My Shield

“Take up the Shield of Faith!”

I have heard this in many sermons and books.  We have cute little costumes for our children and muddled ideas in our heads.

“Take up the Shield of Faith!”

How do I “take up” an idea so elusive as Faith?  What kind of protection is a faith such as mine?  And just so we’re clear, this is the one piece of armor that appears to be totally mine.  It is my faith in my God that protects me from the darts of the evil one.  So why even hold up what is shaky and weak at best?

The shield that Paul is referring to in Ephesians was probably the shield that came to be known as the door shield, interestingly enough.  It was a large shield, two feet by four feet, made of heavy would covered by animal hide and then iron.  In the Roman phalanx, it became an almost impenetrable wall that nothing could get through.  It only worked well in the phalanx since this was dependent on the group all sticking together and becoming, virtually, a moving fortress.

So wait, let me get this straight.  The shield carries the idea that it protects against what would try to get in and works only when we stick together.  So my faith, what I protect myself against the lies of the devil with, is a door that I can open or shut that was never intended to be worked out by myself.  But how do I define, develop, build this shield so that it is functional and powerful?

By asking the questions.  “What do I believe about God?  Who do I think that God is?  What has Jesus done for me?  How does He see me?”  Questions like this and the answers that we find in the Bible are what build and develop our faith.  And, to clarify once again, answers to these questions that don’t come from the Bible will define our faith too, and are the reasons why so many of us have such weak shields.

Hold on!  Then my faith doesn’t come from me alone.  It is developed by what God reveals Himself to be through scripture and my relationship with Him.  My faith, what I am protected by, is the sum of all my failings and victories, confusion and resolution, doubts and answers that I have seen in my walk with my Lord.  How He has brought me through, the truth that I see as He has lead me.

So maybe it is not just my faith, but His Faith in me that work together to protect me, that serves as a door to my life.

What will I let in?  What has He let in to move me, grow me?  And, do I believe what He says?

He already has said He believes in me.

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