Friday, May 14, 2010
What are you hiding behind?
In my years of teaching children's church, the song about the armor of God has always been my favorite. I absolutely love singing, "I am a Christian, a mighty, mighty Christian.....I've got my shield of faith..." Still, after all those years of singing the song, I'm not sure I really ever thought about what a shield of faith was. I looked up the words using my handy dandy dictionary and discovered absolutely nothing that would help me. After all, a shield is something you hide behind...I knew that. Faith means something you believe in...yep, I knew that too. This one was going to take a bit more thought.
Or maybe not. We hide behind our faith, what we believe in. Now, I'm not talking about some pie in the sky kind of name it and claim it kind of faith. But what we believe shields us from the enemy's arrows. That means the shield has to be made of some pretty heavy duty material, something that will stand against anything. It's important that what I believe is real....not just to me, but real no matter what. Only the Word of God fits that description. So, do I believe it?
When there is no money coming in, do I believe God's promise to provide for all my needs according to His riches? When I feel alone, do I believe His promise to never leave me nor forsake me? When I am afraid, do I believe that God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind? When life seems to be throwing everything at me including the kitchen sink, do I believe that God works all things for my good and His glory?
I admit my shield probably has a few chinks in it. There are a few spots that are thin, and for some reason those are the very areas the enemy's arrows seem to target. That's not always comfortable, but it's also not necessarily a bad thing either. Because when those arrows hit, they reveal to me areas I need to strengthen...areas where I don't really believe.
So what do I do when I find my shield is taking a "hit"? Well, if I'm feeling the "hit" then it is showing me a need to dig in to God's Word so I can strengthen my shield. It doesn't mean God or His promises are any less real, it simply means my shield is a bit thin in places. I can sit still and hope that the shield will hold, or I can build up my faith by hearing the Word of God.
The funny thing is when my shield gets thin, my natural reaction isn't to work on the shield, it is instead to dig a hole and hide! But I can't think of any place where doing that offers me any protection against the enemy. My human desire to stay away from those who could help build me up, skip church, or simply bury myself in mindless tv won't do a thing toward building up that shield. Those things are just makeshift holes in the ground. I need something that will hold up in the battle, something that will allow me to not only hide, but to move forward...protected and unafraid.
So I guess it really all boils down to what do I believe? Do I even know what I believe? I think it's time to get into God's Word and build up my shield.
Here are a few verses to help get us started.
Philippians 4:19 "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
2 Timothy 1:7"For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
Romans 8:28"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Proverbs 3:5,6" Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."
James 1:5, NIV. "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."
Isaiah 26:3, NIV. "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You."
I Corinthians 10:13, NIV. "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."