In our text from Ephesians chapter 6, the 'shield of faith' means 'faith in GOD alone'. GOD, sometimes teaches us by taking our props away. He says in Hosea, Chapter 11 about Ephraim; let's look at that. Hosea, Chapter 11, verses 3 and 4:
'I taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by their arms; but they did not know that I healed them. I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love; and I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck; I stooped and fed them.'
There is GOD speaking of how He taught His people. He's talking about teaching them how to become more spiritually minded; how to trust in Him more.
'I taught them to walk,'and the way He did it was the way we do, with a little child, maybe just around one year old; ten months old; they want to walk, but they can't, they have to hold on to the table. So we take their hands and we walk backwards, and little by little, they take one shaky step after another. And then comes the time when we drop our hands and they stand there teetering on their feet; but they're standing. They may sit down in a hurry because they are not sure of themselves; we try again.
This is how GOD teaches His children. He takes us by the hands, first of all, 'Come with Me, come with Me.' After a while He says, 'Now, you can do it by yourself.' He takes the props away. Something; someone; some situation that we depended on, and we felt we could not do without. And GOD says, 'You can so do without this. Try Me!' Isn't that how you learned to ride a bike? I did. My friend said, 'Okay, go ahead, I'm holding on to the saddle.' So I wobbled and started riding the bike, and he was holding the saddle. And if I tended to teeter, he would steady the bike and straighten it out; bring it to a vertical position. But what I didn't realize was that although he was running beside me, after a while he had let go of the saddle. When I looked back, I saw that he was not holding on to the saddle; I lost faith and I fell. But we started all over again.
Now, this is how we deal with each other. That's how GOD deals with you and me. Do you have a prop? GOD said, 'You're trusting in that more than in Me.' So, even though it's uncomfortable, even though it is disagreeable; though it is unpleasant, GOD says, 'Now, I want you to trust Me. Try on your own.'
Peter, walking on the waters, as long as he kept his eyes on YESHUA, he was alright. It was when he began to look around that he got terrified. So we see how GOD gently moves the props away. But it is all in order to bring us to that mature, robust faith that will look to GOD. There's a hymn that puts it so well: 'Faith, mighty faith; the promise sees and looks to GOD alone; laughs at impossibilities and cries, 'It shall be done'!' Thank GOD that He is kind enough to do that for us, so that one day we can stand, and we're standing by faith alone.
We will have to come back to that next week.
'The shield of faith,'and then,
'the helmet of salvation.' But may GOD encourage you; comfort you, and help you. And remember, our adversary will always try and discourage you; especially when we show how we can resist him. But may GOD bless you in this coming week, and give you one victory after another.
Shall we pray: Our Father in Heaven, we thank you that Messiah has indeed, conquered that strong man armed; that He has bound him, and has taken away from him the armour in which he has trusted; and He has shared His spoils. May we experience, in this coming week, the victory that Messiah, YESHUA, has obtained for us. We pray in His Name. Amen.