‘Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.’ Ephesians 6:16
Suggested Further Reading: 1 Peter 5:8–11
There is a sacred art in being able to handle the shield of faith. Let me explain to you how that can be. You will handle it well if you are able to quote the promises of God against the attacks of your enemy. The devil said ‘One day you shall be poor and starve.’ ‘No,’ said the believer, handling his shield well, ‘He has said “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee”; “bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure”.’ ‘Yes,’ said Satan, ‘but you will one day fall by the hand of the enemy.’ ‘No,’ said faith, ‘for I am persuaded “that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ”.’ ‘Yes,’ said Satan, ‘but the slander of the enemy will overturn you.’ ‘No,’ said faith, ‘Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.’ ‘Yes,’ said Satan, as he shot another arrow, ‘you are weak.’ ‘Yes,’ said faith, handling his shield, ‘but “my strength is made perfect in weakness”. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.’ ‘Yes,’ said Satan, ‘but your sin is great.’ ‘Yes,’ said faith, handling the promise, ‘but “he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him”.’ ‘But,’ said the enemy again, drawing his sword and making a tremendous thrust, ‘God has cast you off.’ ‘No,’ said faith, ‘“he hateth putting away”; “the Lord will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance”.’ ‘But I will have you, after all,’ said Satan. ‘No,’ said faith, dashing the bosses in the enemy’s jaws, ‘He has said, “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand”.’ This is what I call handling the shield.
For meditation: The faith that resists Satan (2 Peter 5:9) and overcomes the world (1 John 5:4) is not faith in faith, but faith in the truth and faithfulness of God (Psalm 91:4). Handling the shield will do us no good, unless we are also wearing God’s truth (Ephesians 6:14).
Sermon no. 416
27 October (1861)