Reports on what God is doing through Bible believing evangelical Christians in Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, India and Ecuador. Jesus said, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you" (John 15:7).
SELAH! Pause - reflect- just think of that!
The Shield of Faith
The Shield of Faith
Have you been under a spiritual attack lately? Have you been flamed by the evil one?
Have you had your mind filled with evil thoughts, perhaps even blasphemous thoughts? You were not thinking, idly doing nothing, and suddenly they filled your mind?
Have you been engaged in prayer and found yourself bombarded by thoughts, notions and ideas from every direction that interfere with your concentration on God, on worship, prayer, thanksgiving or adoration?
Be prepared for satanic attacks and assaults which at times can be unusually fierce, fiery and destructive.
The apostle Paul admonishes us to take “up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one" (Ephesians 6:16, The NET Bible).
Have you ever been bombarded in the realm of desires, passions and lusts? Have you experienced “flaming arrows” inciting, rousing with tremendous heat the passions for that which is plainly forbidden in God’s Word?
What are these “flaming darts of the evil one”? They are the schemes and stratagems of Satan. These “flaming arrows” come upon us in various forms including evil or filthy thoughts, lustful imaginations, unforgiving attitudes, etc. They flash upon the mind suddenly incongruent with what we are doing or thinking.
Have you been reading your Bible and found it impossible to concentrate on it? You don’t have any problem concentrating on the newspaper, or a novel, but when you start reading your Bible suddenly you find it impossible to concentrate. You may be reading your Bible or praying and suddenly there flashes a blasphemous thought or vile image in your imagination. Where did that evil thing come from? What is its source?
It may be a thought that conveys doubts, blasphemy, or feeling of despair regarding your Christian life. There may flash through your thoughts that Christianity is a hoax created by politicians to control people, or that Jesus Christ was a self-deluded person, but not the Son of God. It suggests that perhaps Da Vinci Code is onto something real. Perhaps the Bible really isn’t true, and we have all been deceived. This is a powerful attack by the evil one.
These fiery darts may come as an attack on your salvation experience. Perhaps you didn’t do it just right, maybe you forgot to do something, maybe the preacher didn’t have the right kind of water, or you were baptized in the wrong church. Maybe Jesus Christ is not the only unique savior. Perhaps all religions are ok, and we are all going to be saved in the end. These are “fiery darts of the wicked one.”
These “flaming arrows of the evil one” may come in the form of sudden fears, anxieties, panic attacks, a dull feeling like nothing is right, especially with God.
What is the source of these feelings? They are the fiery attacks of the evil one.
Satan enjoys the realm of our imaginations. He can conjure up scenes, depict events, and make things as vivid and real as if they were taking place before our very physical eyes. The devil comes to us as an angel of light, so desirable and wise. If we are going to live above the level of mediocrity we must understand that the source is the devil whispering to us. He is communicating these thoughts to us, and these thoughts produce the feelings. We think these thoughts are our own thoughts because they seem to come from our innermost self. It shocks the daylights out of us. How could I think such a thing! It goes against everything we hold to be true. That is when we must recognize that it really is not us, but thoughts planted in our mind by the evil one.
The reason why the devil sent this thought to you is cause you to doubt Jesus Christ. You know it is the devil at work when you begin to think, “How can I think these thoughts or feel this way if I am a true Christian?” “Can I really be a Christian if I think like this?” This is exactly what the devil wants you to think. It is an attack on vital union with Christ. Satan does not want you to enjoy your eternal unchanging position in Christ Jesus. Therefore, he attacks you.
Satan attacks your faith. He works at causing you to question the inspiration and authority of the Bible, or the deity and atoning substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on your behalf, or your salvation by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone.
How do you overcome such “flaming arrows of the evil one”? “Take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all of the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Eph. 6:16 NET). You will not be able to do this in your own strength. It is a spiritual conflict and spiritual battles must be fought on those grounds.
Faith acts on the great truths of God’s Word. Faith talks. Faith argues with Satan. Faith says, “I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day" (2 Timothy 1:12, NASB).
That is the shield of faith. It always calls for action. Have you learned to take up the shield of faith when doubts come? When Satan casts doubt about your relationship with God through Jesus Christ do you assert by faith, “Christ is my righteousness!” “He [God] made Him [Christ Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21, NASB). That is the Holy Spirit speaking to you. When you stand clothed in the imputed righteousness of Christ Jesus you have the same value in God’s sight as Christ has.
Martin Luther, the great Reformer, was battling it out with Satan. The spiritual battle was so real that Luther picked up an ink well full of black ink and threw it and it splattered against a white wall. He refused to paint the wall as a reminder of just how fierce the spiritual battle against the fiery darts of the evil one.
Again, the apostle Paul wrote: "We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5). That is putting on the shield of faith.
Our feelings are not facts. Have you developed the habit of examining your feeling and arguing with Biblical truth? Is this true? Where is the evidence, the proof? How do I know this is true? How tragic spiritually when we reason emotionally and say, “I feel this way so it must be true.” Never accept feelings as facts when it comes to your spiritual life and welfare. Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me" (John 14:6, NASB). Christ is the secret to life. He is the key to eternal life. This is where Satan will attack the quickest and most often. Christ is the Truth. He is the only Way to God.
The plot for Da Vinci Code was hatched in hell by Satan himself. The truth is, "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12, NASB).
You put out the fiery arrows of the evil one by taking up the shield of faith and using it to defend yourself. If you will consistently keep on resisting the devil, he will flee from you.
Never lay down your shield of faith.
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.
Unless otherwise noted "Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.""Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE" © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.
Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries from 1972-2005. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Ecuador.
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