The Shield of Faith, Part 2

At this point in the discipleship journey, it is not uncommon for God to allow Satan to bring extremely difficult circumstances into our life. However, while Satan intends these things for evil, God allows them for good.
 
Like all circumstances, God uses these attacks of Satan to conform us to the image of Christ. During these attacks we are forced to choose between our flesh and Christ. Faith allows us to choose the words and ways of Christ. Faith gives us the ability during these difficult circumstances to choose to respond with the words and ways of Christ rather than with our words and ways.
 
The more times this occurs, the more often we choose to respond with Christ’s words and ways. The more we respond with Christ words and ways, the more we are conformed to the image of Christ and the more honor and glory we bring to Him.

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The Shield of Faith, Part 1

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12, NIV)
 
In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one. (Ephesians 6:16, HCSB)
 
The shield of a Roman soldier on which the Shield of Faith is based is not the small round shield we often imagine. It was about 4 feet tall and either rectangular or an oval.
 
It was basically a mobile wall. While formed in ranks, Roman soldiers would join their shields together to create a protective barrier. The row in front would hold the shields in front of them, while the rest of the ranks would hold them overhead. This would create a protective covering from the incoming arrows of the enemy.
 
Often these shields would be coated with leather which would be soaked with water. This would extinguish any enemy arrows which might be dipped in pitch and lit on fire. These shields were specifically designed to be connected and joined to the shields of other fellow soldiers. Likewise, our faith is designed to be connected to the faith of other disciples.

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Please, Prove Me Wrong…

Culturally inappropriate…
 
In the culture and context in which I live, it is not uncommon for people to say that they would do whatever Jesus asks of them.In fact, I recently heard a pastor who defined what it means to be a disciple of Jesus in similar terms.
 
And while that definition is lacking in certain aspects of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus; it is a good place to start.
 
Because, as simplistic as that definition is, it highlights a huge problem with discipleship within our immediate culture and context.
 
While the area is full of churches, and those churches might even be full of people (although not nearly as full as they used to be), you would be hard pressed to find enough people to fill up even one of those churches, who would actually do whatever Jesus asked of them.

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