We studied the 'Armor of God' section of Ephesians last night and came up with some valuable insights about the function and purpose of the 'shield of faith'.
To understand the shield, we must first understand something about the nature of faith. We're all familiar with the statement, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible."(Heb 11:1-3) Said another way, it is faith which brings into existence that for which we hope.
To give a concrete example, consider healing. It is faith in the promises of God that makes healing a reality.
Just as the Bible exhorts us to faith, it forbids fear. Why?
Faith and fear are twins, both operate using the same spiritual mechanism. Faith operates on the promises of God, fear operates in the realm of the enemy, but both do the same thing - they bring their object into existence. The most famous example of this is in Job, "For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I dreaded has happened to me."(Job 3:25)
Armed with the above, let us now consider the shield of faith. A shield is designed to protect one from the blows of the adversary. If the shield is made of faith, what are the 'fiery darts' against which it is protective?
The answer must be 'fear'. In other words, the shield of faith is a specific defense against the fears that the enemy throws at us. Afraid of illness? Have faith in God's promises of health and healing. Afraid of poverty? Have faith in God's desire to prosper His servants. Afraid of dying? Have faith in His promise of eternal life.
For every fear that the enemy can throw at us, God has provided a promise that we can take up in faith. And that faith will quench the fiery dart.