From The Growing In Faith Devotional Series
How do we grow in faith when we face fiery trials? We form a tortoise! 🙂
Take Up The Shield – S7 E4
“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” Ephesians 6:16
It’s easy to have faith in God when our circumstances are easy. When the enemy attacks us, however, it’s all too easy to crumble under doubt, anxiety, and fear.
Yet, God’s word instructs us to take up the shield of faith in all circumstances – yes, even when the enemy is shooting flaming darts at us. We need to take up the shield of faith to protect ourselves from the enemy’s attack.
One of the best ways we can actually do this is as a church. If you look at pictures of how Roman soldiers protected themselves from enemy attack, it’s interesting to see how they grouped together, and put their shields in front and at the top, making a type of “tortoise” – in Latin called Testudo.
So, taking up the shield of faith is not simply something we do on our own, but something we do together with our brothers and sisters in Christ. How? Well, we ask them to uplift us in prayer and in God’s word, every time the enemy attacks us. Then we do the same when the enemy attacks them.
Growing in faith is then a personal responsibility and also a corporate act of love. Each time the enemy attacks us or our brothers and sisters in the faith, we choose to serve each other in love by coming alongside them, speaking truth and praying for God’s protection.
Recently, I had a situation when I was able to support a sister in the faith with some trials she was going through, by simply praying and speaking God’s word over her. Then when I was back at home praying for her, I sensed God prompt me to send her a Christian hymn that focused on God’s power and goodness.
I have also been through situations where I’ve felt discouraged in the faith due to my circumstances, and I’ve had others in the church come alongside me with truth from God’s word and prayer.
That’s why gathering with the church is so important. God designed us to live the Christian faith as the body of Christ, in communion with each other.
In fact, we’re also to do this in our homes with our children. When our children go through trials, we support them in prayer and truth. Then when we ourselves go through difficult situations, we can teach our children to also pray for us.
Questions for reflection
- How can you take up the shield of faith in your personal walk with God when you go through fiery trials?
- Who can you be accountable to in terms of sharing your struggles?
- What can you teach your children about the importance of the church in terms of support in the faith?
Lord, I thank You that faith will protect me from the fiery darts of the enemy. I confess, Lord, that often I struggle with fear and doubt. Forgive me for the times when I fail to trust You. Help me, Lord, to grow in faith. Help me share my struggles with others. Please enable me to encourage other Christians who are facing trials, and teach my children how to do that too. Amen.
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