When I lost my job, it was devastating on us. 60% of my family’s income just disappeared. POOF! It was the biggest trial my life, my marriage and my family had ever faced. Maybe for you it wasn’t a job loss, maybe it was something else. We are all hit by circumstances that send us into a tailspin. You can get control back. You can bring order to the chaos. And you are already equipped to do it.
Hebrews 13:21 says “God has equipped us with everything we need. Your trial did not surprise God, and mine didn’t either. He has already equipped us with what we need to win. Scripture says 3x he trains my hands for battle. How encouraging. God not only saw this coming, he made sure we were ready.
How are we ready? Here's how.
In Ephesians (6:16) Paul tells us to, “take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Whatever the enemy fires at us can be extinguished. And ALL means ALL. There isn’t any one of them which gets by. We put up our shield, and they are extinguished. The shield works for them all.
What is this shield? Paul took something his audience would recognize, Roman armor, to teach a spiritual principle. Paul knew that throughout the Bible when shield is mentioned it is directly related to God being our shield. In its first mention, Genesis 15:1, God specifically says it about himself, he tells Abram “I am your shield.’ Then 28 times from Abraham to Paul we are reminded God is our shield. It means he will defend, he will cover, he will surround, he will protect, he will deliver.
So, when Paul says we need to take up our shield of faith, said another way it means we need to have faith in our shield. We need to have Faith in God: to trust, to believe that God not only has the power to do what he says but also that he WILL do what he said he will do, just because He said it. To rely on God’s promises because He promised it. It means there is no word higher than God’s and nothing can outweigh it. If he said it then it will happen.
How do we use the shield? We have to pick it up. Paul says “Take up” this is an active word; we don’t just plant it in the dirt and hide behind the shield. No this is a weapon! We pick it up. We hold it in our hands, we put our position towards what God said and we move forward charging ahead letting the shield block anything and everything that comes in the way of what God said. Our faith in God is what makes our circumstances surrender. They surrender to his word and his promises. Our faith in God is what pushes back anything to the contrary of what he said.
Here are two examples of more modern cultural examples to illustrate this same point.
In the 1990s we would look at our circumstances, stand firm in our faith and say, “Talk to the Hand.” This statement was a sarcastic way of saying you don’t want to hear what the person is saying. Anything that comes against what God has promised, what God has said is dismissed.
And then a few years ago a popular meme took over the internet, it said, “Bye Felicia.”
Bye, Felicia is also a dismissive sendoff which means get out of my face. When your financial circumstances don’t testify to God’s provision: Bye, Felicia. When your health gets a bad report, then we stand on the promise that God heals and we say: “Bye, Felicia”.
I don’t know about you but my sassy mouth just loves taking up the shield of faith and telling my circumstances to back off. Now you try it.
Take a quick minute to think about the chaos in your life - and ask yourself are you equipped or does your shield of faith need work? What does faith look like in what you’re facing right now? Where do you need to believe that God not only has the power to do what he says but also that he WILL do what he said he will do?
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