I need my shield, don’t you? How often have we walked out of our front doors without it and wondered why the stinging arrows hurt so much? With my faith shield leaning against the wall by my front door, Satan had a clear target, and I made it very easy for him without even knowing it.
What are some of the reasons we leave without our faith shield? I know for me I leave because God is taking too long, He has no idea what I am going through and only I know how to fix it, my problems are too great and God doesn’t seem to really understand, or is God even here to see this? I step over the one thing that will extinguish the flaming arrows of my enemy and invite into my life the one thing I am trying to avoid: Chaos.
Putting our shield in front of us takes practice. Our arms may get tired, and we may feel like it is unnecessary during the times in our life the arrows don’t seem to be flying—but it is always needed no matter what our enemy tries to make us believe. The second I lower it, he is waiting and smiling because he is always waiting.
I recently learned what my faith shield can do for me. I am still learning how to use it, and my arm gets stronger holding it up every time I see how much God has protected me, guided me, and helped me advance forward when all I saw around me was a desert. In His perfect timing, He showed me the oasis I was walking towards and the destruction I was walking away from.
Writing this book was hard. Satan constantly whispered in my ear that no one would read it, and I was wasting my time. At one time, I distinctly heard him tell me that I was writing a coloring book because that is the level of value it will hold. It’s funny though, Satan’s voice often sounds like my own voice of self-doubt because he doesn’t want credit for these negative whispers. He wants us to believe they are solely ours.
I would pray every time I heard the whispers, and I just kept on typing even though a part of me believed what he was saying. I confessed to friends, and they would pray over me and my book. We need our community to fight with us and for us. I wrote on faith and had absolutely no idea how I would pay for it. I am a self-published author and the package I was choosing was not in the budget. Actually, a new pair of shoes wasn’t in the budget, so this seemed almost impossible.
I kept praying for God to make a way to pay for this book to be published if it was His will. He didn’t say much, so I kept on writing. Halfway through the manuscript, I prayed again and still no answer, so I kept on writing. When I was almost finished with the book, I prayed again and asked Him to make a way to pay for it, but this time, I told God that I knew He would and the answer would be something I never could have imagined on my own.
I work in a school system in Illinois and a week after I gave it to Him to take care of, I received news that the state of Illinois was eliminating the early retirement option, and we would be refunded the money that we put into this program for the last eleven years! And do you know what? It was almost exactly the amount that I needed to publish this book. Not only that, the month I decided to publish the packages for publication were on sale, and I was able to sign up for the next level, and it cost less than the original package I wanted! This happened in September of 2016, and I told the publishing company I would like to see the book out by Christmas. The man at the other end laughed because they were so busy he said I probably wouldn’t see it come out until January or February at the earliest. I continued to hold up my faith shield even though I was disappointed and chose to believe in God’s perfect timing—not mine.
God wasn’t done. My book was published on December 19, 2016, and it was fully operational for purchase on Amazon on Christmas Day. I think holding up my shield just got a little easier. The moment you want to put yours down because God seems elusive and out of touch, decide who is telling you this false lie. Don’t go based on your feelings but on your knowledge of the truth. Hold up your shield and see all that God can do for you by putting out the arrows that are meant to take you down. Your faith in the One who created the world, defeated death, and rose again has much power. Stand behind it and feel its protection. Pick it up before you leave each day and watch Satan frown. You have so much forward advancement to do with your faith shield in front of you, and God can’t wait to show you where you will go.