Saturday, August 11, 2012

Faith - A Mighty Weapon

 

above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” – Ephesians 6:16

I really do not like to give satan the time of day.  I don’t like to say or type his name, and refuse to capitalize it just out of sheer disrespect.  I just don’t acknowledge him.  I was taught as a little girl just starting school that the best way to get rid of a bully is to ignore him.  That’s why I don’t go around my house anointing it against him, praying that he and his minions be removed from my house, praying hedges around my loved ones and so forth.  Instead, I just pray to God for protection over us all, and God, being in charge of even the father of lies, takes care of me.  God deserves my time and my focus, and satan is just a pimple on life’s butt, and not worthy of mentioning.

But none the less, because we need to learn about his ways and how to stop him, today we’re going to talk about him.  Ephesians 6 tells us about spiritual warfare – the battle in the spirit world, which we as Christians are fighting.  It gives us a list of things to “put on” as our armor to fight in our daily battles.  They are:
  • Truth
  • Righteousness
  • The Gospel of Peace
  • Faith
  • Salvation
  • The Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God
  • Prayer
I’ve often heard it said that the word of God, the “Sword”, is the only weapon given in the Armor of God.  I beg to differ.  It is simply the only one described as as weapon.  Anyone in the military will tell you one weapon is not enough because the enemy will come at you in many different ways.  If the enemy is gassing you, a gun isn’t going to do you much good.  If the enemy is throwing grenades, you’d better be wearing a big green tank!

Likewise, if evil is trying to reach you through lies and rumors, the gospel of peace isn’t the weapon to go after.  Instead, you would use truth, which conquers all lies.  And if he comes at you with an angry person, then throw the gospel of peace on his ugly head.  (Remember - It takes two to fight, and what you fight will always fight you back.)  Before engaging in any battle, stop, and consider what is really being used against you.

Of all the pieces of the Armor of God, the one I find myself using most is Faith. That’s because he wants to come at me with things that should shake my faith, such as fears and worries.  But his fiery darts, thoughts of fear, worry, dread, and attacks from those around me to cause such feelings, are all quenched with Faith in God.

The story of David and Goliath is one that shows true Faith fighting.  Picture this!  Here’s this monster of a bully – 9 feet 6 inches tall, he was covered in bronze armor and chainmail, and his sword was so huge it weighed 125 pounds.  But on top of how big he was, he was a fighter, with a long list of battles won.  He’d been in war since he was just a boy.  No doubt Goliath had war wounds, and a bunch of buddies sitting behind him confident that with him on their side, they didn’t need to worry about their safety.

On the opposing side, Saul did have a big army, and many capable men, but none of them were 9 ½ feet tall, or able to throw a 125 lb. sword!  They stood on the opposite side of the bank trying to figure out who would fight the giant.  Then one young boy came along with no armor, no military experience, and no sword.  This young boy was David and he was packing Faith, and a desire to fight.  But David didn’t go into battle covered in armor and chainmail.  He wasn’t worried about that 125 lb. sword!  In fact all he brought into the battle was his staff, 5 smooth stones in a little bag, and a sling shot. 

Now we understand the purpose of the stones and slingshot.  But the real battle was won by the staff.    

In the days of David a shepherd carried a staff, a long rod of wood, to help him coral his sheep.  But it served an even bigger purpose.  A staff acted as a historical record or resume of the shepherd.  On it would be carved images that would reflect the battles the shepherd had been in to save his sheep.  For David, these images included fights with lions and bears as he describes to Saul in 1 Samuel 17: 34-36, when he says “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both lion and bear.”

But that’s not where it ends.  His staff didn’t just reflect his physical strength.  That’s NOT what David saw when he looked at his staff.  He continues to tell Saul just how he will win this battle with Goliath when he says in verses 36-37 “and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of THE LIVING GOD … THE LORD WHO DELIVERED ME from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, HE WILL DELIVER ME from the hand of this Philistine.”

The weapon David took to battle Goliath was Faith in God.  It wasn’t his resume as a shepherd, it was Gods.  He had learned from past experiences that God had delivered him from that God would deliver him again.  I’m sure that first fight with a bear must have had David’s adrenaline pumping, but the second one wasn’t as scary, and the next even easier as he found that God would protect him and deliver him from his enemy.  His Faith that started as a tiny seed grew into a giant stone, and he stood proudly on it.

When satan comes at you with fears and worries and his “fiery darts”, what does your staff say?  Does it show the battles that God has deliver you from?  Does it list the resume of God in being your warrior?  Sometimes we just need to sit down and list the things God has brought us through to see how great He is.  Trial after trial, war after war, burden lifted on top of burden, He is always faithful and to be trusted.

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