The Bible says to take up the shield of faith in order to extinguish all the fiery (ignited, inflamed, angry, burning) spears, darts or missiles against you that are evil; hurtful, calamitous, diseased, derelict, corrupt, malicious, grievous and wicked. Ephesians 6:16
A Sheild is a protective covering against the blows, risks, and weapons of an enemy.
The Roman shield was called the scutum. It was a large rectangular curved shield made of sheets of wood that were glued together and covered with canvas and leather.
Although it was lightweight the shield was large enough to cover the entire soldier. This made it difficult for an enemy to penetrate. Not only that but the shield had a metal round piece of material called an umbo in the center.
The umbo was used to deflect blows from the enemy by making a punching motion towards the blow.
Attacks were prevented from penetrating by pivoting the shield about the body to resist the oncoming blows from an enemy.
God says in his word that he is a shield and a buckler to those who put their trust in him.
In other words the Lord protects us from enemy attacks if we trust him to be our shield in times of trouble.
Faith in God thwarts all enemy attacks against us. When we put our trust in the Lord as our deliverer then he delivers us.
The Lord tells us in Genesis 15:1 I am thy shield. I am your protector and defense.
The Lord also tells us in his word that he is our shield. We are saved by his help. Deuteronomy 33:29
The Lord says that he is our shield that goes before us in battle. 1 Samuel 17:41
He is our shield of salvation. 2 Samuel 22:36
The Lord will compass us about like a shield. Psalm 5:12
The Lord will break the arrows of the blow by his shield. Psalm 76:3
His truth is our shield of defense. Psalm 91:4
He is our help and our shield. Psalm 119:9
The Lord is our hiding place. Our shield as we hope in his word. Psalm 119:14
Have faith in God. Trust him in times of trouble. He will surround you as a sheild of defense. No weapon formed against you will alight. The Lord is your protector. He is your sheild!
Psalm 144:1, 2
Blessed be the LORD my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.
Keep your heart with all diligence! Put on the breastplate of righteousness! Be a watchman over your thoughts! Then you will be sure to walk in victory!
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:7
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 5:8
Romans Chapter 8 says that those who are in Jesus Christ, (that is those born again and, in his salvation,) are not condemned by God if they are not walking after the carnal nature but are walking in the Holy Spirit.
What does it mean to be condemned? In English it means to have disproval. To criticize something or someone strongly.
The Greek word is katakrima which means to come under penalty. To pass judgement against.
Romans Chapter 8 goes on to tell us that if we are minding carnal things rather than spiritual things then we are in enmity with God. In other words, if we are living for the flesh (the body, which is living for the passions and sensual appetites) temporal, worldly, or secular things then we are in a hostile opposing position with God. This makes us under condemnation. God disproves of us and our life styles!
Living in the flesh or carnal nature has grave consequences for the Christian. Romans 8 tells us that it produces death in us.
Jesus died to set us free from sin, but we must cooperate with that spiritual position that he has provided. Living by the carnal nature brings only death. What is death? Failure, sickness, poverty, demonic oppression, depression. Any thing contrary to the abundant life which Jesus died to purchase for us.
Romans Chapter 8 tells us that if we live under the law in order to gain God’s approval then we will fail miserably in our lives. Also, we will still be in enmity with God anyway because the law has no power to conquer sin. All the law does is expose our sin. “You lied. Bad you!”
Jesus came to give a better way. He said to his disciples that when he went away, he would send the Holy Spirit to help us in our weakness. The flesh is weak and cannot keep the law. Only God can keep the law.
Did you know that if you are born again that God lives in you? Yes, he does but many Christians who are ignorant of this reality are living still under the law. They don’t understand that the same power that lived in Jesus Christ, that performed miracles and raised Jesus from the dead, actually lives in them!
Romans 8 tells us to walk in the Spirit and we will not fulfill the desires of the sinful body. Which is going to be thrown into the trash heap one day and we will get a new one that is not subject to sin!
What does it mean to walk in the Spirit? Well to walk is to take a journey. Our life in this world is a journey towards eternity! We are called to walk with God! Not walking in our own ways but walking in God’s way.
He hath showed thee, O man, what is good, and what doth Jehovah require of thee, but to do judgment and the love of mercy, and to humble thyself by walking with thy God? (Micah 6:8)
Holy Spirit who lives in us is our helper and teacher. We need to acknowledge Holy Spirit and depend on him for everything. Did you know that the Holy Spirit wants to help you? Yes, he does but you have got to ask him. He won’t impose on you.
