“The Shield of Faith”

Our Prayer: Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, Your warrior prepares for battle. Today I claim victory over Satan by putting on the whole armor of God! I put on the girdle of truth! May I stand firm in the truth of Your Word so I will not be a victim of Satan’s lies. I put on the breastplate of righteousness! May it guard my heart from evil so I will remain pure and holy, protected under the blood of Jesus Christ. I put on the shoes of peace! May I stand firm in the Good News of the Gospel so Your peace will shine through me and be a light to all I encounter. I take the shield of faith! May I be ready for Satan’s fiery darts of doubt, denial, and deceit so I will not be vulnerable to spiritual defeat. I take the Sword of the Spirit! May the two-edged sword of Your Word be ready in my hands so I can expose the tempting words of Satan. By faith we warriors have put on the whole armor of God! We are prepared to live this day, this week in spiritual victory! In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Our Scripture: Let’s Read: Ephesians 6:10-18

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.

The shield of faith is part of the armor of God described in Ephesians 6:10–17. After summarizing the gospel and giving the Ephesians various instructions, Paul concludes his missive to them saying, in part, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:10–11). About the shield, Paul writes, “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (verse 16). The ESV puts it this way: “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.”

The Roman shield of the time was called a scutum. This type of shield was as large as a door and would cover the warrior entirely. Such a shield was not just defensive but could also be used to push opponents. When fighting as a group, a phalanx of soldiers could position their shields so as to form an enclosure around themselves, called a testudo (“tortoise”). This was especially helpful to protect against arrows launched from the walls of cities they were attacking. Shields, often made of wood and then covered in hide, when wet, could extinguish flaming arrows.

Clearly, a shield is vitally important to a soldier. It provides a blanket of protection. It is meant to be taken up in all circumstances. It is the first barrier against the enemy’s attack. Often, shields were painted with identifying marks; a Christian who takes up the shield of faith identifies himself as a foot soldier who serves the Commander of the Lord’s army (see Joshua 5:14).

Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Verse 6 stresses the importance of faith: “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Satan’s attacks can sometimes cause us to doubt God. Faith prompts us to believe God. We give in to temptation when we believe what it has to offer is better than what God has promised. Faith reminds us that, though fulfillment of God’s promise may not be readily visible to us, God is true to His Word. When Satan attempts to plague us with doubt or entice us with instant gratification, faith recognizes the deceptiveness of his tactics and quickly extinguishes the arrows. When Satan accuses us, faith chooses to believe that Jesus has redeemed us and that there is no more condemnation (Romans 8:1, 34; Revelation 12:10–12).

Faith is one of the greatest gifts (1 Corinthians 13:13), and it is the means by which we receive grace and come into right relationship with God (Ephesians 2:8–9). It is because we have been justified through faith that we belong to God and have peace with Him (Romans 5:1). Faith is the doorway to hope in God (Romans 5:2). Because we have faith in God, our suffering need not faze us; in fact, we can persevere under it (Romans 5:3–5). The things Satan attempts to use to discourage us can actually become tools in the hands of God.

All believers have this promise: “Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4). Faith is a protective barrier between us and the schemes of Satan. When we believe God and take Him at His word, we remain grounded in truth, the lies of the enemy lose their power, and we become overcomers. In that way, faith is our shield.

Day 1 Real Faith:

Faith is one of the most overused and yet underutilized expressions in Christian circles. This is completely backward! Because really, talking about faith is not the same as having it. In the example your studied, the true meaning of faith is clearly revealed. Plain and simple, faith is an action. Real faith is trusting God’s Word. Faith without works is useless. . . For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. (James 2:20-26). Real faith is asking, then believing that something will happen before you see it. Simply put, faith is acting like God is telling the truth. The key thought is action.

Day 2 On Fire:

The “shield of faith” was especially important to the Apostle Paul. Know how I know? Because, other than prayer, he put more of an emphasis on this piece of armor than any of the others, but including additional statements before and after mentioning the shield itself. With the belt, breastplate, and shoes, he conveys them as a spiritual uniform that should be worn by believers at all times. Minute by minute. Day by day. But he approaches this piece of equipment differently. With the shield, he commands for it to be “taken up.” Faith cause fiery arrows to fizzle. As you move forward, you’ll sense a holy confidence swelling, a bold courage growing, and a hopeful anticipation rising in you, pushing back the obstacles that once overwhelmed you.

