TEACHER: Ken Hicks
SCRIPTURES: Ephesians 6:16; Ephesians 4:27-28; Ephesians 5:25-26; Matthew 4:3-11
BOTTOM LINE: Our Personal FAITH must be Oiled daily by the Holy Spirit, Saturated Daily by the Word of God and clipped together w/ the Body of Christ in Unity.
QUESTION: What is the condition of our Battle Shield of Faith?
As Followers of Jesus, one of the things I think we discover is that many of us are going to WAR w/ all sorts of various levels of training. In many cases, w/o even the most Basic of Training. Many of us if we were honest would have to say that we may not have a solid understanding of the weapons available for us to use.
We grab our Swords … as Kevin talked about last week … and we say we’ve got The Sword of the Spirit. However, we are way more concerned w/ what we want vs. what God wants.
- We ask for Revival … and what God truly desires is Holiness
- We ask for relief from Pain … but God is desiring to develop our character and opportunity
- We ask for God to bless us financially … and yet God has yet to see us surrender to Cheerfully & Generously Giving of what He’s already given us for His Mission in the world.
- We ask God for our family members to experience the radical restoration and transformation of their lives thru Christ … and yet God’s desire is for you and I to be a living illustration of His Love and Grace up close and personally in their lives.
Every single piece of the Armor Paul lists here is so radically important in our lives! But I also would contend that our understanding of our FAITH and how that serves as a Shield for us is ridiculously important.
And if we’re not fully instructed and trained and grounded w/in all the weapons and Armor before we go into battle … not only are we putting ourselves in potential danger, but we may very well be a danger to others!
And The Shield of Faith is essential in this battle for us to experience the Victory that God truly intends for us to experience.
There are times when I feel like I’m hearing exactly what God is saying, and I’m walking in obedience, and listening for the Holy Spirit in my life … and then fail!
And it’s in those times, 1 of the things I’m learning is there’s often 2 questions to ask here, and they have radically different responses:
- I can question God and Why is this happening or not happening, etc…
- I can examine and ask some difficult questions about my own Faith.
I. The Shield
- 2′ x 4′ x 6″ thick … WOW!
- As Followers of Jesus, perhaps the most deadly blow will come against our personal Faith.
II. Maintaining The Shield
- The soldier was required to oil his shield every morning to keep it from drying out and cracking!
- The Shield represents our FAITH, and the Oil is the Holy Spirit thru God’s Word penetrating our Shield. Our Faith needs to be anointed daily w/ the Oil thru the Holy Spirit in our life!
- We need a daily oiling of the Battle Shield of Faith … Just thru the normal junk in our everyday lives, the anointing can fade … and catch this … we don’t even have to SIN so to speak. We don’t have to be making BAD choices, the anointing can still dry up w/o fresh oil.
III. Preparing & Engaging
- And along w/ the daily care … new need to PREPARE the shield before we go into Battle too right? The Soldiers would literally soak their shield in water so the fiery arrows would be extinguished when they hit the Shield.
- We are to PREPARE … to SOAK our Shields for our Faith in WATER, through the WORD OF GOD! We need to be immersed before we head out to battle every single day.
- Often times we think the Battle is over when we exchange our lives w/ Christ and are restored into a Righteous standing w/ God. However, it’s then that the Battle has just begun. We need to immerse ourselves regularly in the Word of God in order to be able to extinguish the flaming arrows Satan will throw our way.
Truth is … when our Battle Shield is not prepared and ready, we are giving the enemy a foothold. When we allow SIN to abide in our life, the Holy Spirit reveals that SIN to us. And if we allow that SIN to remain, then we allow the enemy to gain a foothold. Not only harm our own personal Faith, but we give him a foothold that causes exposure for the entire army.
The Battle Shield of Faith …
- We OIL it daily in our lives w/ the Holy Spirit pouring into us …
- We SATURATE our Faith thru the Word of God daily …
- Locked together in UNITY
And we Suit Up together … w/ The Full Armor of God and engage in this battle … I need YOU for my sake … God’s strategic plan needs every single one of us for the sake of the Battle and God’s Army … we are His Plan … we are His Team … let’s Armor Up and get ready to fight!