And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Luke 11:9
Romans Chapter 8 tells us that the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. Don’t know how to pray effectively? Ask Holy Spirit. He will show you. Need comfort? Need revelation? Need wisdom? Need strength? Need provision? Just ask Holy Spirit and he will help you!
Jesus Christ provided for us a new covenant with a new and better way of living. The law can never conquer the sinful nature. The way to have victory over sin and the devil is life in the Holy Spirit!
If we walk with God on our journey to eternity we will not be under condemnation because we will not be fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. Rather we will be living our life under the control of the Holy Spirit!
Walking with God by the Holy Spirit is the abundant life promised to us by Jesus Christ.
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:24
In Matthew Chapter 25 Jesus is talking to his disciples about the kingdom of God which was to come.
The disciples were so exited that they thought this was going to happen right away. Jesus, however, tells them a parable about a man who sets his servants in charge of his estate while he goes away for a while on a journey.
In the story the Lord gives each of his servants some talents to put to use on his behalf while he goes away. Before he leaves, he gives his servants this one instruction. “Occupy till I come”.
Occupy in the Greek is pragmateuomai which means to keep busy.
During Jesus’ time Roman servants or slaves were the property of their owners. Many slaves were educated, and some were even doctors and others were businessmen.
Roman culture had influence even in Israel and that is why some of Jesus’ parables drew from Roman analogies.
Jesus talked about giving servants talents to use to further the estate of their Lord. This was a common practice of the Romans. A Roman slave could hold property and actually use it as his own. However, the property belonged to the Lord or Roman Citizen. All credit from the business of the estate while run by a slave or servant was credited to the Owner. The servant was responsible to gain interest for his Lord.
A servant could be trained in various business ventures like real estate, husbandry, or farming.
The servant was expected to get increase or profit from the business. A servant who failed to do this could be beaten or even killed.
Jesus likened his kingdom in the same way. He gives his servants each a certain amount of talents. A talent can be a natural aptitude or a skill. Not just monetary. In fact, the word talent is from the Latin. Jesus used a Latin term to explain a spiritual principal. A talent was a unit of weight. Today we use the word to convey a natural skill or gifting but in effect it is the same thing. With out a skill you will not be able to get monetary increase.
Notice how Jesus gives each person a different amount of talents. In other words, one is responsible for what they have and not for what they do not have.
What Jesus said in Matthew 25, is this. (my paraphrase) “I have given you a gift or gifts as my servant. Keep busy while I am away. Give to me when I return increase on the talent (s), I have given you.”
Are you being faithful with your gifts? Remember that the Lord rewards those who gain or add to those gifts that he has given. To the one who fails to use their gift(s) they are not rewarded when Jesus returns according to this parable.
For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. Matthew 25:29
Let us use all that the Lord had given us for his glory! Occupy or keep busy till he comes back!
THE Latin word for sword is Gladius. This sword was used by Roman foot soldiers when in close proximity to the enemy. It was used to thrust at unprotected parts of the body while the shield was held up moving forward in battle.
Enemy exposed areas such as the throat, armpit, groin and main arteries were able to be thrust at with short stabs.
The Gladius was also used for blocking an opponent. A Roman soldier could block the enemy’s sword thereby leaving another Roman soldier adjacent to him to thrust the final blow.
The Gladius was also two edged. This gave it multi purpose. Not only could the Gladius be used for thrusting and blocking but the Gladius could also be used for slashing, or cutting. A Roman soldier was able to take opportune moments to slash at an exposed knee below the opponent’s shield or slash at an arm or neck which could end the fight in a moment’s time.
The Bible likens God’s word to a Gladius. This is because in the same way that the Gladius was used in direct confrontation with the enemy so is God’s word a weapon to be used against the onslaughts of the devil.
In battle the Christian moves forward by faith to engage in spiritual warfare. The shield is held in place. Not only to protect the soldier but to thwart off any opposition attacks. Then the Gladius or sword of the Spirit is to be thrust at the enemy.
With a trained Roman soldier the sword could enter the abdomen and kill the opposition. The abdomen was a prime area to attack. The Bible relays many incidents where a sword was used through the belly in war. The belly symbolizes life flow. Jesus said out of your belly or spirit will flow rivers of living water.
The sword thrust through the stomach could cause death within minutes or cause a prolonged death. Depending on the precise area of the wound. This is the same in spiritual warfare. Death to the enemy plan may take a short time or a prolonged time. This is why continued prayer and ministry of the word of God is important until the victory is won.
