Friday, September 10, 2010

The Shield of Faith

I’m one of those people who have a hard time with “will power.”  Seems like no matter what I try to do – lose a few pounds, break a bad habit – Satan knows exactly when and how to dangle a temptation in front of me.  Sometimes I have more resolve than other times, but almost always, I feel overpowered.  And no wonder!  I am!

Yesterday, I heard a message on the radio from Dr. Charles Stanley of In Touch Ministries.  I have to pause here and mention that I have absolutely no affiliation whatsoever with Dr. Stanley or his ministry.  I just happened to catch him on KTIS in Minneapolis one day, and enjoyed what I heard.  I try to catch his show when I can.  And yesterday, I did, and I’m really glad.

I have read the wonderful passage in the Bible on how to resist Satan in Ephesians 6:11 - “Put on all the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil’s evil tricks.”  (Good News Bible) I especially love Ephesians 6:16 - “At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One.”  Oh, how I love the thought of being able to take refuge behind a protective shield, while those flaming arrows of temptation, selfishness, and pride hit with a “thud” and drop to the ground!

The only problem for me was that I didn’t know what the shield of faith looked like in practical terms.  What specific steps do I take to put on that shield every morning?

Dr. Stanley’s broadcast yesterday addressed this issue in concrete, specific terms.  If you don’t have a concordance, get one.  Use it to look up Bible references to your particular struggle.  See what God has to say about it, and commit the passage(s) to your memory and your heart.  When Satan sees that you’re having some success at doing good, and comes to ruin it, meet him with scripture.  You’ll be armed and ready.  Don’t argue.  Don’t debate.  Just tell him simply that “this is what God says, and I have faith in God.”

After thinking about it awhile, I realized that this was the exact strategy Jesus used when Satan fired flaming arrows at Him in the desert.  So this morning, I will put on my shield of faith, and hit the ground running.  I can.  I have the confidence of God’s word!

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