Use the Sword 101

Study 7

The Shield of Faith

This week we will study the Shield of Faith.

  • Eph 6:16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

  • To start out I would like to tell you a true story, which happened just a few weeks ago.
    If you may not know, we had a little girl in November, and this month we had to take her for her two month check up at the doctor's. Those of you who have children know that this means shots, anywhere from four to five shots in a row.
    Well our little girl had to have five shots, one right after the other in the same visit.
    Before this she was fine during the examination, she was happy and cooing like little babies do.
    Then the doctor left and the nurse came in with these five needles. My wife could barely contain herself and even started to cry before the shots were even given. But our little girl was happy and content not having any idea what was about to happen. Then all of a sudden it happened, the first shot and the crying began, and before she knew what was happening here comes the next one, then the next, three in one leg.
    Before she could even catch her breath, on the other leg she felt the same pain, which was the fourth shot, and then finally the fifth and last one.
    She cried for a short time, then soon feel asleep with little bandages on her legs.
    But that wasn't the end of it, you see for the next few days we had to watch her for any sign of fever or reaction to the shots. She also had two swollen spots, one on each leg from the shots.
    I'm happy to say that she is doing fine.

    So why did I tell you this story and how does it apply to this weeks study?
    It fits perfectly with this weeks study (God's timing is just perfect).
    This week we are studying the shield of faith, which also speaks of fiery darts.
    To put it simply the shield of faith is your belief in God (Shield of Faith) with satan throwing his lies at you (fiery darts).

    Let's look at the fiery darts first.
    These fiery darts as I mentioned are the lies that satan tells us. Things like "you are not a Christian", or "God wont forgive you this time, you sinned too much to be forgiven."
    Sometimes he will try to make us doubt God's word or even question it. Here are two examples of this in the bible.

  • Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?"

  • Did God really say that and did He really mean it, or this is not meant for you is it?
    Questioning God's word makes us doubt God, but God's word makes it clear that God cannot and does not lie,

  • Num 23:19 "God is not a man, that He should lie,
    Nor a son of man, that He should repent.
    Has He said, and will He not do?
    Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

  • Titus 1:2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,

  • Heb 6:18 (NLT) So God has given us both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can take new courage, for we can hold on to his promise with confidence.

  • and that Satan is a liar from the beginning.

  • John 8:44 (NLT) For you are the children of your father the Devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning and has always hated the truth. There is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.

  • As we just read, Eve was confronted with a lie from satan and fell into the lie, which in turn is calling God a liar.

  • 1 Tim 2:14-15 (NLT) 14 And it was the woman, not Adam, who was deceived by Satan, and sin was the result. 15 But women will be saved through childbearing and by continuing to live in faith, love, holiness, and modesty.

  • Notice the result of believing the lie was sin, but will be saved in faith, love etc.
    That's why satan tries to deceive us so that we will fall into sin and sin leads to death.

  • Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned--

  • Thanks be to God for His Son Jesus, who concurred death and sin.

  • Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  • Just as in the illustration I gave you about my baby, when those fiery darts hit, they hurt.
    When those lies come to us and we start to believe it we feel disappointed in God wondering how could God say He loves me and do that to me or allow this to happen.
    Have you ever been betrayed by someone you really loved or respected? How did it feel to be betrayed? It hurt a lot didn't it?
    That's the type of hurt we feel when those fiery darts hit us and we believe the lies that are thrown at us, we feel betrayed by God.
    We are so used to looking at the physical that we forget that there is a spiritual that we should be looking at.

  • Romans 8:1 & 5 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

    For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

  • When you walk according to the flesh, you can only see the physical of what's happening. But when you walk in the spirit, the things that are happening around you don't matter, because you know that God is in control, and that's where faith comes in.

    Let's look at another example of satan throwing his darts of doubt at someone.

  • Matt 4:5-11 5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:
    'He shall give His angels charge over you,'
    'In their hands they shall bear you up,
    Lest you dash your foot against a stone.' "
    7 Jesus said to him, "It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the LORD your God.' " 8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me." 10 Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.' " 11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

  • Once again here is satan questioning God's word. But Jesus responded back with God's word. Again satan even tempts Jesus with worldly things, but once again Jesus replies with God's word.

    Have you ever tried this when satan attacks you?
    Did you succeed or fail?
    If you feel like you failed one main reason is faith, or lack thereof.
    You see, anyone can quote from God's word, but it's more then just saying a few words, you MUST believe them and by faith live them.
    Jesus was the example of this, as you read about Jesus, you read that He not only spoke God's word, but He lived it also.
    Now I know I am getting into the study on the Sword of the Spirit, but it's very important for this weeks study about faith.

    Think of the chair you are sitting on right now. Before you sat down, did you doubt that it would hold you up? No, you knew it would because you may sit in this same chair everyday and you trust it or have faith that it will hold you up.
    It's the same with God's word, you must live God's word everyday to the point that you don't question what God says, you just believe it because God has never let you down before.

    "But God has let me down. I have prayed for more money, or a better job, or a husband or wife, a better car but God has not answered my prayers. I even prayed for my lost friends and family but they still are not saved."

    Look at the first sentence again in this example "But God has let me down".
    That's what satan wants you to think, because if you really believe that, then he has you in his clutches. You are putting your faith in what you see instead of what God is doing or wants to do in your life.