GOD’S word is two edged like the Gladius because it not only thrusts to kill but it divides. In other words it can rightly divide truth from error. When used by a trained soldier in Jesus Christ the sword of the Spirit is a powerful weapon. It destroys strongholds, casts down high things exalting themselves against God’s truth, rightly divides the word of God, cuts up deception, chops corruption into spam and is able to be thrust right into the flow of the enemy. Death will most certainly occur. The enemy will be defeated! It’s just a matter of time.
Hebrews 4:12 , For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Take up your Gladius today and go forth into battle in the power of our Lord’s might and strength! Wage war against the powers of darkness and fight the good fight of faith in Jesus name!
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
In Genesis Chapter 4 we read that Cain brought his offering to the Lord. He brought the work of his hands, the toil of his labor.
God was not impressed with Cain’s offering. The Lord did not consider Cain’s offering to be acceptable.
Able was a tender of sheep. He also gave an offering to God. He took the first born of his sheep and gave that offering to God.
God accepted Abel’s offering but not his brother Cain’s offering.
It is interesting to note that both brothers gave an offering to the Lord. That is they felt the need to have God’s approval in their lives.
They also gave an offering in accordance to their respective vocations.
Cain who labored as a husbandman or a worker of soil produced the fruit of his labor. He was blessed in his vocation or ministry but when Cain tried to earn the Lord’s favor based on that vocation he was rejected.
Cain’s problem was that he thought his fruit came from his own effort. All that hard work he put in. All those hours of toil.
Cain was totally insulted because the Lord rejected his offering.
Cain obviously had good intentions. He wanted to please the Lord but according to the Lord, Cain’s offering was not acceptable. That is it was not considered to be valid, it was unsuitable.
This rejection of his offering caused Cain to go into a depression. That’s what it means to be downcast of soul. Really depressed. That depression ended up turning into jealousy towards his brother.
Why would Cain turn on his brother? Simply because he did not heed the advice God gave him when his offering was rejected.
God told Cain, that if he wanted to do well or what is right and acceptable, then he would be accepted. In other words Cain needed to do things God’s way not his way.
Cain ignored God’s advise we know because he saw that Abel was accepted by the Lord and he was jealous. What happens when a person is accepted by God? They are blessed.
To be accepted is to have favor. Be lifted up in a position of opportunity. To have a good reputation among others. Having worth or value.
Cain refused to do what was right. He refused to humble himself and get a sheep from his brother to present as an offering to the Lord.
That would require admitting failure. Admitting that he wasn’t such a hot shot. It would be like coming to terms with the fact that maybe his younger brother had more revelation in spiritual matters than he did.
God warned Cain. He said that “if you refuse to do well (yâţab) or what is right, what is acceptable then sin or offense lies or crouches like an animal at your door.
Sin is looking to gain entrance, or place in your life.
If you don’t make it right Cain and do what is acceptable then the devil is going to come a knocking!
Many times we think that God is going to respect us because we are hard workers in his vineyard. So we offer up all our labor hoping for his approval. Just like Cain did.
Then the brother who is a wet behind the ears Christian comes along and lays down his love offering. He just simply relies on grace. Doesn’t do a thing but sit at the cross! Blessings coming out of his ears!
If we try to gain favour with God by our works then sin is crouching at our door! Waiting to spring on us at a weak moment.
We need to do what is right. That is go to the cross and rely on the lamb of God whose offering makes us acceptable. The Lord’s favor is bestowed on those who trust in his way of doing things not our own way.
God tells us to rule over the sin that is crouching at our door. Don’t let it have any place!
Stick the pride back in our pocket where it belongs and count it all loss for Christ!
Who cares how many hours we have labored in the vineyard. The guy who just gets saved and works for one hour in the vineyard is going to get the same reward anyway! (Matthew 20)
Might as well just join him and sit at the cross because that is what makes us perfectly acceptable in the beloved anyway!
Our labor in the Lord is not in vain. It always produces fruit if we belong to God but our works should never supersede the sacrifice of God’s Son Jesus Christ.
That was the problem with Cain’s offering. Works in the vineyard no matter how noble will not make us acceptable to God.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8,9
Dead religion comes in many forms. Not just in traditional Christian frameworks but in modern Christian frameworks.
Having a form is to have a physical shape expressing itself through appearance or manifesting an outer exterior.
To appear physically in a religious form gives the impression of holiness but it is only a form or outer exterior.
The religious form in order to appear to be godly or holy may mimic types of godly behavior but in actuality denies or refuses to admit the truth or existence of the power ( dumanis) of the Holy Spirit. That is denies the miraculous power, strength and might of the Holy Spirit for that godly behavior.
