Ephesians 6:16 “Above all, taking the shield of faith…”
As I read these words a couple days ago, the word “above all” jumped off the page at me. Above all means more important than anything else. It means it is priority.
Let’s think about this in the context of Ephesians 6:11-18
11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
So if I am understanding this correctly – God says we are to hold faith above truth, righteousness, the gospel, salvation, the word, and even prayer! Wow! That’s saying a LOT! He thinks faith is important!!!
Faith is all about trusting Him. Merriam-Webster defines faith like this:
- the act or state of wholeheartedly and steadfastly believing in the existence, power, and benevolence of a supreme being, of having confidence in his providential care, and of being loyal to his will as revealed or believed in : belief and trust in and loyalty to God
- firm or unquestioning belief in something for which there is no proof
- firm or unquestioning trust or confidence in the value, power, or efficacy of something
So if God holds it of such high importance, one should pause to reflect on why… I felt like He gave me some insight on that earlier today as I was interacting with a dear friend. This friend has been let down by the people around her a LOT. Because of that pattern she is constantly waiting for me to desert her or let her down. As I tried earnestly to convince her that I had no plans of following that pattern – I realized we are often the same with God.
Because countless people have let us down, we sit waiting for Him to do the same and He’s like “Come on… I love you! I sent my son to die for you I loved you so much. Trust me… have faith… don’t believe every lie the enemy is trying to convince you of!” You see without faith, we can’t stand (like verse 13 says).
I feel like He’s encouraging us – “Come on, get past this trust issue – it’s a basic – a fundamental. There’s so much more to do, but it is the foundation of everything!” Think about it – without faith can you actually have the helmet of salvation? And without salvation can you have righteousness? What good is pray prayed without faith? This feels like an extension of understanding His unfailing love – we just need to believe. I don’t say that to be flip – I know full well how difficult it may seem, but we have to succeed at this to get to any of what’s next! All this is the Substance of Faith.
So I want to pause to testify of His faithfulness.
It’s been a tough week on a number of fronts. I have been feeling dry. This morning I simply reached a point where I needed a drink of the Holy Spirit right then!
Allen had turned on the vacuum. I had paused and said out loud under the drone of the vacuum “God, I need a drink” – I could tell I was getting close to empty. I threw my head back and opened my mouth waiting for Him for a moment and then stopped, shook my head at my “foolishness” and sat down.
Allen turned off the vacuum and the phone rang immediately. It was Laura calling from Africa (which she RARELY gets to do). As it turned out she had tried two times just moments earlier, but got a busy signal which there was no earthly reason for but if the calls had gone through I would have missed them because of the vacuum 🙂 He is so good!
She was calling to encourage me. Share a scarf story. Help me to understand that my hands made a difference halfway around the world. Wow. I literally got on my face after we hung up and sobbed uncontrollably because of the love of Jesus in that moment through my precious friend who was showing up for a divine appointment she didn’t know she had. I’m tearing up just retyping… He is so faithful. As we walk with Him and trust Him completely He really does everything He promises.
Thank You Lord. Lord, I will put faith “above all” – I’ll make it a priority to work to be like Abraham – a person of strong faith – to be pleasing to You. Thank You for making it clear what You want from us. Thank You for guiding us. Thank You for supporting us.
You are GOOD God!