“Empowering the abused woman to recover with God's truth"
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II. The Whole Armor of God – Sessions 3-8 – Parts 2A-1 to 2F
D. The Shield of Faith – Session 6 – Part 2D – God does not leave us defenseless when we are engaging in spiritual warfare. God does not leave us without a shield and a helmet to ward off Satan's fiery darts. He gave us the Shield of Faith and the helmet of our Salvation.
Ephesians 6:16-17 says, "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God."
In Verse 14, Paul said to put on the belt and the breastplate. Now he says to take up the shield and the helmet. It makes sense that a soldier would put on the main articles of his armor before taking up his helmet and shield. A breastplate alone wasn't enough protection. The shield is movable and able to catch or deflect the enemy's arrows, knives and spears.
The fiery darts in Roman times included any thrown missile: a javelin, spear, arrow, or stone. Fiery darts could include the combustible arrowheads that set fire to fortifications, ships, houses and shields made of wood and leather. Roman shields were made of iron, and were usually shaped like a door. They were large enough to protect the soldier, and some were covered with layers of leather soaked in water just before the battle to extinguish fire from flaming arrows.
The shield provides another great word picture. The Bible often compares the Word to water. Ephesians 5:26 says, "That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word." Just as a Roman shield that had been soaked in water put out flaming arrows, so the shield of faith quenches all of the enemy's fiery darts. Faith comes from hearing, believing and applying the Word, and without faith we please God.
Knowing the truth is not good enough. We must apply it, taking up the shield of faith to deflect Satan's attack. Practically, this means using specific truths from God’s Word to counteract various lies and accusations of the devil. There is not a single lie or accusation of Satan that we cannot extinguish Word of God. If Satan's fiery darts burn us, it's because we haven't spent enough time in the Scriptures building up our faith. Just as the leather on Roman shields would dry out in the heat of battle, so will our shields of faith if we are not completely immersed in the Bible each day. Satan's fiery darts consist of evil thoughts, lusts, passions and various temptations (I Corinthians 10:13- 14; II Corinthians 10:4-6; James 1:13-15; Romans 6:12; I John 2:15-17).
How does Satan attack you? Have you examined your thoughts? Do you know their origin? Are they good or evil? Are they from God or Satan? What do you think of yourself? What do you think of others? Write down every thought you have about yourself, your spouse and others you know. Write down how you feel about God. How do you feel about your earthly mother and father, even if they have died? Once you have done this, compare your thoughts to the truth of Scripture. Do your thoughts line up with the Word, or are some, or many, of them out of line?
Scripture commands us to examine our thoughts. II Corinthians 10:5 says, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." Our thoughts are either curses or blessings. Philippians 4:8 says, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
How do the thoughts that you just wrote down compare to this verse? Do the thoughts you identified build up or tear down those on your list?
Scripture commands us not to be ignorant of Satan's devices (II Corinthians 2:11). Not knowing the difference between good and evil reveals ignorance. This is why the command in II Corinthians 10:5 is so important. If we are to be successful in defeating Satan, we must examine our thoughts. We need to ask whether or not we are allowing Satan’s lies into our hearts, or God's truth. If our thoughts are good and of God, then we need to readily accept them into our hearts with great joy. If they are evil thoughts, we are to reject them and rebuke Satan.
James 4:7 says submit to God and resist the devil and he will flee. Sending the devil starts with our total submission to God. This is an ongoing process. If submitting to God is our habit, then we will be able to resist the devil. To resist implies that there is something that we must actually do. God grants us the power to resist, but we must choose to do so. The mystery of the fellowship of the Church is that it is a partnership with God (Ephesians 3:9).
As we grow in our relationship with God our shield will also grow. As a young immature Christian our shield is small, unable to withstand all of the attacks of the devil. But as we mature and learn God’s word by use and experience our faith grows.
May the peace of God guard your hearts and minds ALWAYS!!!
Dr. Dorothy E. Hooks
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