    For the last year or two I have been praying for God to supply so I don't have to work but do this study full time with additional studies for children and the youth. God has not yet confirmed nor supplied so I can do this. Now I have two options, the first is to say that God doesn't want me to do this and give up on the whole web site. I could say to God, "Unless you give me what I want I'm not going to do anything."
    Sounds pretty bad and childish doesn't it?

    The second option I have is to trust in the Lord that I am doing just as much as He wants me to do, and if He wants me to do more, then He will supply.
    I'm happy to say that I have chosen the second option.
    You see by faith I am continuing to do what God wants me to do even though I desire to do more. God knows just what He wants me to do and how much of it.

    God has not let me down just as He has not let you down. You gave your whole life to the Lord, don't try to take it back by ordering God how to run your life or turn your back on Him because He doesn't do what you tell Him to do.
    Have you based your relationship with the Lord on what you want Him to do for you, or what He already has done by sending His Son Jesus to die for your sins?

    So what is faith and how do we use it when these fiery darts of doubt come against us?
    I would encourage you to read Hebrews chapter 11, which is called the faith chapter.
    Here is the opening verse.

  • Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

  • Heb 11:1 (NLT) What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.

  • Paul goes on in the chapter to give illustrations of others faith throughout the bible. Once again read through it and may your faith increase as you realize that all these people in the bible never saw anything but trusted and believed God and what He said, even if it did sound impossible.

  • Matt 19:26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

  • Now faith is the substance of things hoped for

    I guess the question would be; what do you hope for?
    Sure we all desire nice things like a good job, plenty of money so we don't have to worry about our bills. A beautiful wife or handsome husband who is good to you. Kids that are always good and never get into trouble. We could go on and on for things we think would make us happier here on earth before we get to heaven.
    But our hope should not be in earthly things but in spiritual things.
    Remember what we read earlier in Romans?

  • Romans 8: 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

  • When we live according to the flesh, we set our minds of things of this earth and what we have or don't have. That's how we fall when those darts of doubt hit us because we are so into things of this world we think that we should have them and that God should give them to us. After all we are His children and doesn't God want the best for us?
    We seem to forget that Jesus is God's only begotten Son, and He didn't have the latest and greatest new chariot to travel around in. He didn't have the best home to live in. He didn't eat in the finest restaurants. No here is what Jesus said he had.

  • Luke 9:58 (NLT) But Jesus replied, "Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but I, the Son of Man, have no home of my own, not even a place to lay my head."

  • John 4:34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.

  • Yes, Jesus did have the best, but not according to the world's standards, but God's!

    So we have seen what these darts of doubt are and have an idea of the shield of faith. But how do you use it?

    Hebrews 11:1 tells us.

  • Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

  • OK, but I don't get it?

    When those darts of doubt hit what are they? Usually testing you in what you can't see.
    Like your salvation, when satan tells you that you are not saved, he is attacking what you can't see, because we will never really know until we die or Jesus takes us home. But the thing is you really should know, no matter what is happening in your life and no matter how much you messed up that you are saved. If you confess Jesus with your mouth and believe in your heart that He is the Son of God raised from the dead you are saved!

  • Romans 10:9-13 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."

  • You see there are no maybes about it, no restrictions, no only if you keep the Ten Commandments. So even though you can't see yourself as saved because you're not in heaven you must believe God and His word that you are saved. That's the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen and using the shield of faith.
    Maybe you have been praying for your family or friends to be saved for years and see no results.
    I wonder how many years' people prayed for you before you were saved? Believing that God will do what's best for your friends and family is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen and taking up the shield of faith.
    What about that job or enough money so you don't have to worry about your bills?
    Once again remember God's word.

  • Matt 10:29-31 29 "Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will. 30 "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 "Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

  • Believe God does really care about you even though you may not have the physical things the world says you need is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen and taking up the shield of faith.

    Are you getting the idea?
    Just as the example of the chair and you having faith that it would hold you up, so put the same and even more faith in God's word. How can you do that?
    Just as you sit in the same chair everyday so must you be in God's word everyday and trust that He will sustain you in all your needs just as the chair will hold you up.

  • Psalms 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD,
    And He shall sustain you;
    He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

  • James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

  • John 4:31-34 31 In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, "Rabbi, eat." 32 But He said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know." 33 Therefore the disciples said to one another, "Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?" 34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.

  • To use the Shield of Faith you must take your eyes off the physical things of this world and trust in the spiritual things. For the third time in this study I will remind you of God's word in Romans.

  • Romans 8: 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

  • So is this something weird that I'm teaching you to do?
    According to the worlds standards it may be weird, but according to God's standards it should be the way of life for believers.

    So you have two choices in this weeks study. You can believe the lies satan tells you and continue feeling the pain of those fires darts of doubt, or start believing God and His word and feel the comfort of His love.
    The choice is yours, which one will you choose?

  • Luke 17:5-6 (NLT) 5 One day the apostles said to the Lord, "We need more faith; tell us how to get it."
    6 "Even if you had faith as small as a mustard seed," the Lord answered, "you could say to this mulberry tree, 'May God uproot you and throw you into the sea,' and it would obey you!

  • Next week we will study the Helmet of Salvation.

    May God richly bless you and increase your faith in Him as you continue in His word.
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