If the dumanis is not operating in our framework we need to examine ourselves to see if we are really in the faith or espousing to a dead religious form.
Scriptures tell us about having a form of godliness but denying the power (Dumanis is the Greek translation)
2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
In order to under stand what is being denied in some religious frameworks we need to look at the concept of power or dumanis in the Bible.
Matthew 6:13 Says that belonging to God is the kingdom, the power or dumanis and the glory.
Luke 24:49 Jesus said to his disciples to tarry until they received power or dumanis from on high.
God’s power was poured out on his church in Acts Chapter 2 after Jesus was risen from the dead. The disciples recieved that power and all after them who recieve that power are made witnesses for Jesus Christ in this world.
God gave his church dumanis power to spread the gospel into all the world. Did the apostles fulfill that great commission? No they began that great commission.
Holy Spirit power is still needed today to complete the great commission. Having the power of God in one’s life is the evidence of true salvation.
God’s dumanis power denied is actually having a form of godliness. That means a religious expression devoid of the miraculous demonstrational power of the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit power is demonstrated through the miraculous. Divinely inspired preaching and teaching. (Both written and oral)
Divinely empowered evangelism. Holy Spirit miraculous saving of souls.
Divinely empowered healing and prophetic revelation.
Holy Spirit power must be acknowledged in all that the Christian does in order to be effective disciples of Jesus Christ.
Denying Holy Spirit’s power to perform in our lives and ministries will leave us with only a religious form that is dead and void of dumanis power.
Won’t you tarry to recieve Holy Spirit power each day in all that you do for Jesus?
With Holy Spirit power in your life you will be able to do mighty exploits in the kingdom of God!
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8
Psalm 18 reveals how David received deliverance from the enemy.
Let’s examine this Psalm because there are some key points for us to learn about spiritual warfare.
In the beginning of the Psalm David begins by proclaiming his love for the Lord and acknowledging that it is the Lord who is his strength.
I will love thee, O Lord, my strength.
In Ephesians chapter 6 Paul shows us that before we put on our armor we need to be standing from a position of the Lord’s strength.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
David does this by reminding himself of the greatness of his God.
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
David stands on God’s word in faith. The Lord who saved him from the lion, the bear and the giant is able to deliver him from this attack.
When we remind ourselves of how the Lord delivered us from past battles our faith rises. Remember when God came through last time? Remember that tough situation I was in? Jesus never let me down! He will deliver me now because I set my love upon him and he will take care of me!
By faith David sees himself surrounded by a fortress of God’s power and himself sitting up high above his enemies with God as his high tower.
He sees the Lord as his buckler warding off the enemy’s attacks. The Lord is his victory and Savior. A very present help in times of trouble.
David is now in a position of faith by acknowledging that the Lord is his strength. He delivered me before and he will do it again ! Then clothed in the full armor of God David calls upon the Lord to enter into the battle with him.
We can see that David is in a battle. He is being attacked by his enemies and he is in distress. (Extreme pain, sorrow and anguish)
So what does he do? David sees his deliverance taking place by faith. He knows that his prayers are being heard!
He sees the Lord like a mighty warrior coming to rescue him!
David knows that he is secure in the Lord even though the battle rages around him.
By faith David sees the Lord fighting for him in the heavenlies. He sees the Lord sending his angels to battle the powers of darkness on his behalf.
The Lord enters into David’s battle and by his power brings light into the darkness.
From heaven the Lord gives command and scatters the enemy with his arrows of justice!
The Lord brings deliverance because of his love and mercy towards David.
He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay.
David declares his victory! You have delivered me in the day of trouble Lord! You gave me your strength to make it through this battle!
For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me!
Notice that David reveals how the enemy came upon him to attack him. In the day of his calamity. A moment of weakness. A time when he took his eyes off the Lord! That is when the enemy attacked.
Satan like a roaring lion seeks to devour. (1 Peter 5:8) He knows our weakness but we know the strength of our God!
David knew the Lord’s faithfulness and in the time of trial the Lord would be his stay. The Lord would not let him down!
When we are in the Lord’s righteousness and our hearts are made right with him we can rejoice and praise God for his faithfulness to us too!
For who is God save the Lord? or who is a rock save our God?
Then after the trial was over David was set back up again and blessed even more. He was given more wisdom concerning spiritual warfare. David’s understanding was now enlightened.
