During World War II, most people would hide out in shelters during bombings. And who could blame them? I mean, would you like to wake up to a bomb falling on your head? “Ouch! Who did that?” In all actuality, you probably wouldn’t even be around to ask yourself that question!
The only problem with the shelters was that with everyone inside them, there would be no one left to watch over the neighbourhood. The Nazis often used incendiary bombs. Once they hit one rooftop in a block of homes, flames would quickly spread to surrounding rooftops, and before long, the entire block would be burned down. Just like that, all of your belongings would go up in smoke! Gone would be your favourite bed, leaving you to wonder where you would sleep! Gone would be your favourite books. Ouch! Gone are your CDs and computer software (Did they have those in the 1940s?)
Such devastation had to be avoided, and so young people volunteered to watch over the rooftops of the block homes. If one of those “suicidal” bombs hit a roof, these volunteers would spring into action. They were able to save many family homes from destruction this way, and they proved themselves to be true heroes.
The Word of God also urges us to “extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one”. How? “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” (Eph. 6:16 NIV)
It is interesting that faith is considered as a shield, a covering. When properly used, this shield will not only protect your hair, your head, your torso, but your entire body! Pretty cool, isn’t it?
But what is faith?
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Heb 11:1 NIV)
How can anyone of us have such faith?
Jesus points out that if we have even the tiniest amount of faith, we can move mountains: “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matt 17:20 NIV)
I tried that once when I was young. I firmly believed that I had enough faith to move a literal mountain. I tried for hours, but nothing happened. It seemed I didn’t even have “faith as small as a mustard seed”! Woe to me as Scriptures clearly tell me: “According to your faith will it be done to you.” (Matt 9:29 NIV)
Then I discovered that whenever I am weak, that’s when I can be strong: “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor 12:10 NIV); and I realized that this applies to having faith as well.
I went through a period of my life when I didn’t sleep. Although it went on for months on end, the worst of it lasted for five months. I was walking around with tooth picks in my eyes, yet even if I laid down and closed my eyes, I couldn’t sleep.
Believe me, sleep deprived people are far from courteous or polite! I was concerned that this kind of attitude would stick up its ugly head in my classroom. I learned, however, that if I depended 100% on the Lord, I would remain surprisingly calm, even in heated situations. Throughout the entire time, I never once raised my voice at school. A miracle, believe me! I can certainly vouch for the fact that when I am at my weakest, that’s when I can be the strongest! In fact, the more we depend on God, the more we will realize that we “can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Phil 4:13 NIV)
The same is true with faith! Although we are each allotted an element of faith (See Rom 12:3), our faith is weak at best. How overabundant and incomparable is God’s faith! This is why the solution to our faith problem is to depend on God’s faith! Once we do that, we can expect miracles!
The Apostle Paul knew this truth. Notice whose faith he depended on: “Peace to the brothers, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph 6:23 NIV). Faith comes FROM God! In other words, it isn’t faith IN God that provides us the shield against the flaming arrows of the enemy, it is faith FROM God!
One more interesting fact about faith: Faith isn’t a concept, it is a person! Jesus Christ! “Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.” (Gal 3:23-25 NIV)
So to summarize, the faith we need is readily available through Jesus Christ and can be easily accessed by depending on Him! And the best part is, it really works to effectively protect us from the fiery incendiary bombs thrown our way by the devil!
Do you have that kind of faith?
No, but Jesus sure does and He makes it available to anyone!
P. S. Do you have a fire extinguisher by any chance? Can I borrow it please? It’s getting pretty hot around here and I sure do need one!
But that’s another devotional!
(To access the entire “When Temptation Looms” devotional series, please click here.)