’s why this verse says to take them at the same time. All the other pieces of armor are taken and described separately.

It was true in the life of Christ as well as now, through Him, in the church.

…to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
Jude 25

It’s interesting that we’re told to take them. The responsibility is on us. Of course, this is after the shield of faith is lifted up before us.

Sometimes we seem to think it’s all about faith. In reality, faith is just the start. It’s only when we decide to trust God that the battle starts to become fierce.

It’s as we walk in faith that the enemy takes notice of us. Look at the life of Jesus.

All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!”
Luke 4:36

What does it take to drive out a demon? Obviously Jesus had faith – was that enough? Is faith and authority enough? No! It took faith, authority and power to cast out a demon.

It’s no different for us. Authority and power are what’s needed for miracles to be manifest in the church. Faith goes without saying.

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
Luke 9:1-2

They were given detailed orders. Drive out demons. Heal the sick. Preach the good news. Later in this chapter of Luke they were told not to take money with them – they were to trust God’s provision.

All of these things are wrapped up in power and authority.

It’s funny how many in the body of Christ are running after things. We seek healing, miracles, and financial blessing. What we should be pressing into is the power and authority of the Holy Spirit. If I can come into correct relationship with Him, then the rest will naturally be there.

Question: How can I enter the flow of the Holy Spirit’s power and authority?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2015 in Faith, Power of God, Spiritual Warfare

 

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Give Your Life a Solid Foundation

In my last post, I talked about true Biblical faith.  We learned that you can’t just “set it and forget it”.  Instead, it’s a process that must be walked out on a daily basis.  Here is an illustration that Paul used to describe it.

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Ephesians 6:16

Think about faith like a huge wooden shield, big enough for you to hide behind in the raging battle.  What is it protecting you from?  Paul says that it’s the flaming arrows of the enemy.

What does flame do to wood?  We all know that wood is a fuel.  As the weapons of the enemy hit it, the shield begins to wear away.  If you just stand still in your Christian walk, you begin to lose ground.  What you believed last year, you may not believe this year.  Your faith begins to fade.

Scripture tells us that we must continually maintain our faith.  That’s why prayer, reading the word, and fellowship with other believers are so vital to our walk with the Lord.

We need to continue in all of those things just to stand still.  If that’s the case, then I really need to build my faith for moving forward in God.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

The words being sure in this verse literally mean setting under.  The scriptural definition for hope is our expectation of what God is going to work out in our lives.  So, in actuality, what this verse says is that faith is our support or foundation.

Faith is a support for our expectations.  How can I continue to expect God’s best in the middle of the struggles of life?  My expectations must be supported.  It’s only through faith in what God has said that I can have this kind of foundation.

We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.
Hebrews 3:14

This is really what we want from God.  We want to share in what Christ has provided for us.  The only way this will take place is if we hold firmly to our support.  That’s why we need the shield.

If faith is not held firmly, it can be knocked out of our hands.  Make sure that you are maintaining your faith.  It’s what you need to support you through the rough times.

Question: How has your faith in God supported you in the past?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Encouragement, Faith, Spiritual Warfare

 

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The Perfect Shield

Psalm 18:30
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless.  He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.

Many people talk about the shield of faith.  Unfortunately there are few who actually pick it up and use it.  It requires more than just a mental assent to the Word of God.  It requires a walk with the God of the Word.

We must first realize that His Word is flawless.  There is no trickery or deceit in Him.  He says what He means and means what He says.  I must hold God’s Word above the word of any other.

But it doesn’t stop there, even though most Christians think that is enough to lay hold of the shield.  There’s more.

If His Word is flawless, and if I believe that Word, then I will walk the way that Word teaches without hesitation.  I will believe that God’s way is perfect and live accordingly.  It is simple logic.  If I don’t do what the book says, then I don’t trust the book completely.

It is the first half of this verse that is the foundation for the second half.  If I believe God’s Word and walk in His way then am I protected by His shield.

Spend some time with the God of the Word today.  Prayerfully meditate upon what He says.  Let the mind of the Lord renew your mind.  Let His desire change the way you live your life.  Then you can expect His shield to protect your path.

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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