“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” (Ephesians 6:16)
When Angela asked me to write about the shield of faith and what it means to take it up even when its a struggle, I readily agreed. I wasn’t sure what to write but I was sure in the time allotted I could research and rightly divide the scripture. What I didn’t count on was how God would convict me of my own lack of faith and then restore and encourage me to continue pressing on.
I would never say “I don’t believe God is good” or “that he doesn’t exist”, but so often I practically live that out. I believe that God doesn’t have the best for me or he’s holding out on me so I don’t seek him first. I struggle with where I am in life and where I think I should be. I struggle with what I feel is unfair. When I choose to believe that He doesn’t have my best interest in mind, I do what seems right to me. Proverbs 14:12 tells us, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”
As I prepared to write this blog I was faced with a very familiar situation where it is difficult for me to trust that God loves me and that he has my best interest at heart. But first, let’s talk about what it means to take up the shield of faith.
Hebrews 11:1 tells us, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”, verse 6 “without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
I would say that taking up the shield of faith means to believe God; to trust that all his promises and warnings are true. We cannot know what he has promised us apart from his Word. So part of taking up the shield of faith is reading, meditating on, and memorizing scripture.
Romans 10:17 says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
We need to pay attention to what he has promised us and put our hope in those things. What we have not been promised is wealth, good health, marriage, or perfect families. If we place our hope in those things we will be disappointed. We have been promised that “He will never leave nor forsake us”-Hebrews 13:5. We have been promised that if we “confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness”- 1John 1:9. He promises in Psalm 84:11 that he doesn’t withhold good things from those who walk uprightly.
In light of my current circumstance, I have to choose to believe God’s promises over Satans lies. I choose to believe that God is who He says He is and that knowing Him is the ultimate satisfaction for my soul.
We are told that in all circumstances we are to take up the shield of faith. Not only when I’m struggling but when I feel like I’m walking in obedience and victory I still hold up my shield of faith. I still remember that “It is by grace through faith that I have been saved, not of works so there is no room for boasting”-Ephesians 2:8-9. I still put my hope in the promises God has made in his word and his ability to finish the work he has started in me.
This is not easy! It is a real struggle to hold up the shield of faith sometimes and to take him at his word. I was so encouraged as I read through Hebrews 11 because God, in his infinite wisdom and tenderness, gives us so many examples of broken people who are commended for their faith. Samson, Rahab the prostitute, Jephthah, and David. Knowing their stories and seeing that God commended their faith gives me hope, that even when I fail terribly He is willing and able to forgive and restore. I hope this encourages you to take up the shield of faith wherever you are today to take God at his word and trust his goodness. The reward is great! When we believe Gods promises and warnings, we are able to extinguish the fiery darts of the enemy. When I take God at his word the enemy’s attack is unfruitful.
My name is Judith. I’m a grateful believer in Jesus Christ living in Southeast Asia. I love coffee, animals, traveling, and preschoolers. I currently teach preschool at an International School in Southeast Asia. I have been following (many times stumbling and crawling) after Jesus for 17 years. I am more grateful today for His love, grace, and goodness than I was 17 years ago.