The Shield Of Faith

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“Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” (Ephesians 6:16)

The devil knows how to attack and assault us, does he not? But I find it quite astounding that the Bible says we can quench all of his fiery darts with faith. He has a plethora of darts, but they can all be quenched with faith. There isn’t one dart he has that cannot be quenched by faith. We need to start blocking some stuff.

There are different kinds of bullets. Buck shots; slugs; hollow points; etc. And the devil has different types of darts.

I’d like to talk about a particular dart of his…a particular fiery dart. The dart of pleasure. Believe it or not, pleasure is a fiery dart of the enemy. It may not be a slug. It may not be a buck shot. It may not be a 9mm round. Let’s call it a hollow point for assignment sake.

We know a hollow point is a dangerous bullet. And non of us want s to get shot with hollow point bullets. By design, a hollow point bullet expands once it enters a target. It expands inside of you to cause more tissue damage, more blood loss or shock, and to remain inside the target instead of passing through it. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollow-point_bullet)

I believe the fiery dart of pleasure is like a hollow point bullet. When hit by it, it has a way of abiding in you instead of just passing through you. It abides and becomes a stronghold to bring you down. It degenerates good people when it is not removed. Lord have mercy.

It takes faith. It takes faith to block the fiery dart of pleasure. We may think we want it to hit us, but it is the devil’s hollow point bullet that he shoots into your spiritual system.

 

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D. Barlow

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The Helmet of Salvation

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Once upon a time I had a brand new car. That was the best car I ever had. It was my favorite car. I washed it, waxed it, kept plenty of Windex and Armor all in my truck. Whenever it rained I was upset because I liked to keep it clean.

I got into a bind financially one time and elected to downgrade my car insurance until I got paid again. I was at a good friend’s house for Thanksgiving (I believe), and my car, along with other cars, was parked on the street.

We were all standing out in the driveway eating barbeque, listening to music and having a good time. Then all of a sudden it seemed like someone started shooting at us. We were getting hit by glass! We were getting hit by all kinds of debris! We jumped on the ground and some of us ran in the house. Another pulled out his gun after he gathered himself.

After further investigation, we discovered that a drunk driver lost control of his vehicle and hit my car, which was parked on the other side of the house. When he hit my car, his car flipped over my car and landed in the front yard of my friend’s house upside down, and clipped a pole on his porch. So, when we opened their front door we saw an upside down car on the porch – and my car hanging on the fence. What a sight!

By the time we figured out we were not being shot at and discovered what actually happened, the driver of the car got out and fled on feet!

I had down graded my insurance to liability. My only hope was that the car that hit me had liability. Guess what? It did not! That was one of the many hard lessons I learned.

But the good news is I still was alive and able to get another car. I believe this kind of thing happens to people’s lives more so than their vehicles. They polish their lives. Get their lives all shiny and looking good and smelling good. And then they die without warning!

The die without warning, tragically without full coverage insurance. And I’m not talking about State Farm or All State. I’m talking about the Blood of Jesus!

We need to put on the helmet of Salvation if we want to have full coverage on our souls. Just like we get car insurance and never get into an accident, we need to put on the helmet of salvation even though we think we have lots of time left to live – because you just never know!!! You just may get hit by a drunk driver or get hit by a stray bullet.

Put on the helmet of salvation by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

 

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The Sword of The Spirit

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I like the classic movie Robin Hood. He robs the rich and gives their treasure to the poor. And in the process, he ends up training common farmers and nonfighting men how to shoot bow-n-arrows and how to use sticks and shields and swords.

We all need to be trained by the Holy Spirit how to use the armor of God a lot better than we do. We are not nearly as skillful as we think we are.

Scripture time: “And the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

A sword is more offensive than defensive. Nothing is wrong with the sword, but the flaw is in the swordsman. That’s me. That’s you. We need to become more skillful with the sword in battle.

We like to hear good preaching and good teaching. We love a good word, but we don’t use the sword better even though we hear good teaching. We don’t realize that we can hurt the devil with the Word of God. We’d rather hurt one another with harsh words and with bullets, and let the devil slap us around while refusing to execute and quote scriptures in trying times.

We need to become better swordsmen.

