The Shield of Faith
“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one,”
(Eph. 6:16; ESV)
Not everything bad or negative that happens in a believer’s life is an assault launched by the devil. And yet you do not have to hang around Christian believers long before you will hear someone claim they are being “attacked by the enemy.” You may have claimed it yourself. Sometimes that will be a true statement, sometimes not. In either case, the person saying it believes they are being attacked. It takes discernment and knowledge through an ongoing relationship with Jesus to distinguish whether you’re being attacked or just having a bad day.
Spiritual warfare, as it is commonly referred to, has become a popular subject in some Christian circles lately. Hundreds (possibly thousands) of books and magazine articles have been written on the subject. Countless sermons and courses have been preached and taught arming us for this relentless battle the enemy wages on us. We live in an evil world. Unpleasant things are going to happen because of the presence of evil around us. But for Christians, there is an enemy who wants to keep you from glorifying God with your life.
Paul tells us that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood”… but it’s “against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:12) If the devil can keep you focused on yourself through everyday problems, he can keep you from being a light in the lives of others. Having faith in God’s sovereignty (power over all) and that He loves you unconditionally will “extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” Paul also suggests we “pray at all times in the Spirit”, which will keep you spiritually connected to the Lord regardless of what trial comes your way.
Things can happen that are not a direct result of the enemy trying to cause hardship in your life. A storm might blow some shingles off of your roof, you might have a flat tire, and you may fall and break a bone just because those things can happen in life. Remember: Jesus Christ defeated the enemy on the cross. The only authority the devil can have over you is what you give him.
Have a great week and God bless.