Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Shield of Faith

Ephesians 4:16

"In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one."

Okay, I admit. I'm stretching on this one to compare a shield of faith to Chanel sunglasses. But I have a point! Though fun, stylish and quite functional if you get a pair that can also work as a headband, sunglasses are designed to protect your eyes frm the sun's glare. God's shield of faith is designed not only to protect you from Satan's glare, but from the devil's temptations.

Satan is all about some shady business. In Luke 22:31-32, Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Picture that in your head. I'm gonna guess that most of you have never seen wheat sifted, but have you ever had to drain pasta? After you cook them, you pour them from the pot into a seive, which separates the water from the pasta. Just like the water falls from the seive, Satan has demanded permission to try and let us fall through the holes in our Christian walk. Imagine how easily it is for the water to fall through holes in the seive. We are tempted just as easily to abandon our walk with Christ and fall through the holes that Satan creates. That is why Jesus prayed that our faith would not fail - He doesn't want Satan to get a foothold on us!

Faith is contagious. When our faith doesn't give in, we are an encouragement and strengthen other believers. Just look at the last part of the passage in Luke. Have you ever watched someone be made fun of at school and thought, "I would stick up for them if someone else would." Chances are, someone else was thinking the same thing. You were both just waiting on someone else to respond first. Ask yourself two questions.

1) Have you ever regretted doing the right thing?

2) Most likely, someone who knew you were a Christian watched you sit there and do nothing. Do you think it made them realize that there was something different about you or that Jesus didn't make that much of a difference in your life?

1 Peter 1:5 assures us that we are "protected by the power of God through faith." Okay, now I'm going to ask you to take three minutes to watch the following video. S.M. Lockridge does an amazing job of communicating just how powerful God is. In three and a half minutes, he manages to truly explain, "That's my King!" Click on the following link to watch. Don't worry - I'll wait until you get back. :)

Pretty powerful, huh? And guess what? THAT'S YOUR KING! Not only is He your king, but if you accept Him as the Lord of your life and live the rest of your days for Him, YOU ARE HIS PRINCESS! You can put all of your faith and all of your trust in Him. There is no guessing if everything will turn out okay if you're on God's team. Check out the book of Revelation. We know the end of the story, and God wins. Therefore, we win.

So far, you've put on your belt of truth, your breastplate of righteousness, your shoes of peace, and your shield of faith. Next, we'll add the helment of salvation (And I promise, it won't mess up your hair!)

Romans 1:16

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek."

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Esther 4:14b

"And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"