Thought for the Week - 28th JunePastor Gareth Watkins
EPHESIANS 6: 16
Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
We heard a testimony on Saturday that was described as ‘a life that nearly didn’t make it.’ I think that would describe most of us. There are times in the spiritual when we feel as though we won’t make it. We can look back and see just how close we were to our spiritual death. We wrestle against ourselves, we wrestle against the principalities of darkness, and we have an enemy who seeks to steal and destroy. Without Christ we are not strong enough to fight, but in Him the enemy cannot and will not prevail.
The strength of Christ is the rod of iron imparted to us. His rod will stand us firm, and as we put on the whole armour of God, no wile or deception of the enemy will unroot us. If we are going on with Christ, then we will be a target. The darts of the enemy come disguised in many forms, and at times they come relentlessly whilst still subtle enough to penetrate the unarmoured Christian.
The great men and women of God, biblical and since, were lives who knew the tactics of the enemy well. They came under terrible attack, but they knew the protection of God and how to use the tools given to them for spiritual battle. It took time and growth of faith for them to become well versed in the spiritual battlefield, and so too does it take time for us to learn to be obedient and exercise our faith amid the storm.
One of the most subtle and corrosive age-old darts is doubt. This tactic goes back as far as Eve, the seed was planted ‘’Has God indeed said? …’’ We know what followed. If allowed, a seed of doubt can breed all manner of toxicity as it seeps into us. It causes confusion, division, affects our actions, and leads us into sin and away from God.
When we stop listening to the lies whispered by the adversary, and succumbing to the fiery darts thrown against us, we will be able to come further into the deeps of unmovable communion and receive of God’s hand in far greater measure. There must come a time when we say ‘enough!’. When we put on the armour of God, raise the shield of faith, and choose to stand firm in Christ no matter what comes against us. When we do this knowing that we are wholly reliant on Christ, we will not fail. Christ never fails us.