Unbelief paralyzes us and makes us vulnerable to the attacks of Satan. I was teaching the kids at our church about the boy who was possessed by demons and the boy’s father had brought him to Jesus to be healed. When the father went up to Jesus he asked, “If you are willing, can you make my son well?” Jesus questioned the man’s wording. “If I am willing?” The father went on to explain that He believed Jesus could heal his son and then asked an important question. “I believe, Lord – please help my unbelief.”
Satan is such an evil liar! He wants us to doubt. He wants us to question God’s goodness and His love. Satan wants us to believe that not everything God does is good. This can be so frustrating!
Today we are going to talk about our shield of faith. A Roman soldier’s shield was much bigger than I had imagined – it was about the size of a door. This shield was designed to cover the whole body of the soldier, so that not an inch of him was showing. He could be fully protected from the enemy attack by his one shield. But in order for the shield to be effective, he had to care for the shield and hold on to it. If the soldier did not take proper care of his shield it would become brittle, giving the enemy a crack to break through and wound the soldier.
Let me share with you what I have learned about the proper care of a shield in hopes that both you and I will be encouraged and grow in our faith.
First, it is important to know that the shield was connected to the soldier’s belt to hold it in place. Without this connection, it would be very hard, if not impossible, for a soldier to hold the shield up for any length of time. Remember, the shield was close to the size of a door so that it could cover the whole body of the soldier. It is so important that God’s Truth be the basis for our faith. The Bible gives us solid truth to hold us together.
Romans 10:17 (NASB) So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
Next, oil was the necessary ingredient for the care and maintenance of the shield. The soldier’s shield was made of 6 layers of animal hide that was tightly woven together. Every single DAY the soldier had to rub oil all over the animal hide. In doing this, he kept his shield resilient, ready to take on the enemy’s attack. If the soldier neglected this simple task, he would find himself with a hardened, brittle shield. One that was easily broken by a sword, arrow, or stone. Oil is a Biblical metaphor for the Holy Spirit. In the same way, we need a daily anointing of the Holy Spirit to help us know the truth.
1 John 2:20, 27 (NIV)
20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth…..
27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.
The Holy Spirit in us can help us keep our thoughts pure, holy and right. The best way to stay on track it to have a daily conversation with the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to examine your thoughts. Ask Him to show you the errors in your thinking so you can get rid of them before they take root and multiply. Ask the Holy Spirit to point you to verses that speak truth over your situation. This is how you can anoint your shield with the kind of oil that will make your faith unbreakable.
The other necessary task the soldiers did to prepare their shield was to soak it in a tub of water right before battle. The water would saturate the shield, making it impossible for the flaming arrows to destroy it. Once the fire hit the shield it would be immediately extinguished. We need to be so saturated with the Word that we are able to immediately extinguish the fiery arrows of the evil one, our adversary.
Ephesians 5:26 (NASB)
…so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
Next you have to “take up” your shield of faith. If you spend the time preparing your shield by anointing it with oil and saturating it with water, but then leave it behind, it will do you no good. You need to hold it close; start believing it! Start speaking it over and over again. You are to forbid any contrary thoughts to come in and take its place. You are to start walking forward with your shield held high, in the confidence that God has given you, and in the confidence of knowing that the Bible is true, living and powerful.
The last neat fact about the Roman soldier’s shield is that it had hinges on each side. These hinges were to be used to hook up to another soldier’s shield to form a solid wall against the enemy. Now remember, your shield is big enough to cover and protect yourself. You do not need anyone else to fight your battles for you because God gives you everything that you need to stand with Him and be victorious. But on the other hand, we were not designed to live the Christian life alone. Your strength is even greater when you have a buddy’s faith hooked to yours and they fight right alongside you.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NLT)
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
Who do you have standing beside you? Are they walking with the Holy Spirit, anointing their shield on a daily basis? Are they speaking truth, the Word of God so much that they fill you with hope and peace? Or are they casting doubt, unbelief or fear into your thoughts and emotions? Be careful who you align yourself with. They can either help you stand strong, or they can be your weakest link, allowing a little crack in your shield just big enough for the enemy to get through.
Modern Day Warfare
So what battle are you facing? What is your scripture that you are going to stand on? Find one, or two, or ten! Hook your Shield of Faith into the Truth found in the Word of God. Cover every single inch of your Shield of Faith with the oil of the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to minister to you. Allow Him to change the way you think and feel, to align your faith with the faith of God that will move mountains. And finally, join your faith with those around you. Surround yourself with people of like faith so that you can hook up together, march, and charge head on against the enemy. You will be completely covered and come out victorious!!
You May Also Like:
Joining the Army: Teaching Your Child the A, B, C’s of Salvation
Armor of God: Goals and Armor
Armor of God: Belt of Truth
Armor of God: Breastplate of Righteousness
Armor of God: Shoes of the Gospel