“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one …”.
Faith is at the very heart of the Christian life. Our relationship with God begins when we believe what he has done for us in Christ.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2.8-9)
But in this passage in Ephesians 6, Paul is addressing those of us who have already believed in Christ. He is not exhorting us to have faith in order to be saved; rather, he is exhorting us to use the shield of faith in order to be effective. What Paul is talking about here is applying faith strategically to those times when the enemy is attacking you. The shield of faith is applied belief. As I wrote yesterday, we could accurately call it “battlefield belief.”
I think there is a big difference between “Sunday belief” and “battlefield belief.” It is easy to believe and have faith on Sunday at a church service. Worship music that moves and inspires, a sermon that informs and motivates, people that love and encourage, opportunity to pray and reflect. It is not hard to believe in that environment, which is at it should be.
However, though certainly not intended, Sunday worship can also be an environment that nurtures a faith that is not prepared for the conflicts we encounter and battles we must fight in the world outside of the Sunday service.
Because when the alarm goes off Monday morning, it’s time to go to work. Back to the battlefield. Back into the arena where you must engage the enemy. It is not nearly as easy to believe at work as it was in the church service, and work is where/when it is necessary to wield the shield of faith.
This is where you need battlefield belief.
As I wrote previously, the Christian faith is not for spectators. The Christian faith is for competitors. It is for warriors and fighters. Jesus did not call us to sit in the bleachers and watch. He did not call us to stand on the sideline and cheer. He sends us into the arena. He sends us to the front line of battle against the enemy. The moment you trusted in Christ you stepped into the arena of combat. “Sunday belief” will not survive on the battlefield.
The shield of faith is belief applied specifically to the events you face in life and at work. It is faith that is focused, specific, and situational. Remember that it is not faith in general; rather, it is faith in the presence, power, and principles of the infinite-personal God. That means you know who God is, you know what his Word says, and as you encounter the attacks of the enemy, you trust God and apply your faith. Specifically.
Whatever difficulties you have with people at work, know that the underlying conflict is spiritual. Whatever challenges you have with issues at work, know that the underlying conflict is spiritual. Whatever disruptive feelings you have at work, whatever temptations you face, whatever doubt you experience, whatever fear/anxiety you feel, whatever anger you struggle with … know that the underlying conflict is spiritual.
Be crystal clear about what God’s Word says about the situations you face, and respond in obedience. This is the shield of faith. This is faith that is applied. This is battlefield belief.
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)