Spiritual Warfare — Understanding Your Shield of FaithJanuary 2, 2018
Greetings in the wonderful name of Jesus — and WELCOME to a brand-new year!
Denise and I always look at January as a special time to evaluate what we were able to accomplish in the previous year — and to concentrate on what the Lord wants us to get done over the next 12 months. Each year brings something exciting to look forward to, and the year 2018 is no exception!
In addition to broadcasting our TV programs all over the former USSR, as we have done for more than 25 years, this month — right now — marks the historical moment when we will begin airing our program across the United States! This opportunity came to us when a major Christian leader in the United States asked me to do a TV program for his network, and I felt prompted to say yes.
To be honest, for a long time, I’ve been concerned about the lack of Bible teaching that I see across the nation, and I believe that God is asking me to do my part to bring clear, concise teaching of Scripture to people who have hungry hearts. Many are doing their part, but I believe the Holy Spirit has opened a door for me to do my part too. May I ask you to join Denise and me and our team in prayer as we begin this new outreach? As we have more details, we’ll be sure and communicate them to you!
In this month’s teaching letter, I feel led to speak to you on the subject of spiritual warfare. Actually, everywhere we minister and through every vehicle we use to teach this month, I am focusing on the subject of spiritual warfare.
The Devil Is Looking for Access
Most of the attacks the devil wages against you will occur in your mind. He knows that your mind is the central control center for your life; therefore, if he can take control of one small area of your mind, he can begin to expand outward into other weak areas that need to be strengthened by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. By poisoning your mind with unbelief and lying strongholds, the enemy can then manipulate not only your mind, but also your emotions and your body. There is no doubt about it — the mind is the strategic center where the battle is lost or won in spiritual warfare.
The devil wants to gain access into your life. And if he finds that access, you may be headed for quite a conflict! You can see why it is so important that you keep every door shut — for example, a door that can be opened through offense, unforgiveness, bitterness, or strife, etc. With every door in your life closed, the enemy won’t be able to find any entrance through which he can wage warfare against you.
However, the devil will often put up quite a fight even when he doesn’t find an entrance into our lives. That’s why we need to know exactly what the Bible says about spiritual warfare. In Ephesians 6:12, Paul wrote, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” In his letter to the church of Ephesus, Paul gave a full description of all the types of spiritual weaponry God has provided for every believer to help him overcome against these attacks of the enemy.
In verse 16, Paul referred to a specific piece of armor that I want to talk to you about today: the shield of faith. He said, “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”
Today I am praying for you to get something brand new as I share insights about this marvelous spiritual weapon. For the few minutes needed to read this letter, I encourage you to put everything else aside and do your best to focus on what you are about to read.
Facts About the Shield of Faith
With the imagery of a Roman soldier before him, Paul used the soldier’s shield to illustrate the shield of faith that God has provided for you and me. The word “shield” is the Greek word thureos, which was used by the Greeks and Romans to depict an oblong door that was wide in width and long in length. The reason Roman soldiers used this word to describe their battle shields was that their shields were actually door-shaped! They were wide in width and long in length, just like the door of a house.
Because it was wide and long, this shield completely covered the Roman soldier! This is why the Holy Spirit chose to use the word thureos as the illustration of faith. He is telling us that God has given us enough faith to make certain we are completely covered for every situation — just like the shield that completely covered a Roman soldier!
God Has Given You Enough Faith
To Cover You From Head to Toe!
In Romans 12:3, Paul wrote, “…God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” How much faith has God given you? He has given you enough faith to make sure you are covered for any event that comes along in your life!
You don’t need to be concerned that God has given more faith to others than He has given to you. Rest assured in the fact that God has imparted enough faith to you to make sure you’re covered from head to toe! That faith, like a wide and long shield, is adequate to cover any need that will ever occur in your life.
Your Faith Needs Frequent, Fresh Anointings!
In the majority of cases, the Roman soldier’s shield was composed of multiple layers of thick animal hide that had been tightly woven together. Usually six layers of animal hide were specially tanned and then woven together so tightly that they became almost as strong as steel. One piece of leather is tough, but imagine how tough and durable six layers of leather would be!
Because of how it was made, the shield of the Roman soldier was extremely tough and durable! However, the Roman soldier’s leather shield could become stiff and breakable over a period of time if it wasn’t properly taken care of. Therefore, it was necessary for him to know how to take care of it.
In order to keep those shields in good shape, the soldiers were given a daily schedule to maintain the excellent condition of their shields. Each morning when the soldier was awakened, he would reach for a small vial of oil. After saturating a piece of cloth with oil, he would begin to rub, rub, and rub that heavy ointment into the leather portion of the shield to keep it soft, supple, and pliable.
Any soldier who neglected this daily application of oil and allowed his shield to go without the necessary care was, in effect, inviting certain death. If not correctly cared for and properly maintained, the leather portion of the shield would harden and crack when put under pressure, and it would finally fall to pieces. Therefore, the end result of a soldier’s failure to care for his shield was the loss of his own life.
Paul says that this shield is representative of our faith. This tells us that our faith, like the shield in Paul’s illustration, requires frequent anointings of the Holy Spirit. Without a fresh touch of God’s Spirit upon our lives, our faith will become hard, stiff, and brittle.
What Happens When You Ignore Your Faith
What happens when you ignore your faith and allow it to go undeveloped? What is the result of never seeking a fresh anointing of God’s Spirit to come upon your life? When a challenge comes your way, your faith won’t be supple, strong, and durable enough to stand up under attack. A faith that has been ignored nearly always breaks and falls to pieces in the midst of confrontation.
So don’t assume that your faith is always in top-notch shape! Instead, assume that your faith always needs a fresh anointing. By taking this approach, you will always seek to do what is necessary to keep your faith alive, active, and well — and you’ll have a shield that will protect you from the devil’s attempts to penetrate your life.
How long has it been since you’ve received a fresh anointing that re-energized your faith? If you feel that your faith needs a new touch of God upon it, why not ask right now? God is the Great Anointer, and He is willing and ready right now to touch and reenergize your faith.
This subject of spiritual warfare is so important to the life of any serious believer. Please do not discount its importance. God gave us spiritual weaponry because we need it. Right now, I urge you to pray the following prayer:
Father, help me embrace the shield of faith that You have provided for me. Anoint my faith with new, fresh anointings to make it strong and viable for every attack the devil tries to send my way. By faith, I pick up my shield of faith, hold it in front of me, and believe that it will deflect and cause to ricochet every arrow the devil sends my way. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
And while I am talking about prayer, I’d like to ask how Denise and I and our team can be praying for you this month? We already pray for you every day — but hearing from you helps us as we add our faith to yours for the breakthroughs you seek. Please let us hear from you. Praying for you really is one of our highest honors in the ministry! Click here to request prayer.
Please remember to pray for us as we launch out via TV programming to bring “our part” to the Body of Christ in the U.S. And, I want to say THANK YOU for every gift you send to our ministry. To the best of our ability, we are using every cent wisely and stretching it as far as we know how. There is a lot to do, and we need to run this race all the way to the end. Thank you for being in the race with us!
We love you and thank God for you!
We are your brother and sister, friends, and partners in Jesus Christ,
Rick and Denise Renner
along with Paul, Philip, and Joel and their families