The Shield of Faith
Being a Christian is not a walk in the park. We are constantly faced with challenges and trials during our lives. Because as long as we are following Jesus and serving Him, Satan will try his best to distract us from God so that we instead would follow his path of destruction. In Ephesians 6, we are instructed to put on the armor of God in order to defend ourselves against Satan’s tactics.
“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one.” -Ephesians 6:16 (NIV)
The pastor at my church recently gave a sermon on some of the ways that the enemy tries to distract us with. He gave us points on how the enemy attacks us so that we would be able to identify them and avoid them. After reading over the notes that I took on the message, I saw that these tactics were exactly how the devil was trying to attack me by getting me to focus on my problems instead of focusing on my relationship with Jesus.
The “6 D’s” that the enemy uses to draw us away from God are:
Satan uses doubt against us in order to get us to question everything that we do. We wonder if God is really telling us something or if He truly commanded us to live in a certain way. We see this in Genesis 3:1 when the serpent tempted Eve by making her think it was okay to eat off of the tree that God instructed them not eat off of. We all know how this story turned out. It is in such a way that the enemy can take us off track from God's path and onto the path of destruction.
Satan also sometimes gets us into thinking that we cannot do any better. If we mess up, it’s the end of the world. If we sin, God could not possibly love us anymore. He makes us think that we are worth nothing to God, which is completely the opposite of what God tells us.
“But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8
Even when we wanted nothing to do with God, He still loved us and sent His son to die for our sins. We should never be discouraged, because He will be with us always.
When the enemy uses the delay tactic, he makes us think that God or Christianity is not for us because God may not be doing something right when we need it. It may be that a prayer wasn’t answered right away. Or, someone wasn’t healed that we were really hoping they would be. Delay is not denial. God will not deny us, because we are his children. He loves us too much to forget about us.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” -2 Peter 3:9
God will always do what He promises, even if it’s not on our timing. Everything will work out according to His purpose.
Satan also tends to throw difficulties towards us to make us think that our life is too hard. He can even make it seem like being a Christian is too hard.
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” -2 Corinthians 4:17
There was a skills-based music class that I had my first semester of college that was insanely hard for me. I prayed to Jesus every day to let me at least pass this class because it was just too difficult for me. I worked to improve my skills in the class. I prayed and prayed. I ended up with a B- in the class! God does not give up on us. He gives us the strength to get through whatever we are facing. We must only keep our eyes fixed on the goal ahead.
Depression is much like discouragement. Satan can make us depressed by telling us that everything that we do isn’t worth it. And when you heart that, you don’t want to even try to make an effort. But, we are reminded in Galatians 6:9 that we must "not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Therefore, do not give up on what God has told you to do. It is all going to be worth it.
Finally, distractions are Satan's most common tactic to force us put other priorities before God. 2 Corinthians 4:18 tells us to "fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” We cannot idolize other things or put other things before God. If we do, then we become distracted by the things of the world.
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 3:14
We must always remember what God has called us to do so that we are not swayed by Satan's tactics. Fight back, dear sisters in Christ. Get out there and don’t let the enemy win! We can do all things through Christ, for He gives us the strength through the shield of faith to resist whatever the enemy tries against us.