“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand…Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the devil” (Ephesians 6:13, 16).
The Apostle Paul tells us to put on the full armor of God so that we can be strong in the Lord and his mighty power to stand firm against the devil’s schemes:
- Put on the helmet of salvation to protect your mind
- Put on the breastplate of righteousness to protect your heart
- Put on the belt of truth to protect your character
- Put on the shoes of the gospel so that you are ready in season and out to proclaim the gospel of peace
- Take up the shield of faith to extinguish the fiery arrows of the devil
Imagine yourself out in the open in the middle of the battle field. And when you look out to the horizon, you see a legion of Roman soldiers approaching your ranks in such a formation.
If you were on the opposing end of a legion of Roman soldiers, it would be a dreadful sight. The Romans conquered the known world through such tactics.
Notice that the shield of faith is most effective when it’s used in tandem with others. In isolation, it’s helpful but not nearly as formidable. It’s in partnership with others that the shield is most effective.
While we come to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior as individuals, Christians are not meant to live solitarily. As soon as one receives Jesus as Lord and Savior, they become a part of God’s family, God’s body, the church. On our own, we are more vulnerable to the attack of the enemy. Together, we become a formidable force against the schemes of the devil.
You were never meant to live out your Christian life in isolation. You belong in the church. It is impossible to be a Christian and not be a part of the body of Christ.
There are several ways you belong to the church:
- Corporate worship. Worship is meant to be celebrated as a community. With Covid, the situation is more fluid, but even if you cannot show up in person for worship, it is good and right to worship with others at the appointed time. We have made this as easy as possible for you to join in worship online. Make it a non-negotiable item that you set aside time to worship God.
- Small groups. You learn to practice faith, love, patience, service, hope, joy, etc., in community with others. The best tool to help you grow deeper in relationship with God and with others is in small groups. We offer multiple small groups throughout the year. If you want to grow in faith, one of the best tools for that is small groups. Sign up today for one of the small groups if you haven’t done so. You can sign up by calling the church office.
- Service to God by serving others. Growing in Christ is for the purpose of increasing our capacity to serve God by serving others. Find an outlet to serve and volunteer. Call the office, one of the pastors, or your small group leader to talk about different ways you can serve.
God’s greatest weapon against the schemes of the devil is the church of Jesus Christ. Got it?
So take it up. Take up the shield of faith.