This Sunday, July 24th, 2016 Pastor Duane White unpacked an amazing message to continue our Armor Up series here at The Bridge Church in Denton, Texas.
Armor Up: The Shield of Faith
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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. 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. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace, above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” (Ephesians 6:10-16, NKJV)
This next piece of armor can cover, go before, and protect you from every situation you will face. Paul is exhorting us to pick this thing up.
What are we picking up? The shield of faith.
The Romans had two types of shields:
- Aspis – These were small, round shields that were ornate, decorative, and used only in parades, celebration etc.
- Thyreos – This shield was similar to a door and would have been about 2 1/2 ft wide by four ft tall.
Let’s look at some important facts and characteristics about these particular shields:
- Made from wood covered by animal skin
- These were not normally metal, but rather a strong piece of wood, then layer after layer of leather animal skin
- Usually 6-7 layers of goatskin
- This leather over the wood became as strong as metal
- It rested on the loin belt
- It had an attachment that connected it to the belt to easily be carried by the soldier through life
Faith rests on truth. Truth is a person, and His name is Jesus, and our faith is not resting on our ability to do anything. Our faith does not rest in our faith, or the ability to believe God, our faith rests in the truth, in the person of Jesus. He is the author and finisher of our faith.
Are you facing any circumstances that require faith?
Reset your faith today on the truth that Jesus is Lord, and that He is bigger than whatever you are facing today! Faith can get heavy if we are “carrying” our faith in our own strength, but it is easy to carry through life when we rest in Him.
Roman soldiers had to regularly maintain their shields or they became useless, therefore the soldier was trained in how to treat his own shield. This was a life or death matter because, in battle, a useless shield meant certain death.
These two things were required to keep a soldier’s shield properly maintained:
- Oil – every day the soldier oiled his shield to keep the leather supple
- Water – Just before battle the soldier would dip the shield entirely in water
They did this in order to put out arrows that were on fire, and it helped keep the shielf from catching on fire.
The oil represents the Holy Spirit. Just like the soldier’s shield needed oil, our faith and our lives must have the Holy Spirit applied each day. Without the presence of the Holy Spirit, our faith is just a brittle formula.
The water represents the Word of God. Just like the soldier washed his shield in water before battle, we should wash our faith in the Word each day. You are in a spiritual battle everyday, and the Word of God keeps the fiery arrows of the enemy from penetrating your life.
We need the Word and the Holy Spirit to properly maintain our Shield of Faith, and to stop the enemy from attacking.
Another important thing to remember is where the arrows are coming from. They are not coming from people. They are not natural; they are spiritual. We are not fighting a natural enemy, but a spiritual one.
The Romans had three types of arrows:
- Regular arrows
- Tar & fire arrows
- Explosive arrows
The enemy can’t physically get into your mind, so he sends these arrows over the wall into your thoughts to attack you. But, remember this: drench and you will quench.
The shield was designed to be used individually AND corporately. Although the shield could be used to protect the soldier in individual battle, it was most effective when used with other soldiers. This is why the devil wants to divide us, because he wants to defeat us. Like the story of the four friends that helped their paralyzed friend to see Jesus, we need to link shields and march forward, together, in faith.
Watch the full message here:
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