David tells us that the Lord teaches his hands to war. He strengthens him for the battle. One more battle won means another victory in Jesus! The Lord will show us how to do spiritual warfare for each battle we face in life.
David’s faith then grew even more after the battle. With my God I can run through a whole troop of the wicked. I can jump right over any wall of hindrance!
God’s word will perfectly be fulfilled when put to the test! Our God is an awesome God!
David then shares his testimony with us.
My God delivered me and strenthened me in the day of trouble!
The Lord has set me above my enemies ! I am seated with Christ in heavenly places! That is my position of strength! (Ephesians 2:6)
The Lord has given me the ability to get through those rough places by his mighty power!
David then in a position of renewed faith attacks his enemies. He prays against the evil one’s plans and schemes! He routes them out and commands them to flee. He stomps on the head of the serpent and crushes his stronghold!
David knows that God’s authority is greater than the evil one and his henchmen.
Then David subdues his enemy. He binds them up in fetters. Their power in now broken. David is in the Lord his head and all his enemies are the tail. They are defeated completely!
David then praises the Lord for his goodness and rejoices in the God of his salvation. The enemy is now under his feet.
When we make the Lord our strong tower and fortress of defense like David the Lord will train our hands for war and strengthen us for battle. He is faithful to his word and will always give us the victory as we put our trust in him !
I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
Are you in a battle today? Remember that the battle you face belongs to the Lord. Call on him to save you. Ask Jesus to gird you with his strength and fill you will his mighty power to overcome!
The Lord will not fail you! Look how he has brought you to victory so far!
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages.
David walked wise before the Lord and he was blessed with God’s favor.
And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the Lord was with him.Wherefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them. 1 Samuel 18:14-23
That was until David fell into temptation.
And it came to pass in an evening, that David arose from off his bed, and walked on the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look on. 2 Samuel 11:2
What happened to cause this change? Lets take a look at what it means to walk wisely with the Lord.
Wisely in Hebrew is ώâkal and it means to make or act circumspectly with intelligence, prudence and understanding, skillfully, considerately and self controlled.
What triggered David to sin and fall away from the Lord? What caused him to behave so foolishly?
Was it really his lust for Bathsheba or was it something even deeper?
The manifestation of our sin is only a symptom of a deeper heart problem that we have. So we need to take a closer look at our heart. Lets look at David’s sin a little deeper.
When David had all the women he could ever ask for why did he want this one? Being beautiful is not really why David was tempted. He was surrounded with beautiful women. He could have any virgin in the land and even in another land.
Was David’s sin really a pride issue? After all why should a Hittite have something that he didn’t? That guy is only a Hittite not a King like me! He doesn’t deserve a beautiful woman like that! I’m the king of Israel for goodness sake! That woman ought to be mine!
Wasn’t there someone else who said that?
Blinded by his gifting. Wanting more than he was given? Jealous because a mere mortal was given stewardship over the garden of God? Wanting to change the order of things? Who was God to tell him that he didn’t deserve a higher place?
I will ascend up high! I will walk on the mountain of God! I’m just as gifted as that guy! Why look at how beautiful I am?
Yes, I’m inclined to think that it was really pride that caused David to fall.
Pride comes in many forms but if there is one thing that will make us fall flat on our backsides its self exaltation.
Thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think! (Romans 12:3, Proverbs 3:7)
Envy is the rottenness of the bones. It will eat away at the heart like a cancer. (Proverbs 14:30)
Godliness with contentment is great gain the Bible tells us. (1 Timothy 6:6)
But I am so gifted! You might be inclined to say. I have a theology degree after all and not to mention a powerful anointing!
I deserve to be promoted! I worked hard to be where I’m at! Why should that guy have a higher position than me?
That’s just the point! Our gifts can blind us to our real position in the Kingdom of God. One of being a servant to the most high God!
Do you really think God needs us to get his work done? Do we see our importance as being essential in the big scheme of things?
When David walked wisely before the Lord he was blessed. When he submitted to doing God’s work God’s way he prospered.
That’s where the blessing lies! Being small in our own eyes and great in faith towards the one who deserves all the glory and the honor! Pride will always lead to a fall! (Proverbs 16:18)
Pride is the root of discontentment. Not being joyful in where we are at!
Sometimes it takes a fall like David had to make us see our foolishness. God is gracious however because when we recognize our sin and confess our pride to him, he will restore us. (1 John 1:9)
The Lord restored David and he wants to restore us too.
Then like David we can be content and say. “The Lord is my portion says my soul and my cup.” Psalms 16:5
Be content and walk wise before the Lord then you will be blessed in all you do!