Author: Ron Graham
The Shield of Faith
—The Armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-17)
As Christians we are at war —not against flesh and blood but against the spiritual forces of wickedness and darkness. To win this war, to fight the good fight, we must be adequately equipped. Part of that equipment is "The Shield of Faith" (Ephesians 6:17).
Ephesians 6, Verses 10-17
¶“10Finally, be strong in the Lord and his mighty strength. 11Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against blood and flesh, but against rulers, against powers, against the world forces of this present darkness, against spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:10-12).
¶“13Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day —to stand firm having done all. 14Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15As shoes for your feet, prepare yourselves with the gospel of peace. 16That's not all: take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” (Ephesians 6:13-17).
1 Save yourself from Satan’s darts
Paul says, "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12). We do this by the means which God has provided by his grace.
God has provided a shield of faith so that we can "extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one" (Ephesians 6:15).
Some people teach that there is nothing we can do toward our salvation; it's all up to God. But here Paul tells us that God has provided the shield of faith, and we must take it up and actively combat the devil’s darts
Soldiers of Christ can save themselves if they use the shield of faith that God provides. Their faith must be active and working hard against the devil.
2 Hinder Satan in his schemes
James says, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).
We can prevent the devil from getting an advantage on us "for we are not ignorant of his schemes" (1Corinthians 2:11).
God restricts Satan and gives him a limited time to test the faith of those faithful to Christ.
As John saw in a vision, "Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, and he is furious knowing that he has but a short time" (Revelation 12:12 BSB).
Satan is angry and frustrated because he knows he has been foiled by time. In the vision, he is cast down from heaven to earth, sent from eternity into time, and entrapped by time as we are (Revelation 12:7-9).
Satan does have his moments, and they seem terrible, but they pass. He cannot maintain them. It is up to us to hinder him by practising righteousness and preaching the faith.
3 Implore God to give you victory
Paul said to the congregation in Philippi, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Phillippians 4:6-7 BSB).
Philippi was a Roman garrison city, a place of many soldiers. So the phrases "peace of God" and "guard your hearts" would have much meaning to the Philippian Christians. They would see that "prayer and petition with thanksgiving" are essential for those who carry God’s shield of faith.
A great battle has been going on between good and evil. So far Christ has won the victory, and we believe he will continue to do so. The shield we carry, and breastplate we wear, protect our hearts against the weapons of Satan. But we also protect ourselves with prayer. Thus we are equipped to press forward to victory.
4 Engage the enemy, go on the attack
There's not much use in a soldier gripping his shield if he is not ready to fight in the battle. He may as well hold a pink umbrella.
The Christian battle plan is to live righteously and speak truth, to believe and obey the faith which God decrees.
This engagement can be a serious struggle for "we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against... spiritual hosts of wickedness..." (Ephesians 6:12).
Raise the shield, draw the sword, engage the enemy, force the enemy to turn and retreat.
Joshua prayed to the LORD and was granted the extra daylight he needed to win the physical battle against the Amorites.
"On the day that the LORD gave the Amorites over to the Israelites, Joshua spoke to the LORD in the presence of Israel: 'O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.' So the sun stood still and the moon stopped until the nation took vengeance upon its enemies" (Joshua 10:12-13 NKJV).
5 Lift up the fallen, help the weak
A soldier in battle may see a fellow soldier fall down. So the soldier quickly helps up the fallen. He recovers the shield of the fallen, and with his own shield protects both himself and the soldier rising.
"Woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up" (Ecclesiastes 4:19).
6 Drive forward, faith is the victory
The soldier's shield is not only for fending off the enemy's weapons, but also to help the soldier drive forward into the enemy's lines to divide the enemy's ranks. We can use the same tactic with the shield of faith.
Faith is not passive. Faith is active everywhere the battle rages. It is our shield. Let us believe with all the strength God grants us.
"And this is the victory that has overcome the world —our faith" (1John 5:4 NKJV).
from Satan’s darts
in his schemes
to give you victory
Engage the enemy,
go on the attack
Lift up the fallen,
help the weak
faith is the victory