Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one (Ephesians 6:16).
It’s the shield of faith that overcomes all the challenges that the enemy throws at you. We need to remind ourselves regularly that we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, or that we’re in a physical fight, but against the dark hosts of Satan. He has a legal right to rule over the unsaved and will also assert his influence over believers who don’t know and act on the Word. Jesus has given us authority over them!
Satan and his minions have the ability to put a thought in your mind and place a feeling on your body. But he can’t touch you if make a decision to live by the Word! When thoughts come that disagree with the Word, refuse to think them. When feelings come that disagree with the Word, don’t live by them. Our authority over Satan and his emissaries comes by walking by faith in the Word of God.
When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus responded over and over again with it is written. And that’s the way we’re to deal with the devil today.
When thoughts of doubt and fear come, respond with it is written. When feelings of sickness attack, respond with it is written. When circumstances seem unrelenting and defeat seems inevitable, respond with it is written!
Many years ago I started a church in a small quaint South Carolina town of about six thousand people. I had just moved there from Oklahoma, and the town I moved from had five hundred thousand people! The church where I worked in Oklahoma had over five thousand people in it. I said all of this to show the contrasting lifestyle I encountered as a thirty year old man moving to a small city.
In addition, Susan and I had two small children, and she had child number three a few months after we moved to this small town. I was overwhelmed mentally and emotionally with all this change. And I’ve not even mentioned the rigors of starting a church from ground zero!
Satan plotted my downfall with foreboding thoughts of failure and gloom; feelings of inadequacy and pessimism. Each day seemed to bring a dark cloud of trouble and unsolvable problems. To add insult to injury, I had also bought a “fixer upper” house, and we moved in before it was all “fixed up!” I was surrounded by need and problems at the new church I had started, and at home with the “fixer upper” where I had moved my little family. There seemed to be no escape from my problems.
Thoughts bombarded my mind. Thoughts of financial failure, ministry failure, marriage failure, failure to be an adequate parent to my three children. Thoughts and feelings of utter misery with my plight of life seemed to roll over me like waves from the incoming ocean tide.
One day, with thoughts racing through my mind that ending my life would be easier than living, the Lord spoke to me. He told me to get up and go outside with my Bible in hand. There in my backyard, the Lord showed me that He had never left me, that He was with me in the middle of my problems, and that I would make it through all this mess I felt I was in.
I began to speak out loud the words I read from the Bible. I confessed that I would make it, that God was my very present help; that the church would be successful; that God would meet every financial need; that we would finish “fixing up” the house; that Susan and I would plow through this mess I was in. It was hard, but I made myself speak God’s word out loud.
Little by little the gloomy thoughts lessened. When they came, I would say out loud that what God said about me was true. I would say in all these things I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37). I would say God is my refuge and fortress, a very present help in time of trouble (Psalm 46:1). I would say that many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all (Psalm 34:19). Faith from God’s word little by little filled me with confidence that He would bring me through my ordeal, and life would work out in my favor. And it did!
I sometimes think about that hard place even now, and it encourages me when I remember how the Lord was so faithful to lift me up and lift me out of what seemed like an impossible circumstance.
You may be in a really tough place right now. Remember that the victory that overcomes the world is our faith. And faith is acting on and speaking the Word of God in the face of negative circumstances. Act on God’s Word in every area of life today. Refuse to dwell on the negative thoughts that come. Act on God’s Word in spite of feelings that tell you you’re not going to make it. Greater is He who is in you than He who is in the world! Remember that all things are possible with God, and all things are possible to him who believes! You’ll come out on top!