Monday, April 16, 2007

Fuel or Faith

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 (NIV)

Looking over the wardrobe of things that Christians are given to wear in order to enter the battle with Satan I came to the shield of faith. Gazing closely at the manufacturer label, I read that this particular attire was to be used to stop the fiery darts of the evil one. Its main purpose wasn’t to help me walk on water or move mountains where I wanted them. Although it helps to move spiritual mountains and walk through life, its chief purpose seemed to be dart protection according to Ephesians 6:16.

In other words in order to keep us from being Satan’s pincushion or dartboard God was giving us something to stop that from happening. It even had the capability of putting out any fires that Satan’s arrows came with.

Visualizing this whole thing in my mind I thought about the Roman soldier’s shield back then and how they were made fireproof by soaking the leather that covered them in water. Instantly I began to wonder if that is what made the shield of faith fireproof too, using the Living Water of Jesus Christ to immerse it in. Liking what I read and learned I wanted one of those shields and the rest of the ensemble for myself.

After receiving my packaged deal and putting it on I walked out into the world, set and ready to go, or so I thought. After several battles with my new armor on, I noticed there was a manufacture error in the shield of faith that I got. It was letting a few of those fiery darts of Satan come through causing atrocious damage in my life. Getting out my Bible, the Owner’s Manual to the shield, I decided to take a closer look.

Examining things more intensely I found it wasn’t a manufacture flaw but a user’s error. It was me that was adding fuel to Satan’s fiery darts instead of repelling them with faith soaked in the Living Water of Christ. I found I was using flammable materials such as falling for Satan’s lies, listening to my emotions instead of the Spirit, being impatient, reacting instead of acting, negative thoughts, wrong attitudes, selfish whims, and simple spiritual immaturity to enhance the damage done by Satan.

Ashamed to admit the blunder of my ways I was tempted to blame God for the defect in the equipment He provided me with, but the minute I thought of that, I knew I had just proven the fact that I was the one improperly handling my combat paraphernalia. Without paying attention I was allowing the shield to drop, adding fuel, and not building up that safeguard to its full capacity with my faith.

How foolish Christians are when we fail to see the importance of keeping our battle gear up to snuff instead of becoming irrational in our thinking counting on the fact that we are immune to Satan’s assaults. We forget Satan is out there waiting in the sidelines of our lives in hopes of our arms getting tired enough to allow our shield of faith to drop just a little, opening up a large area of vulnerability to his attacks.

We rationalize that because someone was raised in a Christian home and knows the Lord that they should know better. We forget Satan’s number one enemy he wants to see fall or be taken down more than anything is the Christian and the home and church in which they were raised. The more we advance the more he advances as well, to the point that for every new level we reach we run across a new devil with more lies, deceit, stumbling blocks, and frustrations in the making for us.

It’s important in our walk that we stop thinking that Satan is going to abide by the “Ethic Rules of War” that we write up as we get frustrated when the attacks are longer than we thought they should be, tougher than planned, or more strenuous than ever dreamed of.

We get blinded to the fact that Satan’s tactics are ones of underhanded trickery instead of the rules we often want enforced such as: 1) No hitting below the belt 2) No attacking before sunrise or after sunset 3) Only those who are of a certain age are eligible to fight 4) Time outs available upon the request of the one being attacked 5) Only one fight at a time 6) All fights can last only as long as the set appointed time 7) Ample resting time required in between battles.

Yeah right! Send that note to Satan and see what you get back. He’ll probably laugh in your face when it is us that should be like God and laugh at him as it says in Psalm 37:13 “But the Lord laughs at the wicked, for He knows their day is coming.”

We not only misunderstand the rules of fighting or the lack there of but we also have a tendency to get the wrong idea of the shield itself. We think of it as something that is held in front of us that takes the sting of the dart hitting it. A thing to spin around once in awhile to look at all the darts stuck to it like grandma Brown’s pincushion.

No it’s something that needs built up in our faith and maintained. As we enter the battle together we need to be paying attention to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ that are feeling the battle fatigue that Satan creates. Setting up some kind of neighborhood watch for the enemy and any signs of weakening in the front line. Standing closely beside others to help hold up their shield, encouraging them never to give up but remain strong and well soaked in the Living Water that will put out any fires.

Our efforts should come out looking like the endeavor of Aaron and Hur when they were helping Moses keep his arms lifted up before the Lord in Exodus 17:11,12 As long as Moses held up his hands (in his hands was the staff of God), the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up---one on one side, one on the other---so that his hands remained steady till sunset.”

Fuel or faith, the choice is ours. Hold up our hands with the shield in it to Jesus and win or allow it drop and lose, the choice is ours. Let us choose.

Dear Heavenly Father as we all have access to the shield of faith that is used to protect us from Satan’s heinous attacks may we do our part in keeping it in place and helping those around us do the same. Our faith comes from believing in You, turning to You, following You, trusting in You. Thank you for this security, thank you for Your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2007 by Karen J. Gillett @ Pencil Marks and Recipes Publishing

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