Day 3 In Good Faith:

Taking up the shield of faith is like writing a check of trust to God. It is proof that you trust Him like you say you do. Yes, faith usually involves sacrifice because it likely involves some level of risk on your part. But it’s a risk worth taking if the One on whom you’re depending has proven Himself dependable, time and time again, from one generation to the next. Your God is faithful, “faith-full” and this is why you can live a faith-filled life. Paul made this point in Ephesians 2, for example, in talking about the role of faith in our salvation. God is the One who graciously made salvation available to us; faith is simply what allows us to gain access to it. Our faith doesn’t manufacture our salvation. Salvation is a gift, but faith allows us to receive that gift by grace.

Day 4 A Firm Foundation:

Truth, this is the hinge upon which the entire issue of faith-filled living rests. If you don’t know the truth, you can never really know how to act in conjunction with it. So the truth of God’s character and His Word provides the framework that allows our faith to flourish and thrive. Our firm foundation is to know that God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind of Jesus Christ. (II Timothy 1:7)

Day 5 Strategy Session:

Our strategy for this week is to know that God is faithful. His loyalty, integrity, and faithfulness are unmatched. Write down His promises and declarations of faithfulness to you as a part of your prayers. One mention of them will not only bolster your own confidence, but will extinguish some arrows aimed in your direction. Let the devil hear you say God’s Word, “It is written.”

Each Week Study “Overcomers” by Dr. David Jeremiah

Week # 5 “Faith overcomes Fear”

Week # Nuggets: Suit up Cards

Scripture: Mark 11:22-24

AKA: The Shield

Characteristic: Trust, Assurance, Certainty

Usage: Blocks incoming Attacks

Armor of Location: In Hand

Arch Enemy: Fear

Enemies: Satan/The Enemy, Doubt, Despair, False, Teaching, Persecution

Charge: Shift your focus from yourself to Him, your faith will become powerful and you will become fearless.

Questions:

1). How would you describe the difference between belief and faith?

2). Generally speak, what do you think are the biggest hindrances to believers acting in faith?

3). Read (Proverbs 30:5)

4). The unique, oblong shield of the Roman soldier was called_____.

5). Is there any instance from your own experience when you felt specially protected by God as a result of having acted in faith?

6). How does James’s illustration using the human body and spirit (in the margin) help explain the concept of faith and works more clearly?

7). Read the passage in the margin (Ephesians 6:16) and underline the statements surrounding the “shield of faith” that reveal Paul’s emphasis.

8). Turn to Ephesians 6 and compare verses 14-15 with 16-17. What major difference do you detect in the tone of these two sections? Please give your observations.

9). Recall a time when you sensed your confidence growing and the fiery arrows fading as you walked by faith.

10). Hebrews 11 has long been described as the Hall of Faith. Loot at each of the following people, and write down any observations you find interesting about how they utilized faith in their experience. (Noah v. 7) (Abraham vv. 8-10), (Sarah v. 11-12), (Moses v. 24-26).

11). Which of these people and stories do you most personally relate to?

12). What do you feel God is asking you to do in faith right now?

13). Read Ephesians 2:8. Explain.

14). Read Luke 17:5-6 in the margin. Underline what the disciples asked for. Circle Jesus’ response.

15). Why do you think the connection between truth and faith is critical?

16). Read Luke 5:1-7, 11, explain to the best of your knowledge.

17). What is God asking you to do in response to what you’ve seen in Simon’s example?

18). Read John 10:27, do you believe Jesus is talking to you?

19). Have you in any way allowed your feelings to override your commitment to obey?

20). Read 2 Timothy 1:7

21). When God tells us to walk by faith, according to 2 Timothy 1:7, what is God asking us not to do?

22). To you, what is a firm foundation?