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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Sparkling Gems 1, December 6: Take Up Your Shield of Faith!


   Tuesday, 6 December
  

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Take Up Your Shield of Faith!
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. — Ephesians 6:16
Many people wrongly assume that the shield of faith is the most important part of their spiritual weaponry because Paul said, “Above all, taking the shield of faith…” (Ephesians 6:16). But if you think about it for a moment, you see that the shield of faith can’t be more important than the “loinbelt of truth” — the Word of God — because faith comes from God’s Word (Romans 10:17).

So just what did Paul mean when he said, “Above all….”? The phrase “above all” is taken from the Greek phrase epi pasin. The word epi means over. The word pasin means all or everything. So rather than stating that the shield of faith is more important than the other pieces of armor, the phrase epi pasin describes the position faith should have over the other pieces of armor. It could be better translated, “Out in front of all….” or “Covering all….”

Therefore, the phrase “above all” emphatically tells you that your “shield of faith” is never meant to be held next to your side or timidly held behind your back. Faith is supposed to be out front where it can completely cover you and protect you from harm — especially when you are marching forward to take new ground for the Kingdom of God!

Just as Roman soldiers kept their shields out in front of them to defend them from deadly attacks and blows from their enemies, God wants you to tightly grip your shield of faith while keeping it out in front where it can protect and defend you. When your shield of faith is kept in this out-front and covering position, it can do what God intended for it to do! This is why Paul continues to say, “…wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (See September 6 to refresh your memory regarding what the Bible says about the fiery darts of the wicked.)

But it is also very important for you to notice that Paul says, “…Taking the shield of faith….” The word “taking” is from the word analambano, which is a compound of the Greek words ana and lambano. The word ana means up, back, or again; the word lambano means to take up or to take in hand. When compounded together, it means to take something up in hand or to pick something back up again. This plainly means your shield of faith can be either picked up or laid down. It places the responsibility on you as to whether you will use your shield of faith or allow yourself to go through life unprotected.

If you want to employ the use of your faith, you must make the choice to take it in hand and to place it in front of you. It will not assume its defensive position over your life by accident. Your faith will only operate in your life the way it was meant to do when you choose to pick it up and put it where it belongs — out in front.

If you ever go into battle without your shield of faith, you are making a mistake you will seriously regret. Keeping your shield of faith in position is not an option if you intend to overcome the enemy and win the battles that are before you.

Therefore, I urge you not to go into battle without this all-important piece of your spiritual armor. If you fail to keep that protective shield in front of you, you leave yourself exposed to the deadly strikes of your adversary, the devil.

On the other hand, as you choose to daily take up your shield of faith, holding it out in front of you so that it completely covers every part of your life, you put yourself in position to thwart every single attack that the enemy throws your way!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I thank You for giving me a shield of faith that completely covers me from head to toe. I don’t have to constantly succumb to the devil’s attacks. By holding my shield of faith above all and out in front so that it covers me completely as You intended it to do, I can be protected from the attacks that the enemy would like to wage against me. Forgive me for the times I’ve let my shield lay at my side while I stayed busy complaining about the devil giving me fits. I realize now that it’s up to me to pick up my shield of faith and put it where it belongs. So with Your help, Lord, I am reaching out right now to pick it up, to hold it out front, and to do my part to make sure the enemy has no access to me!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that God has given me a shield of faith that protects me against the works of the enemy. If I will hold my faith out front — and today I commit myself to doing just that — God’s Word guarantees that this mighty shield will thwart the fiery darts that the enemy wants so desperately to throw at me. My shield will cause those darts to bounce off, thereby protecting me from being struck. I will walk with my shield of faith out in front so that it covers me as God intended for it to do. As long as I do that, I can be confident that I will move forward in life without the enemy winning any full-scale attack against me!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO ANSWER
1.  Can you say that your faith is alive and active and out in front of you as God intended for it to be, or have you allowed your faith to become inactive so that it lags behind?

2.  Please answer these questions honestly, for a truthful answer may prevent future disaster in your life: Did you once walk in faith more consistently than you do today? Have you allowed your shield of faith to drop to your side instead of maintaining it in the forward position that allows it to defend you from the enemy’s attacks?

3.  What steps are you going to take to reignite your faith and return it to its position as the mighty shield of protection that God intended for it to be? What kind of plan are you going to follow to see your faith recharged, reenergized, and repositioned out in front of your life?
 
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