Spiritual Armor: The Shield of Faith
The last three years have carried with them a greater demand of faith than was previously required in my life and ministry. In early 2016 we made the faith decision to cancel our discipleship schools for the foreseeable future. This decision meant radical financial changes for our ministry (i.e., Multiple staff were cut and my own income was significantly reduced). But we made these changes with a strong sense from God that this sacrifice was absolutely necessary in order to discern accurately the next steps we were to take as a ministry.
Sometimes you need to stop everything in order to hear a clear word from God.
Those next steps eventuated in a cross-country move to Franklin, TN, where we have just completed our first 18 months of ministry in a new iteration of our mission. The decisions made in early 2016 not only marked a new season of fresh vision and change, but also one of greater need for faith and trust in the Lord. Change always requires an upgrade in trust; and upgrade opportunities are often disguised by dynamic pressures. Beware, the evil one seeks to use pressure to drive us from the presence of God (and into forms of independence); but it's a way of God to use pressure to drive us into His presence.
The greater the pressure, the greater the opportunity for either bondage or breakthrough. How we respond to pressure determines in what manner we will benefit from the season we are in. We must choose wisely.
If you have followed Christ into a new faith venture, you understand the pressures that come with change and taking new ground. Taking new territory will test your heart, your faith and your character in ways that preserving old territory simply does not and cannot. This testing can require the full use of the spiritual practices you’ve learned to date. Without a continual focus of tending your heart, your thought life will be assaulted by the flames of Satan’s accusations against God’s goodness, faithfulness and trustworthy leadership--and your mission will be compromised. It is vital you make a practice of taking up the shield of faith—the weapon God has given you to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one (Ephesians 6:16).
In the below video I share 3 spiritual practices I have continually engaged for cultivating faith for spiritual battle. If these practices seem simple, it’s because they are—remember, God often chooses what is foolish and simple to shame the wise and the strong (1 Cor. 1:27).
3 Practices for Cultivating Faith for Spiritual Battle
Practice Rememberance & Thanksgiving.
Practice Hearing the Word of Christ.
Practice Praying in the Spirit.