- Category: Armor of God
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The Shield of Faith
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
God chose faith in His Word as the means to know and walk with Him. He did not choose reason, philosophy, logic or wisdom, and He did not choose mysticism. He gave His Word to guide our reason, philosophy, logic, and wisdom; but faith is the guiding principle. Faith is a matter of the heart for we either choose to believe, or choose not to believe. Real faith acts on what it believes, so after we believe then we act.
Hebrews 11:6 (KJV)
6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
The Three Elements of Faith
- A factual statement that we understand.
- Belief of that statement.
- Acting on that statement.
A Statement of Fact
Faith is based on a factual statement that we understand. We cannot believe in nothing and we cannot believe in that which we do not understand.
The Word of God provides the facts, and we are instructed to believe them. It is important to know that we do not have to understand how God has accomplished something in order to have faith, but we do have to clearly understand what is being said.
For example, God created the heavens and earth. I do not understand how He created them, but I understand what is being said. So the elements of faith are in place:
1) I understand what is being said
2) I choose to believe what is being said
3) I choose to act on what is being said, ie, I adopt a worldview of Creation.
This is an example of how faith works, and faith is not beyond any person who is committed to believing the Word of God.
Belief of The Word
Believing is not difficult, choosing to believe is very difficult. We know that a choice to believe what God says is going to profoundly affect our lives. Making that decision can be incredibly difficult, but after that decision is made, believing is easy.
We Choose To Believe The Word of God
Believing is a choice, an act of the will. In fact, everything we believe we have chosen to believe. We cannot believe anything without an act of our will choosing to believe.
The decision to believe what God said completely revolutionized my life. His Word brought His power into my mind and heart. Prior to the decision to believe what God said, I was defenseless against thoughts, feelings, and emotions. After making the decision to believe the Word of God, I realized God's power was being released in me and I began to sense the renewing of my mind as I conformed my inner self to the Word of God.
As Christians we are to choose to believe the Word of God. We all have the ability to make a formal choice, which means, verbally, out loud, and to God. For example: "from this day forward I am going to believe your Word, the Holy Scriptures, as written, with no excuses and no compromise, regardless of the cost". I actually did this as a new Christian and it was one of the most important decisions of my life.
I finally had a weapon against wrong thoughts and destructive emotions. Walking by faith gave me power and returned me to emotional and spiritual health. I had, in fact, gained healing through believing and acting on the Word of God.
Acting On The Word
Faith acts on the Word of God. Faith must be used in order to stop the flaming arrows of the enemy. The devil's arrows cause disillusionment, frustration, and unbelief. The Word of God empowers us to defeat all the flaming arrows of darkness which are nothing more that messages (thoughts) that bring fear, frustration, worry, and despair to our life.
The Lord wants us to able to stand against Darkness by learning to apply His Word to our lives; this is what faith is.
The flaming arrows of darkness challenge what God says, we overcome these destructive lies by believing and acting on what He says!
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
The power of God Resides in Faith
As we believe and act on His Word, our lives are empowered by the inherent power of His Word. Read Hebrews Chpt. 11
More on Faith
Faith has to do with facts, truths set forth by God. My faith does not make something true. The act of choosing what to believe, does not make true what one choose to believe.
If I choose to believe that Buddha is God that does not make Buddha God. What God says is true because I decide to believe Him. What God says is true because He is God. He alone is the Author of Truth. He created everything that is and He is the only one qualified to define and explain reality. He has the first and the last Word on all questions of life, morals, conduct, and worldview.
The Christian chooses to believe what God says. It's that simple. Everyone chooses whom to believe, and as Christians, we are to make a conscious decision to believe the God of the Bible and what He says!
Faith has to do with what God says. Trust has to do with God's character.
Substance and Evidence
Hebrews 11:1-2 (KJV)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
The substance of faith are are facts, the propositional truths set forth by the Word of God. These truths promise hope, and provide the evidence of what we do not see. What makes one certain is the factual statements of God's Word. If He said it, then what He said is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things unseen.
What God says is what makes one certain of that which he does not yet see.
Our evidence is what God says. For example, God told Noah to build an ark, stock it with food and animals, for He would destroy the world by water but that Noah and his family would be saved.
- What is the evidence of Noah's safety? God said if he would build an ark he would be safe.
- What is the evidence that the world would be destroyed by rain? God said He would destroy every living thing by rain.
- What gave Noah hope of survival? God said he would be protected.
- What is the evidence that it would really rain? God said it would rain.
- How did Noah know he would have enough food? God told him to gather food for himself and the animals.
This is a simple example of faith, but faith needs to be explained in an uncomplicated way. We all can be people of faith if we are willing to first believe and then act on what God says.
God has shut us up to faith as a way of relating to Him. In other words, the only way to please Him is to believe Him. There is really no other way of relating to God, we must simply believe Him.
Hebrews 10:38 (KJV)
38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
A Real-Life Example of Faith
I realized depression was wrong for there were too many places in scripture that told me to rejoice and to live a life of thankfulness. So I began to resist depression. I identified the message of hopelessness as untrue. I began the process of rebuilding my mind and emotions by doing what the Word told me to do, i.e., being thankful and rejoicing.
I identified thoughts and feelings that were not in agreement with what God said. For example, if the Scripture said I should rejoice but I felt hopeless, then I would say out loud that hopelessness was untrue and began to quote the Scriptures that said I had a future and reasons for hope.
By learning to oppose what depression was saying, and by putting in my mind what God was saying, I removed the foundations upon which depression depended. I found that depression finds strength and support by the way one thinks, i.e. the claims of depression are supported. When ones thinking changes then their mood changes. I found that if I said what God said, then depression lost its power to hold me.
I also found that by verbally dentifying what I was feeling gave me the ability to clearly see the origin of those destructive feelings. I no longer allowed feelings to hide but I brought them to the surface and made them accountable to the Word of God.
I stated out loud (in the privacy of my home) the origins of a thought, a feeling, or an emotion. Did it proceed from darkness or did it proceed from God? I took the Word of God and realigned my thoughts, feelings, emotions, desires and priorities. And God strengthened me. I was able to quench all the fiery darts of the enemy.
Faith is ultimately a moral question. It is a question of right and wrong. The Scripture tells us that it is sinful to not have faith in God. If we do not believe what He says it is because we refuse to believe. There are numerous evidences for the reality of God and the truthfulness of His word. The scripture states that men do not have faith because they suppress or choose not to believe Him. Read the following scripture.
Romans 1:19-25 (NLT)
19 For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts. 20 From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualitieshis eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God. 21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn't worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. The result was that their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became utter fools instead. 23 And instead of worshipping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshipped idols made to look like mere people, or birds and animals and snakes. 24 So God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each others bodies. 25 Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they worshipped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever. Amen.
To repeat, the three steps of faith are:
- Understand what is being said
- Make a choice to believe what is being said
- Act on what is being said.
Heb 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.