The normal citizen doesn’t carry a shield with him. We don’t need protection like that. Society is usually considered safe enough that we can go about our way without carrying weapons or wearing armor of any kind. While it’s very true for us in our society as far as our physical safety is concerned it certainly is not true for us spiritually. We have an enemy who’s always on the prowl. He’s diligent in looking for openings, lapses in our preparedness, weaknesses in character, and flaws in our personalities that he might get to us in any way he can. It’s for this reason we need the Armor of God and particularly the shield of faith.

One commentator writes, “To be without faith is to be without God, as our belief relies on our faith for its existence. Such is the nature of believing in a redeeming Creator. Our faith relies on our trusting in the Word of God, and accepting it as true. This can only be done through faith, with perseverance. Without it, we are lost.” Paul says that those without faith in the Lord are “lost…aliens…excluded… and hopeless…without God” in this world (Ephesians 2:12). The author of the book of Hebrews tells us that it’s impossible to please God without faith. It’s our faith, our trust, in Him through all the cares and woes as well as the temptations and trials of life that protect us through it all. Faith is not an optional accoutrement. It’s an essential piece of the arsenal God gives us in our battle with the Evil one. As one credit card commercial puts it, “don’t leave home without it.”

In the wonderful little allegory, “Pilgrim’s Progress,” John Bunyan tells of Pilgrim on his journey to the celestial city. When he entered into the territory of Giant Despair, he was captured and thrown into a deep, dark dungeon. He was tied up and placed in the pits of doubting castle. He began to despair for his life. He thought all was lost and that he’d never make it to the celestial city. At the point where he had lost all hope, the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and informed him that he need not lay low in doubting castle under the bondage of the Giant despair because he had been given a key. That key would open any door. He had the key to freedom and deliverance from the wiles of the giant. He had but to put it to use. What was that key? The angel informed him that it was faith. Pilgrim put the key of faith into the great gate and it swung open and once again he was on his way to the Celestial City.