Week of April 25
The Shield of Faith!
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
- Ephesians 6:16
When Paul wrote his letter to the church of Ephesus, he gave a full description of the spiritual weaponry God has provided for every believer. In Ephesians 6:16, he referred to the shield of faith. He said, "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."
With the imagery of a Roman soldier before him, Paul used the Roman soldier's shield to illustrate the shield of faith that God has provided for you and me. The word "shield" is the Greek word thureos, which was used by the Greeks and Romans to depict an oblong door that was wide in width and long in length. The reason the Roman soldiers used this word to describe their battle shields was that the shields were door-shaped. They were wide in width and long in length; just like the door of a house.
Because it was wide and long, this shield completely covered the Roman soldier! This is why the Holy Spirit chose to use the word thureos as the illustration of faith. He is telling us that God has given us enough faith to make certain we are completely covered for every situation - just like the shield that completely covered a Roman soldier!
In Romans 12:3, Paul wrote, "...God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." How much faith has God given you? He has given you enough faith to make sure you are covered for any event that comes along in life!
So you don't need to worry or fret that God has given more faith to others than He has given to you. Rest assured in the fact that God has imparted enough faith to you to make sure you are covered from head to toe! That faith, like a wide and long shield, is adequate to cover any need that will ever come along in your life!
In the majority of cases, the Roman soldier's shield was composed of multiple layers of thick animal hide that had been tightly woven together. Usually six layers of animal hide were specially tanned and then woven together so tightly that they became nearly as strong as steel. One piece of leather is tough, but imagine how tough and durable six layers of leather would be! Because of how it was made, the shield of the Roman soldier was extremely tough and exceptionally durable!
However, the Roman soldier's leather shield could become stiff and breakable over a period of time if it wasn't properly taken care of. Therefore, it was necessary for him to know how to take care of it.
In order to keep those shields in good shape, the soldiers were given a daily schedule to maintain excellent condition of their shields. Each morning when the soldier was awakened, he would reach for a small vial of oil. After saturating a piece of cloth with oil, he would begin to rub, rub, and rub that heavy ointment into the leather portion of the shield to keep it soft, supple, and pliable.
Any soldier who neglected this daily application of oil and allowed his shield to go without the necessary care was in effect inviting certain death. If not correctly cared for and properly maintained, the leather portion of the shield would harden, crack when put under pressure, and finally fall to pieces. Therefore, the end result of a soldier's failure to care for his shield was the loss of his own life.
Paul says that this shield is representative of our faith. This tells us that our faith, like the shield in Paul's illustration, requires frequent anointings of the Holy Spirit. Without a fresh touch of God's Spirit upon our lives, our faith will become hard, stiff, and brittle.
What happens when you ignore your faith and allow it to go undeveloped? What is the result of never seeking a fresh anointing of God's Spirit to come upon your life? When a challenge comes your way, your faith won't be soft, supple, and pliable enough to stand up under attack. A faith that is ignored nearly always breaks and falls to pieces in the midst of confrontation.
So don't assume that your faith is always in top-notch shape! Instead, play it safe and assume that your faith always needs a fresh anointing. By taking this approach, you will always seek to do what is necessary to keep your faith alive, active, and well!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, I want to thank You for giving me spiritual weapons! Today I am especially grateful that You have equipped me with a shield of faith that covers me from head to toe. Because You have been so gracious to provide everything I need, there is never a reason that Satan's fiery darts should get through to me. So I ask You to help me hold my faith up high, keep it out in front, and march forward without any fear of what Satan might try to do to me!
I pray this in Jesus' name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that I am dressed in the whole armor of God! There isn't a part of me that hasn't been covered by the spiritual weaponry God has placed at my disposal. My shield of faith is working fine! It is anointed; it is strong; it is ready for any confrontation; and it will cause any dart that the enemy tries to throw at me to ricochet off without doing harm!
I declare this by faith in Jesus' name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- If you were really honest with God and yourself, how would you evaluate the way you maintain, develop, use, and grow in your faith? Are you using your faith as you once did, or have you slowly backed away from the strong stance of faith you once possessed?
- When an attack comes against you, do you stand strong in the face of it, or do you tend to fall to pieces? If your answer is the latter, what does this tell you about the way you are maintaining your faith?
- What do you think you need to do to keep your faith in top-notch shape?