In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
(Ephesians 6:16 ESV)
Satan is the evil one. He is constantly trying to trip us up with bad theology, discouragement, envy, greed, lust, pride, and anything else he throws at us. There is never a moment (in all circumstances) when anyone, including God’s children (to whom this letter is written), are safe from Satan’s ammunition.
Those who go through life on their own without God have no defense against Satan’s tactics. As we learned yesterday, the world is a mess precisely because it unknowingly falls for Satan’s lies. They think their thoughts and decisions make sense. But these only lead to problems. Even so-called “solutions” to our problems only create more problems. Without God there is no hope of making the world a better place.
But those who are God’s children [John 1:12-13] have a defense. We can take up the shield of faith with which we can extinguish the flaming darts of Satan. Back in Roman times, archers in battle would set their arrows on fire and launch them at the enemy. The shield of a Roman soldier was long – almost body length. It could be used to intercept these arrows. Faith works the same way.
When we have faith in God we can intercept the lies of Satan before they take up residence in our minds and subsequently determine our actions. We do this by comparing the incoming thoughts with what we know to be true. When the thoughts disagree with truth we can extinguish them [2 Corinthians 12:5].
Truth comes from God’s word [Romans 10:17]. We can’t leave our Bibles on a shelf and expect to be able to stand our ground. This is a major flaw of world leaders. They do not respect the Bible. They ignore it. They scoff at it. Hence Satan has his way with them. He deceives them into thinking lies are truth and truth is lies. They think they are living in freedom but they are actually Satan’s puppets.
Faith is simply trusting what God says is true even when we don’t feel Him in our lives or understand how He will deliver us from whatever we are going through [2 Corinthians 5:7]. The Psalms offer some of the best examples of faith. Often the author of a psalm was in grave danger. He didn’t know how God would rescue him. It seemed like he was just moments away from being destroyed by his enemies. Yet he maintains faith in God [Psalm 27, 109 et. al].
Without such faith it is impossible to stand firm before Satan. Satan is much too strong and wiley for us. We need to protect ourselves. Faith, like a shield, is our first line of defense.
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