“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Ephesians 6:16
Understand, if you are walking around on this earth, you have an enemy….his name is Satan. Flaming arrows were used in ancient times to “lower morale, frighten…and cause people to run!” When we are told in scripture to take up the shield of FAITH because it totally eliminates flaming arrows, I think it would do all of us good to INCREASE OUR FAITH.
Unfortunately, most of us are so run by our habits that we never change our behavior. We have these conditioned responses when we are discouraged, frightened, run into unexpected problems and we get stuck in our fleshly responses. We forget that we have a God who gives us the tools to not only fight the enemy but defeat him.
That shield of faith isn’t meant to be stagnant. Arrows come at us from different angles. The shield needs to be prepared for such changes in attack. Our faith should be growing/increasing and faith is only increased by action. It doesn’t just show up…we have to be as intentional about growing our faith as we are about eating, sleeping, working, exercising…or anything on your important list that happens daily. We can ring our hands, call a friend, get lost in a television show, go for a run, go to sleep, take a drink or pill but it just results in us “running around dodging the flaming arrows” which will continuously keep coming.
Those efforts are powerless to fight a very formidable opponent which is Satan. We know from the study of scripture, if you believe the Bible, that Satan will exist until the Lord’s return. Evil will be present and attacking in this world until then. God gives us the instruction for victory, but it is funny to me…. how we do all kinds of things that are “ridiculous” in an attempt to defeat a powerful opponent when we have instruction from the One with all the RIGHT WAR SECRETS for defeating the enemy.
If you are experiencing fear, anxiety, worry, fret, oppression, or evil, take heart……God says to take up your shield of faith. For some it may mean inviting Jesus into your heart for the first time and then beginning to grow your faith. For any Christian there are three steps you can take to “increase your faith”:
1. Read God’s word. Romans 10:17, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” There is nothing like reading God’s word to understand His character and how He works in our lives to accomplish great things.
2. Apply His word to your life. James 1:21, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
3. Try to out give God. You will find it is not possible and you will see your faith increase at the same time. Malachi 3:9-11, “‘You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,’ says the Lord Almighty.”
Since age 9 I have been a Christian. There have been seasons in my life when my faith has been “stagnant” and the fiery arrows of the enemy have penetrated my armor. The reason? I failed to take action in the three areas listed above. God never changes, never moves. HE is THE Gallant Warrior who stands Boldly…it is me/you/us who either runs, hides or fails to properly dress for war/life. So I encourage you, understand God’s word is powerful for all of life. It lacks power only if we choose to fire “Blanks” at the enemy or fail to put on the armor.
God’s word is the right “ammunition” and “protection” for all of life. It is a MIGHTY STRONG SHIELD to walk boldly through life and enable you to experience VICTORY. Are you stagnant today? Have you taken up the shield of faith today? What habits keep your faith from increasing? Seek the Lord today. Seek to increase your faith.