I’ve been battling discouragement the last couple of days here. I am potty training my three year old son. Enough said, right? Plus, I am dealing with a variety of other behavioral issues in homeschooling and daily life at home. I’ve been praying about this, asking God to help me get up each morning to face it all again. Some of what I am dealing with is fairly serious; some just the stuff of common sinners. Sometimes I have trouble discerning what’s what. Sin is ever crouching at the door, desiring to master us. Evil presses hard, tempting us all to believe that fighting for good is futile.
I had a question in my Bible study lesson this morning on the armor of God. Which piece is most important to you? Without hesitation, my response was the shield of faith. I visualized myself holding it up against the flaming assault of the evil one. Then the word of the Lord came to me, like Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield; your very great reward” (Genesis 15:1).
This reminded me of something else I read earlier this morning in “Daily Strength for Daily Needs”. The passage was 1 Timothy 6:12, “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called”. The devotional spoke of not complaining in our toil, but looking up heavenward to see the great cloud of witnesses who have run the race- “the sacred band of Immortals” they were called. It compared Heaven to a Spartan mother, “saying while she gave her son his shield, “With it, my son, or upon it. Thou too shalt return home in honor; to thy far-distant Home, in honor; doubt it not, – if in the battle thou keep thy shield” . – T. Carlyle
So, today we fight. We stand with shield raised high. Our battle cry rings out, “With it or upon it!” It resonates to the very throngs of heaven; in the hearts of the sacred band, who cheer us on toward our eternal home. We say with them, “All honor and power and glory unto you, O Lord- our shield and very great reward”.