“God could not possibly love me, because my life is a mess.”
“I keep falling into sin. Maybe I won’t go to heaven.”
“I always feel sad and empty. Maybe I have not truly committed my life to the Lord.”
“Life is so hard for me. Maybe God is not watching over me.”
Have you ever had these thoughts? I certainly have. When doubts and discouragement overwhelm me, I have to ask myself, “Why have I not taken up the shield of faith?”
“…and in all of this, by taking up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
– Ephesians 6:16
Paul wrote the letter of Ephesians while he was imprisoned in Rome. While he was chained to the Roman guards, he saw vividly the soldiers’ armor and weapons.
As Paul calls believers to be Christ’s soldiers, he used every part of the Roman uniform that he saw every day. He described each piece of armor of God that believers must wear to fully engage in spiritual warfare.
The shield of the Roman soldier looked almost like a door. According to historical books, it was called a scutum. It was approximately four feet tall and two and a half feet wide, weighing over twenty pounds.
When we take up the shield of faith, it leaves no part of us exposed to attack.
It can be used as a defensive weapon, to defend and protect, or as an offensive weapon, to parry and knock over enemies.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see.”
– Hebrews 11:1
Faith is the confidence and belief that God is who He says He is and that God will do what His Word says He will do. It is the belief that God’s promises in the Bible are all true.
Faith allows us to trust that our God that we cannot see will fulfill His promise of a future that we cannot imagine.
As I raise the shield of faith, I don’t have to convince myself that my faith is big enough or strong enough or powerful enough to accomplish anything.
I only have to believe that God is God, and He is able to conquer any enemy.
I can pray that God will arm me with the shield in any and in all circumstances. As I raise the shield of faith, I only need to remind myself of Who is fighting this battle for me and remain confident of who God is and what His Word says.
“But you, Lord, are a shield that protects me; You are my glory and the One who restores me.”
– Psalm 3:3
Let’s talk about what the shield protects us from.
Satan aims his flaming arrows of doubt, disappointment, and deception directly at us. His purpose is to decrease our faith in God and what God can accomplish.
His flaming arrows come in the form of thoughts that are blasphemous, hateful, angry, lustful, despairing, and full of revenge, feelings of fear and anxiety, and thoughts questioning the authority of God and the Bible.
These arrows are very subtle but extremely damaging. However, a believer’s shield of faith, as we read in the Bible, will not just block the enemy’s arrows, but it extinguishes them all.
“Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour. Resist him, strong in your faith, because you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are enduring the same kinds of suffering.”
– 1 Peter 5:8–9
My spiritual battle has always been about me doubting my worth to God. I would always wonder if I could ever be good enough for God to love me. But it is during this battle that I must remember to put on the full armor of God so that I can withstand the enemy’s arrows and not end up hopeless in despair.
When we trust and believe in God and His Word, Satan’s flaming arrows will be extinguished instead of penetrating our minds and our souls.
As we walk daily through our dark broken world together, believers must always be ready to take up our shield of faith so that we can experience just how powerful and effective our faith in God is.
Peace and grace unto you,
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