Battle Ready: Faith is the Victory!


(4)  For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.  (5)  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

1 John 5:1-5


We find this reality about winning the battle in 1 John 5:4-5. How do we “overcome the world”? First, we must understand what constitutes this “world” that John is referring to in verses 4-5. John already defined what he means by the word “world” in chapter 2.

(15) Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

1 John 2:15-17

Satan knows how to tempt us. He tempts us with things in the world system that already appeal to our flesh. This constitutes the believers three enemies- The world system, the flesh, and satanic forces. How do we overcome the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life? Ultimately we will not do it apart from saving faith in Jesus Christ that leads to a practical faith in Christ as well. When we trust in Christ we are made into new creatures. We receive the indwelling Spirit. He saves us. He changes us. He begins to help us to depend on Him, know His Word, and overcome the lust of the flesh, eyes, and pride of life.


Our victory is not in ourselves. It’s not in the latest fad. It’s not in some self-help book. It’s not in sheer will power. You can’t white knuckle your way to victory. It is only through trusting in Jesus Christ for salvation and sanctification that we can overcome and be victorious. It isn’t our victory unless we let Him be victorious in us and through us. To put it another way let’s look at one last verse:

(4) Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.(5) I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

John 15:4-5

You are in Christ. Act like it.


Lord God, please help me to depend on you today for every battle and every victory that I need. Amen.

Battle Ready: The Shield of Faith


(16)  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Ephesians 6:16


The Roman soldiers shield was an important tool at his disposal during battles.  Much has been written on what these shields were like. The word for shield here is “thureos”. The word comes from a root word “thura” which means ” a portal or entrance (the opening or the closure, literally or figuratively): – door, gate.”  It is connected with the word door because there were different kinds of shields.  This “thureos” was a large door shaped shield that could cover the whole body. One commentator wrote this about the shields:

“Before a battle in which flaming arrows might be shot at them, the soldiers wet the leather covering with water to extinguish the arrows. The Roman legionaries could close ranks with these shields, the first row holding theirs edge to edge in front, and the rows behind holding the shields above their heads. In this formation they were practically invulnerable to arrows, rocks, and even spears.”

NET Bible Notes

How is faith a shield?

Is it faith or trust in God or faithfulness to God that is the focus of the shield of faith?

We do trust in God as our shield. Certain psalms refer to God as our shield:

(3) But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

Psalms 3:3

Interestingly, like a shield, there is protection when we trust in it.

(11) For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. (12) O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.

Psalms 84:11-12

If you do not put your trust in the shield by getting behind it, then it will do you no good. Do you see that in verses 11 and 12? “The Lord God is a shield… Blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.”


Obedience brought about by faith protects us all the time. Isn’t the obedient child protected because of his trust in his parents? He may not understand why he should stay out of the road when playing, but when he obeys, he’s protected from the traffic. We must learn to understand that when God says “Do not” it is for our good. He does not want us to hurt ourselves or others. We must trust His Word. We must trust his law. We must trust Him implicitly.

When we do not trust in God, and when we disobey, we will find our selves in battle without protection. Flaming arrows are headed our way. These arrows are the “methodias”, or wiles, or strategies, or our enemy. We must depend on the Lord to protect us by trusting in Him.


Lord, please help me not to trust in anything more than I trust in you. Amen.

Where’s the lamb? F260- Week 3- Day 3

Today’s Scripture Reading: Genesis 22

This week’s memory verse:

(20)  He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

Romans 4:20


(7)  And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
(8)  And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

(14)  And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.

Genesis 22:7-8, 14

God calls on Abraham to do something that seems really irrational. God had promised that through Isaac nations would be born. He had promised that Abraham would be the father of these many nations, and that through these nations all the world would be blessed. Yet, God calls Abraham to take his son, Isaac, to Moriah and offer him as a burnt offering.
He gets up early and heads toward the mountain. Isaac, here in verse 7, asks Abraham where the lamb was for burnt offering. What an expression of faith that Abraham declared in verse 8! He believed that God would provide the lamb.

Of course, God did provide the lamb. It was caught in the thicket by its horns, therefore unblemished and an unmarred sacrifice. God provided the substitute. Abraham had shown that He believed God and would not withhold what was most precious to him from God. God’s gifts were not more important than God Himself.

So, Abraham named the place “Joehovajireh” which means God will see (to it). God sees and provides. God saw Abraham’s faith and provided a substitute.

What a beautiful and challening story. There are a few ways that it applies.

  1. Have I trusted in Christ? This is a picture of God’s substitutionary atonement found in Jesus Christ. John said about Jesus, “Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world”. Have I acknowledged Jesus Christ as my substitute and trusted in Him for salvation?
  2. Am I willing to sacrifice what is most precious to me to be obedient to God?
  3. Am I more in love with the gifts from God than the God who has provided those gifts?

Without faith it is impossible to please God. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Lord, help me to depend on you, trust you, and obey you today.

Is anything too hard for the Lord? F260- Week 3- Day 1

Scripture Reading- Genesis 18-19

This Week’s Memory Verse:

(20) He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

Romans 4:20


(9) And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.
(10) And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.
(11) Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
(12) Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
(13) And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
(14) Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
(15) Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.

Genesis 18:9-15

A key question needs to be answered about this passage.

Who are they?

For sure, at least one of the trio is a theophany, a term we use for an appearance of God in the Old Testament. Abram calls him Lord, which some would say was just a respectful greeting. Yet as you see Abram interact with this man in this interchange, it becomes abundantly clear that this is Jehovah. The man speaks authoritatively about Sarah having a son. He speaks authoritiatively about judgment of Sodom. In verse 17 the name that is used for Lord is Jehovah. Later in chapter 19 two angels head toward Sodom. Is this Jehovah accompanied by two angels? That seems to fit.

What happens in chapter 18?
We see that God affirms his covenant with Abraham, especially that Sarah would conceive and bare a son. When he declares it yet again, Sarah, who is listening in responds in laughter.

(12) Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?

Genesis 18:12

Another evidence that this is the omniscient God is that He perceived the internal doubt characterized as laughter that Sarah expressed. He challenged her doubt with a relevant question:

Is any thing too hard for the LORD?

Genesis 18:14a

What an incredible question! Allowing to be asked in our own lives will generate an incredible answer. No! There is nothing too hard for the Lord. He can do anything that is within His character to do, and since He is holy, righteous, just, omniscient, ominipotent, ominisapient, and omnipresent, He can and will do everything that must be done for His own glory and for the good of those who trust in Him! When God makes a promise He keeps it, even when that promise seems impossible.

What should that cause us to do? We should want to know the promises of God, and to trust God to complete those promises!

Lord, help me to trust you today with my family, with my time, with the direction of our church. Help me not to go out on my own, but to follow you.