Above all, taking the shield of faith,
wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
The shield of faith. What is that? What does faith look like in action and how can we use it? World War 2 concentration camp survivor Corrie ten Boom said, “Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible.” Mikhail Kulakov Sr. — a pastor in Soviet Russia — added in his book Though the Heavens Fall, “Faith is waiting to see what God will do.” But what does God say about faith?
“And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.”
Every day the people packed up their tents and followed the cloud. When it moved, they moved; when it stopped, they stopped. Sometimes it stopped overnight; other times it stopped for days or even weeks at a time! But they always followed it and God always guided and cared for them. The same is true for us. When it seems that God isn’t taking us anywhere, we need to remain calm and trust that He is in control of the situation.
One example of trusting God even when everything says not to is portrayed in the life of William Tyndale (1494-1536). At that time, students would study for years before they would be allowed to study the Bible itself. Mr. Tyndale wished to translate the New Testament into English for the common person; however, his ideas were rejected and he was forced to travel to Germany. In Worms, Germany, he finally succeeded in producing the first English translation of the Bible. Copies were smuggled back into England which were immediately denounced as heretical and publicly burned. After several years in hiding, William Tyndale was betrayed and handed over to the English authorities where he was tried and convicted of heresy. He was strangled and his body was burned at the stake.
James Hudson Taylor is another example of following God anywhere in faith. He was born in the United Kingdom in 1832 but left his home to become a missionary in the closed country of China in 1854. He lived in China for fifty-one years, preaching and distributing Bibles to the people, as well as founding China Inland Mission, which has since gone international and been renamed OMF International. Mr. Taylor was heard to say, “When I cannot read, when I cannot think, when I cannot even pray, I can trust.”
Faith is trusting God no matter what. It may be that He’s leading you down a path that you really don’t want to go on but trust Him anyway! He has an entirely different perspective and can see things much more clearly.
A father tucked in his two children one evening and then went to bed. In the middle of the night, he woke suddenly to find that his house was on fire! He rushed to the kids’ bedroom, grabbed the baby in his arms and pulled his young son up out of bed and down the hall. “Follow me!” he cried anxiously as he pushed through the smoke. On arriving outside, he looked around and discovered the heartbreaking truth that his son had not followed him but had instead returned to his room to get his prize teddy bear. There was no chance for re-entry. The panicked father ran around the side of the house to get to his son’s window. He could hear a little voice, “Daddy! Daddy!”
“I’m here, Son! I’m right underneath you!” he screamed back. Somehow, his son had gotten the window open and was sitting on the edge. “Son, jump! I’m right here, I’ll catch you!”
“Daddy, I can’t jump! I can’t see you!”
The father responded, “Son, you may not be able to see me, but I can see you. Now jump!”
The boy jumped, landing safely in his father’s arms.
How many times do we do that with God? “God, I can’t do that! I can’t see what will happen next and I can’t see You! What if I take this leap of faith and You’re not there?” But all the time God is saying, “Jump! Trust me! You may not be able to see where you’re jumping or even see Me, but I can see you! Have faith in me!”
Arming ourselves with the shield of faith means that we are prepared for battle. We’ve placed our trust in our Captain, believing that He will work all things out.