Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Proverbs 31 Journey: Walk of Faith

Scripture meditation/memory verse: Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, LORD, my faithful God. ~ Ps. 31:5 (NIV)

We continue our journey...our quest to learning what the Proverbs 31 Woman is made of, how she lives, how she thinks, what she values. We have been looking at her in relationship to Ephesians 6: 11-17 for she is a warrior and she is noble. She may wear many hats, put on many different pieces of clothing each day but non
e is more important than the putting on of the armor of God. Refresh yourself with our key scripture from Ephesians in the Amplified version:

11Put on God's whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.

12For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.

13Therefore put on God's complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].

14Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God,

15And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace.

16Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked.

17And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.

18Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God's consecrated people).

This week, lets examine what if means to "take up the shield of faith". A shield used by warriors serve the purpose to protect the whole body. It is large and it blocks any thing that can penetrate the body causing harm and even death. Usually this shield is made out of a heavy metal or a tough leather. It has to be with the individual in order for it to work. If it is left in the closet or under the bed, this individual puts themself at risk for harm if an attack should occur.

The shield
of faith that Paul is writing about here in this passage must be used in the same manner. MacArthur in his Bible commentary references this "Shield of Faith" as being a basic trust of God, of His Word and His promises. It is not in reference to the body of Christian doctrine as some believe. It is by wearing God's Word, His truth, His promises on our heart, soul and mind that we are able to protect ourself from the attacks of satans "fiery darts". A Proverbs 31 Woman has the kind of faith that enables her to live in this obedience. It's the kind if faith demonstrated by Abraham:

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. ~ Romans 4:18-21 (NIV)

Abraham's obedience began his journey but it was his faith that kept him on course. So to for the Proverbs 31 Woman...her willful obedience begins her day and her faith leads her through each hour.

Obedience, faith and trust go hand in hand. It is a combination that allows us to rest in the knowledge that God is our shield.
A Proverbs 31 Woman trust God's word as truth and by faith she knows He will provide for her needs. She trusts that God will protect her from the evil one and that He is with her and lives in her, even though she may not see Him. She believes that Christ's sacrifice paid the penalty for her sins, and reconciled her to God. Because of this she is drawn to obedience to Him, she desires for Him to be her everything. She knows that through faith she will have Christ's authority over evil powers and through faith she is protected.

Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me. Take up shield and buckler; arise and come to my aid. Brandish spear and javelin against those who pursue me. Say to my soul, "I am your salvation."... Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord and delight in his salvation [yes, Yeshua again]. ~ Ps. 35:1-3, 9 (NIV)

We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. ~Ps. 33:20 (NIV)

"Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in Him." ~ Prov. 30:5 (NIV)

“Everything is possible for one who believes.” ~ Mark 9:23 (NIV)

His protection enables her to overcome, to be conquers against satan, against weaknesses, and against past failures:

"...because whatever has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith. And who is the one who conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" ~ 1 John 5:4-5 (NCSB)

The "Shield of Faith" becomes her testimony in God:

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
~1 Tim. 6:12 (NIV)

Therefore since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith..." ` Heb 12:1-2a (HCSB)

There are so many more examples of common people, people just like you and I who were able to walk their faith in obedience to God, and carry the "Shield of Faith". This week, spend each day looking at Hebrews 11 which is called the "Walk of Faith" chapter. On a piece of paper or in your journal make three columns. In the first column reference
each person identified in these verses. In the second column identify each action that measured their walk of faith. I encourage you to go back to the scripture that talks about their life and record how they were able to "take up the Shield of Faith". Then in the third column record any practical steps you can take from their example to apply to your own life in taking up the "Shield of Faith".

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
~ 1 Peter 1:6-7 (NIV)

Keep your eyes on Jesus this week friend. Stay in His word. Pray continually. Dwell with Him. Carry that "Shield of Faith"!!

Believing Him~Pamela

1 comment:

Salina said...

This has always been one of my favorite sections of scripture. Thanks Salina (from Beth Moore - Siesta's)