When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
Written by: Kyle Stanforth
We’ve all seen it in those movies like “Gladiator.” Troops are just outside of arrow range of some wall or castle. When the commander yells something like “Turtle formation!” Immediately, the soldiers along the outside put their shields in front of themselves, the soldiers in the middle place theirs above their heads, and the soldiers just inside the edge connect the two. From the view of the archer, it looks like a turtle. One large domed shield.
Then the commander yells, “March!” Then, slowly and together they approach the enemy. If any of them dropped their shield, it could put the whole unit at risk. If someone did lower their shield, without a doubt, one of the soldiers would say (in his best ninja turtle voice) “Shields up bro!”
The selected passage tells how Israel went out to battle together as an army. Unlike some of the other weapons that we’ve been studying, the shield of faith can be used in unison with others around us. I have my “peeps” that will ask me hard questions sometimes. If I am tired or off track, I will hear the equivalent of “Shields up bro!” The enemy hates when we walk in faith together and wants us to believe that we are alone.
We all must have strong shields of faith and march at the direction and speed of our commander, God. We also should look for battle buddies so we can lock arms and encourage each other for the times when our faith is weak or tired.
Thought of the day: Do you have Godly men or women that you can share your faith walk with? A small group is a great place for this. Authentic friendships centered around God’s word is what small groups are all about. Jesus said, “In this world you will have problems, but take heart I have overcome the world!” I read this as, there will be battles, but God has already won the war. On those days when your faith is tested, remember that Jesus has overcome the world, and then be real with your battle buddy about your struggle.
Prayer: My Father and my God, thank You for Your grace. While you said that in this world I will have troubles, you also said that you have overcome the world. On my days when my faith is challenged, strengthen me to raise my shield of faith and remember Your promises. Please put Godly people in my path that I can encourage and be encouraged by. Help me remember that the war has been won! I lift this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.