One of the greatest challenges for a Christian is living in this sinful world and overcoming the temptations it has. Some days it seems as though I am literally under attack from Satan, which I realize I am. It is almost like, oh I donâ€™t know, fiery darts?
â€œâ€¦above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.â€ (Ephesians 6:16)
Ah! Thereâ€™s my problem! I keep leaving the house without my shield of faith. A shield in Paulâ€™s time would have been covered with leather in which the soldier would soak it in water and when the enemy would shoot his flaming arrows the wet shield would â€œquenchâ€ it.
The Greek for faith is pistis and it is used in the New Testament 243 times and in this context it refers to the Christian system of belief and lifestyle. Oh so Iâ€™m not really forgetting my shield? I should not be forgetting it because it becomes such a natural part of â€œmy uniformâ€ that I take it with me wherever I go.
One of the habits I had to break myself of when I retired from the Army was always looking for my headgear. For twenty-two years I never left anywhere in uniform without my hat. In fact the quickest way to get a â€œdressing downâ€ from a sergeant was to be outside without your headgear. It became a part of me.
Well Bro Dave I know that faith is important but you donâ€™t understand the workaday world in which I live. It almost seems impossible to remember my faith. Well if that is true for you I have two words for you: you lose!
The Apostle John explained the importance of our faith in his first epistle:
â€œFor whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the worldâ€”our faith.â€ (1 John 5:4)
So thatâ€™s the secret?! And it was right there in front of me the whole time. I have victory over the world because of my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. That is what protects me from Satan. I am a child of God, born-again through the blood of Jesus Christ, and that means I have overcome the world, but not I, my faith in Christ. I love what our old friend Matthew Henry wrote about Ephesians 6:16â€¦
â€œFaith is all in all in an hour of temptation. Faith, as relying on unseen objects, receiving Christ and the benefits of redemption, and so deriving grace from Him, is like a shield, a defense every way. The devil is the wicked one. Violent temptations, by which the soul is set on fire of hell, are darts Satan shoots at us. Also, hard thoughts of God, and as to ourselves. Faith applying the word of God and the grace of Christ quenches the darts of temptation.â€
Well then I have my belt of truth securely in place; I have fitted my breastplate of righteousness to protect my heart; my feet are prepared to go out with the gospel of truth; and I have my shield of faith. Now where did I put that darn hat? Ah there it is!
Tomorrow weâ€™ll talk about our spiritual headgear.
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