[Take] up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
We sing a hymn by John H. Sammis that goes like this: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” That is a real sweet thought, but it is terribly misleading. The fact is, obedience to God does result in ultimate joy, but it does not always produce instant happiness. Many times, obeying God is followed by fear that can only be remedied through faith.
We see that in Abraham’s life. He conquered King Chedorlaomer, and he recovered all the wealth the king had taken from the Jordan Valley. But he knew if he kept that wealth, then God would not get the credit. So Abraham did the right thing and gave it all up. Abraham went away happy for a little while, but then a severe case of believer’s remorse began to set in. We see in Genesis 15:1 that he began to second-guess his decision to obey God: “After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, ‘Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you.”
What did Abraham fear? He started to think, “What if Chedorlaomer regroups and comes to attack me?” Let me tell you something: the moment you begin to engage with Satan in the “what if” game, you lose. Because when Satan can get you to play that game, it absolutely stops you in your tracks. Have you ever been in the middle of praying or reading the Bible when out of nowhere you think, “What if this happens? What if my mate leaves me? What if the doctor’s report comes back bad? What if I lose my job?” What effect does that have on you? You become paralyzed by that fear.
What is the antidote to the what ifs in life? God gave Abraham the answer: “I am a shield to you.” God was saying, “Abraham, nothing is going to come into your life that I have not allowed for some great and glorious purpose.” God has placed a hedge of protection around you if you are His child. Nothing is going to happen to you that is not according to God’s plan for your life.
Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:16, “[Take] up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” When Satan starts to shoot arrows of fear into your life, the only antidote is faith that God is your shield. You can claim God’s promise that He will not allow any adverse person or any adverse circumstance into your life that is not according to His perfect, wise, and loving will.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Battling Believer’s Remorse” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org