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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

   Morning Thoughts by Elder Philip Conley

Ephesians 6:16, "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."

This morning, people wonder what the most important thing in this world is. This verse gives perhaps the best response to that query. This piece of armour is listed "above all." Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work is a great gift to utilize. Many of the Lord's people are not strong enough in the faith to be able to rest in Jesus Christ. Their decision to rest does not change their destination and home in heaven one iota, but their happiness and joy in this world is greatly dampened by not taking a firm grip on faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. It is a great challenge against this old flesh to be able to follow what we see not.  Christ told Thomas that it was a blessing to "not see and still believe."

The shield is of utmost importance to the armour of the child of God. The shield is something that a soldier can use when all around him seems to be in disarray.  Many times, a soldier has no cover to keep him from the arrows of the enemy, but the shield in his hand can support, cover, and protect him even in an open area. In the field of life, there is no safety or covering. One thing to remember about this
shield is that it is not small (as some kingdoms gave their soldiers). This shield is big enough for the soldier to crouch behind and keep his whole body safe. That is why the Apostle Paul lists this "above all." With the shield of faith firmly in hand, no dart can reach.  

Now, one might ask, "Then how does the faith get overturned in some?" The answer is that having the shield of faith and wielding the shield of faith are two different things. Simply having the faith (that comes in regeneration) will not keep us from being discouraged in this world. But, lifting it high, that is where the comfort and safety comes.  Visually, think of a soldier that does not have his shield in front of him. If he gets hit by an arrow, the shield may be dropped, the body injured, and the usage null. The faith is never eternally lost, but the usage is not there. Now, what is the spiritual application?  

Faith, we are told, is a gift of God. Faith is something that is inherent to the new man of the child of grace. Therefore, that faith is ever looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of it.  Christ bestows the gift, and He will finish it on that glorious morning when time shall be no more. Faith and hope are not as great as charity, for there will come a time when they are unnecessary. All that will continue on throughout eternity is abounding love without ceasing. Therefore, the gift has been bestowed, and let us ever use it to the glory of God and safety of our person.  

One thing to consider about a gift is that it is our possession the moment it is bestowed. But, the benefit only comes when the gift is utilized. A gift or present does not do much for us just sitting in a box. So, let us ever walk by faith and not by sight pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ.  Notice finally that this shield quenches all the fiery darts of the wicked. It did not say that it would quench some or most. It will quench all. John said that our faith overcomes the world. Eternally, there is nothing that can touch us, and let us live lives by faith that we can say (even when trouble comes), "The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord."

In Hope,

Bro Philip