“… above all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one…and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…” (Ephesians 6:16-17).
Many years ago, the Lord opened my eyes to see the importance of guarding our thoughts. Our thoughts are a root area in our lives, and whenever there is a root, there is the ability to produce fruit…whether good or ill. Concerning our thoughts, the fruit of them is our words and our behavior. Words shape the course of our lives (Proverbs 4:23, GNT) and behaviors are a cause that always has an effect…whether good or ill. God knows this, therefore, when something bad has taken root in our lives, including any bad thoughts, God, in His unfailing love and infinite wisdom, delivers us from the root of that thing! He does so because when the root of a thing dies, so does all the fruit that came from it and any ability to produce any more fruit. This is why the Bible declares, “…if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). Jesus’ way of delivering us from the root of a thing, causes us to not only be free, but free indeed! Proof of Jesus handling matters with this wisdom is seen in Mark chapter 11, beginning at verse 12. Jesus cursed a fig tree, which represents self-righteousness, at its’ roots. Namely, He said to the fig tree, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” He cursed its ability to bear fruit, which is found at the root. Jesus dealt with the root of that tree and that stopped it from bearing fruit ever again. Now, when Jesus sets us free, He deals with the root of the problem, so that it will stop producing evil and troubling fruit in our lives, once and for all! Hallelujah! Jesus is really good to us! And He has come today to shed light on, and give us His wisdom, in regards to guarding our thoughts, with both our shield and our sword…which will have a tremendous positive impact on our entire lives!
Use Your Shield!
All behavior and words spoken, whether good or bad, is the fruit of the root of a thought. In other words, everything we do and say begins with a thought. This is why it is so important that we know how to guard our thoughts. Thoughts can come from something we ourselves thought of, something someone else said that we begin to think about, or they can derive from the devil shooting a fiery dart directed toward our minds. When the enemy shoots these fiery darts, if we didn’t have up the shield of faith…the dart penetrates, and if it is not destroyed with the word of God once it does, it will produce some kind of ungodly fruit in our lives (i.e., some kind of trouble). Often times it will cause us to say something negative, and we know that God promised we have the power of life and death in our tongues (Proverbs 18:21). In other words, we will have what we say…whether good or ill. This is why the enemy works over time sending negative thoughts against our minds. This defeated foe knows that he doesn’t have any power to destroy our lives, so he tries desperately to get us to do it ourselves. One way he does so is by sending negative thoughts, which produces negative words…and the power of our words produces whatever we say. But thanks be to God, because we don’t have to allow this tactic to work in our lives, and if someone already has, you don’t have to continue living in this vicious cycle of defeat. God wants you blessed and living the abundant life He promised! Therefore, God instructs us how to prevent this evil tactic from prospering. We “take up” the shield of faith. The reason we take it up is because when we do, it covers and protects our hearts and our minds.
This shield is made of faith, because Jesus promised that our part in this Christian life is to only believe. In order to believe, you need faith. Now, God has given to each one of us a measure of faith (Romans 12:3). However, if you are still struggling with doubt and need more faith, no worries, because faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of Christ (Romans 10:17, original Greek language included). Thus, we should be hearing the words of Christ…His promises and grace toward us. We do this by going to the bible and hearing the words of Christ, or listen to anointed Pastors and teachers who allow Christ to speak through them…and you can get yourself the books I have written and published, because those I can say with certainty that the Lord Himself is the author…and I am just the transcriber. (God knows, you don’t need to hear from me, but we all need to hear from God). It is vital to hear the right thing, because when you do hear words that are anointed and come forth from God…faith comes… and when faith comes, the right thoughts come and when that happens, the right words come from our mouth and that always produces the right results in our lives!
Use Your Sword!
Now, more specifically regarding our thoughts, the Lord taught me things we can do practically to guard our thoughts. He showed me that we should exercise our minds by intentional thinking about and meditating/muttering God’s word. In other words, we intentionally think about, “…whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy— we meditate on these things (Philippians 4:8, Emphasis and Bold Mine). When we do this, we are filling our thoughts up with God’s word and His promises. Now, the results will be that there is no room for the enemy to fill our minds with his defeated darkness, and we will say the good that we are thinking about… and as a result, we will have what we say!
Now, I want to point out that the Lord described this as exercise because this is an intentional act that needs to be done daily. This isn’t something that happens on its own. We have to take action. We have to think about what God says, and speak it out!This is our sword! It helps to have a particular verse, or a few verses, that you choose early on in the day, to meditate on for that day. For example, I love to think about and declare aloud the bible verse that says, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things (Romans 8:32). This bible verse reminds me of the truth that God gave us the greatest Gift He could when He gave us Jesus. Thus, if God can give the greatest gift, then with it, He has already included the lesser gifts. God told me once, “The lesser includes in the greater!” Another bible verse I personally meditate on is, “You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed… for the Lord is with you” (2 Chronicles 20:17). I find that this bible verse helps me to rest and remember; the battle is the Lords, and surely the God who founded the world and everything in it without my help, won’t need my help to resolve matters now. Oh what a rest it brings!
So beloved, on purpose, intentionally think about God’s words of promise, that the Lord leads you to, and mutter them a loud. That way you are taking up your shield of faith, by thinking on things that are lovely, and taking up your sword, by speaking the word of God out loud, and thus, you are effectively guarding your thoughts, which will help you live the abundant life Jesus died to give you!
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