It’s audio devo day!
The shield of faith… if faith is a shield, do you worry whether your faith is enough? Holy Spirit wants to remind us that we don’t need faith in our faith… we need faith in God! His faithfulness is the shield around you. With it, you can extinguish EVERY fiery dart of the enemy! Be strengthened and encouraged as you listen here:
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“Above all.” What a weighty phrase! Holy Spirit is bringing our attention here to the shield of faith as especially crucial to winning our battles. I find such amazing encouragement in this verse! He is telling us that no matter how many fiery darts the enemy shoots at us, we will be able to extinguish every last one of them. Every. Last. One.
There is no battle you will ever face, that He has not provided victory for. With this shield of yours, not one attack is going to be able to take you out. What an enviable commodity! How many generals over the centuries would have yearned to come by such an unspeakably valuable asset for their wars! What extravagant amounts of money would they have paid to attain this! And it’s yours. Your very own.
Yes, victory is yours, and the shield of faith is indispensable for accessing it. So today you and I are going to enjoy a rich soak in the meaning of this piece of our armor. First off, I want to remind us once again that as we put on the armor of God, we are clothing ourselves with Jesus. (Check out the episode, “Wearing the Light of the World” for more on that subject.) When you take up the shield of faith, remember that Jesus Himself is your shield. You and I can exclaim with David the psalmist, “But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head” (Ps. 3:3, NKJV).
He is your shield. He encompasses you about on every side. His presence wraps around you as a garment and protective layer of light. Here’s another Scripture that depicts this beautifully: “You bless righteous people, O Lord. Like a large shield, you surround them with your favor.” (Ps. 5:12, GW).
You, dear one, are surrounded. This is no rinky-dink shield you’ve got going on here. It’s large. It’s mighty. God Himself has got you wrapped up in His favor and blessing. You are perfectly safe in Him.
That’s the thing about this shield. It is Him. It’s all Him. David expressed this in another one of his powerful Psalms: “He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights. He trains my hands for battle; he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow. You have given me your shield of victory. Your right hand supports me; your help has made me great” (Ps. 18:33-35, NLT, emphasis mine).
See where the emphasis is there? It’s not on David the amazing warrior (although historically we know that he was incredibly successful in war). In spite of his successes, he understood this bottom line truth. Our surefootedness, our training, our strength, our greatness, and our shield of victory… every one of them are gifts from God. If we are great, it’s because He did it. If we are surefooted, it’s because He made us that way. If we are strong, it’s because He strengthened us. If we have a shield that extinguishes every fiery dart, it’s because He is our shield.
Let’s linger a little longer in this passage. What about that first part where God empowers us to go up high? “He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights.” It reminds me of something a dear friend of mine shared with me about some battle training she received from God. She recounted to me this vivid dream that she had:
“I started to literally see the spiritual realm, so clearly, and I was seeing demonic faces… I felt fear, because what I was experiencing was incredibly overwhelming. There was SO MUCH happening that I suddenly was seeing, feeling, hearing, and understanding. It was scary, intimidating… The demons were attacking me. I screamed at the top of my lungs, shaking violently. A demon came out of nowhere right up to my face…”
At that point, my friend woke up, affected throughout her whole being by the impact of the dream. She then describes:
“It was 1:26 am and I was sweating. I remembered the whole dream and the demon’s face was embedded in my mind. I put my worship on…”
This is where her Holy Spirit combat training kicked in. As she was now awake, He transitioned her from the intense dream into a vivid vision. Through it, He showed her how to move up out of the fray and into victory:
“Then I had this vision of me being in the room from the dream (where it ended) and He plucked me up with His hand, airlifting me out of there – it felt like I was floating. He brought me up so high in the sky, above the clouds, where it was quiet, tranquil, peaceful, beautiful and bright. I was so calm and at ease, and I could feel His presence all around me. His light shining so warm and bright, He illuminated everything.
“He told me to look down, and when I did I saw a layer of clouds. Below them it was dark. I could see all of those demons, the enemy’s whole operation, running rampant, doing their work. Holy Spirit told me, ‘They can’t come up here. They’re powerless to you when you operate from here. You have the power and authority to be here, which is where I want you to be. This is where you fight from.’
“And with that I felt so much at rest. I realized just how small satan and his demons were, from being up so high. The enemy had no power unless you fought at his level.”
Yep. Trained to war from the heights. That’s what He intends for you and me, my friend. The heights of the heavenly places in Christ Jesus are the right place to fight from. This is why He makes us like deer, able to agilely gain height in spirit. He enables us to supernaturally gain the advantage of the higher place. And that is where the shield of victory He has given us works so effectively.
That shield of victory is the shield of faith. Unfortunately, this trips some of us up sometimes. Hold on a sec… we ask, faith is a shield? Contemplating this, sometimes we get distracted from winning battles by too much introspection. Is my faith enough? We worry, Is it of a caliber that will assure me victory in this current conflict I am facing? Is my faith strong enough to keep me up on those high places?
Holy Spirit wants to remind us that we don’t need faith in our own faith. We need faith in God; we need faith in who He is. The focus of our faith is God’s nature. Our assurance of winning is not in our own ability to “keep the faith” well enough. It’s in God’s ability to keep us in faith, to train us, to strengthen us, and to make us mighty in battle. It’s in His faithfulness. As Psalm 91 so famously expresses, “He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler”(Ps. 91:4, ESV).
This revelation about our shield gently shifts our gaze from our bellybuttons to God. It’s Him. It’s His faithfulness. His unchanging, immutable goodness is the shield around us. It’s the glory and the lifter of our heads. As we connect into the revelation of His faithfulness, we grow in awareness of the shield that surrounds us. The result is what comes in the next verse: “You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day” (Ps. 91:5, ESV).
Surrounded by the shield of His faithfulness, you will successfully quench all the fiery arrows of the enemy. Not only that, but here we learn, you will no longer fear them! The revelation of God’s faithfulness moves you up onto those mountain heights. The more you grow in the intimate, personal, experiential knowledge of Him, the more fearless you become. The more your heart of hearts knows that His faithfulness has hemmed you in, behind and before, the more courageous you become in battle… the more you know He will unfailingly give you everything you need to extinguish every dart.
Dear one, when you know you cannot lose, who can hold you back? When you march onto that battlefield up high with Him in the heavenly places, who is going to stop you? If God is for you, who can be against you? If you are seated with Jesus way up there, who can touch you?
Get ready. In His strength, you are about to snuff out every attack that ever comes against you. So pick it up… take up your shield of faith, valiant one. The One who called you is faithful, and He will do it. He will train you. He will strengthen you. He will make you great. With His unfailing help, you are unconquerable! Right now, He is handing you the shield of His victory. So take it up, fixing your gaze on His goodness.
Yes, victorious warrior. Above all, take up that shield.
Do you have a practical example to share, from your everyday living, of what it looks like to extinguish a fiery dart from the enemy?