The Counterfeit Shield

In addition to all this, take up the sheild of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Ephesians 6:16
We have looked at Satan's counterfeit belt, breastplate, and shoes and now we are at another important piece of armor - the shield of faith. So what is Satan's counterfeit shield? A shield of fear. I believe that Satan would rather us cower under a shield of fear than stand firm with a shield of faith. Specifically Satan wants us to focus on self-preservation rather than faith. Self-preservation is defined as "preservation of oneself from danger, injury, or death, the urge to preserve oneself, regarded as an instinct." Self-preservation is instinctual. When we encounter things to be afraid of our first instinct is to protect ourselves. In the spiritual sense, self-preservation can keep us from stepping out into our destiny. In Beth Moore's study of Esther, she says this, "We can protect ourselves right out of our calling." Isn't that what Satan wants? YES! To accomplish that goal, he will tempt us to take up a shield of self-preservation rather than a shield of faith. Does Scripture back this up? Absolutely. You don't have to look any further than Numbers 13 & 14. The children of Israel have been delivered out of slavery. God has performed miracles in order to bring them into the land He promised to give them. Camping right at the edge of Canaan, Moses sent in twelve spies to scout out the land. Ten of those spies came back with the report that while the land was indeed flowing with milk and honey it was also filled with powerful people, fortified walls, and strong cities. Because of their evil report, the people were afraid to go forward and enter the Promised Land even though God had promised it to them. In Numbers 14:33 God tells them, "Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the desert." An entire nation of people protected themselves right out of their calling because they feared their enemy more than they believed their God. They never got to experience all that God had for them because they chose self-preservation over faith. Are you doing the same thing? Do you look around and see so much to fear that you step back, cower down, and doubt? Is self-preservation more important to you than your God-ordained destiny? Is protecting your image, your ego, and your feelings worth missing out on your calling? God forbid. Self-preservation leads to isolation, discouragement, and depression.
2 Corinthians 5:7 tells us that "we live by faith not by sight." Fear says, "we live by sight, not by faith." The enemy is cunning and he knows that all your attempts at self-preservation are in vain. When the battle rages the shield of fear is easily penetrated. I Peter 5:9 says, "Resist him (the devil) steadfast in the faith." Your first line of defense against the flaming arrows of the evil one is your faith. Don't just read God's Word, believe God's Word. When the enemy comes in like a flood with his arrows of doubt, fear, worry, and deafeat, you can raise up the shield of faith and extinguish each and every one. Isaiah 7:9 says, "...if you do not stand firm in the faith, you will not stand at all." Your calling is waiting - don't back down in fear, but stand firm in faith and be all that God has ordained you to be.

No comments: