Faithlife Sermons

The Power of Faith

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Ephesians 6:16 ESV
In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;

Bryan Koch was a young man living the American Dream.
What battle are you facing in your life?
In fact, the world was not prepared to wage battle against Hitler.
France and many other nations of northern Europe would soon fall.
Talented in sports, he rose to become a professional baseball player with the Chicago White Sox organization.
His dream abruptly ended when he was hit in the face by a 90 mph baseball—in which he lost sight in one eye.
It was indeed a dark hour.
But God had another plan—he called him into full-time ministry.
His ministry was successful—the church grew—people were saved—missionaries were sent—he again rose to the top—a very much sought after speaker.
In the summer of 2015, he would face his greatest challenge in life—when Bryan and his wife Lynn (who herself just received her ordination in ministry) were hit by a drunk driver while riding their motorcycle. When he woke up from a drug induced coma, he faced a new reality—his wife of twenty-eight years had died and his left leg was amputated.
Instead of giving up, his passion for Christ and for people intensified. His view of life’s challenges is this: “If God brings you to it, God will bring you through it.”
Throughout human history—ever since Adam and Eve rejected God’s plan for their lives—life has been difficult. The same enemy (Satan) who deceived them, continues to throw everything at humanity: pain, suffering, poverty, disappointment, discouragement, hate, bitterness, unbelief, selfishness, and fear.
This is war! The battlefield is littered with broken and defeated people—and an enemy that in the words of Jesus is described as a “thief who comes to steal and kill and destroy.”
The Apostle Paul referred to the spiritual war that is an ever present reality as “this present darkness.”
But God, in His grace and mercy, will not leave His children defenseless.
Ephesians 6:10 ESV
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
His might! This is a imperative (a command) for believers to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
This Lord—not my ability, not my intellect or gifts.
I am called to be strong in the Lord.
It is through my relationship with God that I draw my strength to face whatever the enemy throws at me.
It is God’s might (power, authority) that will defeat the enemy.
The question is: Do I believe this? And, do I act upon this belief?
No matter what, we will face “the schemes of the devil.” We will wrestle...against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
Now again I say to you, the believer in Christ: “Do you believe this? And, do you act upon this?
In verse 16 of , Paul takes us to the next level of spiritual warfare:
Ephesians 6:16 ESV
In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;

All Circumstances...

There are some things we need to be aware of or doing at all times.
Here is the problem. Life happens. We get distracted. We get busy. We get overwhelmed.
And in doing so, we forget the essentials for living as a believer in Jesus Christ.
One of three things will happen as we face the realities and challenges of life:
We run and hide—and in doing so, we allow ourselves to be motivated by fear.
We compromise and align with the world. We think that this will make life easier—and we convince ourselves that God Word is not to be taken seriously.
We stand on the truth of God and live obeying that truth.
For the believer in Christ, we must stand on the truth of God. We must act on that truth. And, we must act on this truth consistently and constantly. Because, we face something that is serious and potentially destructive.
So what does the believer face in this spiritual war?

Fiery Arrows of the Devil

In Paul’s day, arrows, dipped in some inflammable substance and ignited, were shot at the enemy. It was deadly the soldier and destructive to equipment and surrounding vegetation.
Satan shoots “fiery arrows” at our hearts and minds: lies, blasphemous thoughts, hateful thoughts about others, doubts, and burning desires for sin.
If we do not quench these arrows, they will light a fire within and we will disobey God.
So, what are we to do?

Take up the Shield of Faith...

Take up means that we have a part to play in this spiritual war. We need to act in obedience—as a soldier under command.
The shield Paul has in mind is the one that is the size and shape similar to a door.
It is made with three layers of wood sheets, pressed together, and wrapped with multiple layers of leather.
It was about 4 feet tall and 2 and 1/2 feet wide. It was ment to cover the soldier and protect him from arrows and other projectiles thrown at him.
This shield of faith is a faith of alertness.
1 Peter 5:8 ESV
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
1 Peter
This shield of faith is a faith that trusts in the promises and the power of God.
Psalm 91:1–2 ESV
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
This is a faith that is layered with this promises and precepts of God’s Word.
Romans 10:17 ESV
17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Isaiah 40:8 ESV
8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.
Is 40:
This is a faith that is empowered by the Holy Spirit—giving confidence in this truth: God is able to deliver us.
There is something else about the imagery of the shield. The edges of these shields were so constructed that an entire line of soldiers could interlock shields and march into the enemy like a solid wall.
This suggests that we Christians are not in the battle alone!
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