Friday, January 22, 2016

Fighting the Enemy with the Shield of Faith

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. 

What is faith?   Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  (Hebrews 11:1)

My husband and I have a constant debate.   I tell him that I believe things are going to get better, and he says, "Show me the data!"   I finally have gotten to the point that I have memorized Romans 8:24 so I can say it back to him:  "Hope that is seen is no hope at all!  Who hopes for what he already has?"   And then I remind him that hope has no data.

Being able to look beyond our current situation and have confidence that God is in control is one of the primary ways to not only fight Satan but to extinguish his darts.      I'd like to highlight three progressive darts that the enemy sends our way.

1)  Darts of Doubt.   Faith is definitely a shield against the times when the enemy wants to convince us that we can't do something.  We aren't good enough.  Maybe we shouldn't have said yes to this next big thing.   Doubting ourselves, doubting Him, doubting others.   Faith is the only thing that can shield us form the darts of doubt.

2)  Darts of Discouragement.  Once we have begun to doubt, we are plagued with discouragement.  These darts say, "Nothing is ever going to get better.  You've got yourself in a real mess you know.   What were you thinking?  The days ahead will certainly be bad ones."  But if we stand and hold that shield of faith, the darts won't be able to destroy us.

3)  Darts of Despair.   Despair is a step further than discouragement.  It is when we start to believe that we are done fighting.  We don't want to move on,.  We would rather give up.  But that substance of things hoped for.... the evidence of things not seen -- faith... keeps us going.  

I find it interesting that the shield is the one piece of armor that we can move.  Ever have a day when you felt like the darts of the enemy were coming from every angle?  That's why that shield of faith can move....

So if you are feeling doubt.... discouragement... or despair remind yourself that we have a shield and that shield is our faith.  Hold tightly to it and extinguish those darts!

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