 

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The Armor of Prayer

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“Praying always, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.” (Ephesians 6:18)

I previously wrote, “If you are not a prayer warrior, what kind of warrior are you???” I believe we get so spiritually mature, so knowledgeable…that we call on the Lord less. Yes, we put our faith in our spiritual maturity and not in our God. We have all the answers to everyone’s problems. Our ministries are booming. “If you want to experience God, check out our ministry.”

But in the process of all of this…we don’t pray enough because we know so much and we’re so strong and battle tested. What we need to do is wipe the proud look off our face, get in a quiet spot, and pray…pray…pray!

Prayer. What are we without it???

 

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Why The Son

scoogie profileOne day I posted this picture of my son on Facebook. He has a part time job at a local grocery store, and people always go up to him and ask, “Are you Daryl Barlow’s son? You have to be. You look just like him!”

And other times I’ll get a call or text or inbox. Or, whenever I see someone I hadn’t seen in a long time, they may say, “I met your son. Y’all are twins.”

When I posted this pic on Facebook people kept saying we are twins. And, a few women said, “Y’all are twins, but he’s a lil more handsome than you are.”

I smiled. And responded, “Whenever you honor the son, you honor the father.”

 

Where did I learn that from? I learned that from my Father. Not my father, but my heavenly Father. If any man rejects Jesus, he rejects His Father.

Supposed I posted this picture of my son, and folk would have said, “Get that buck tooth, freckled face, big head chump’s picture off the network. He’s a disgrace!” The way I would have felt is the way God feels whenever someone rejects Jesus Christ. Rejecting Jesus invokes the wrath of His Father.

 

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Championship Game

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What makes a championship game? First, there has to be a prize to be won. And second, you have to have the two best teams playing to see who will be the lone champion.

The Bible says, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12, NKJV)

In a championship game the opponent cannot be taken lightly. Temptation is standing between you and your prize. It is a worthy opponent. And if you’re not careful it will spank you again and again, and you will not get the prize that is laid up for you. First, you have to defeat a worthy opponent.

 

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Stomping With The Big Dogs

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A young mother took her 3 year old child to the mall with her and made a terrible mistake. She forgot to take her stroller!

As soon as they got to the mall that child looked up at mama and gave her that “I’m about to cry” look. So the young mother had to pack that heavy baby all around the mall.

This is how it is with God. You have to have perseverance just to be able to walk with God. If not, you’ll be like that 3 year old baby always wanting to get picked up.

James 1:2-4 tells us that we need to let patience have it’s perfect work. You need to have perseverance if you want to roll with the big boys. You need to have perseverance if you want to stomp with the big dogs!

 

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Prayer Warrior

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If you are not a prayer warrior, what kind of warrior are you???

The problem is not the problems. The problem is not that you and I have a lot that we’re dealing with. The problem is not that we are hard pressed on every side.

But the problem is that we have not prayed enough. That’s the problem.

If you are not a prayer warrior, what kind of warrior are you???

 

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Good Teaching

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I believe women, in a way, were created to fuss because that’s a valuable tool in child rearing. Most dads are laid back and will let a lot of things slide. But not mom!

When I watch children I’m not gonna micromanage them. I let children be children. But women will get all in the mix! They will officiate the whole playing session. “Billy, y’all need to take turns. Billy, that’s not fair. You need to share. Billy, why did you hit him? Apologize.”

There is a popular saying: “Mama used to always say…”

The truth is, mama never stopped talking. Mama stayed in my ear. Mama stayed breathing down my neck. Mama stayed all in my business.

Nowadays, it’s not mama. It’s pastor! Pastor, much like mama, is all over me. But what happens is, when mama is not around I know what she expects of me. And when pastor isn’t around, I know what he expects of me.

You can learn things from people or books rather comfortably. But God will give you a good teacher like mama or pastor to breath down your neck and get on your nerves. That’s because if your teacher isn’t in your head, then that teacher isn’t guiding you even in his or her absence.

Good teaching can be irritating, but it’s just good teaching.

 

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The Tool of Patience

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How many people love to be patient? Not very many, right? Do you know any? We don’t like to be patient. However, it seems like God always wants us to be patient.

In a way, waiting gets you behind. Why wait when you can go? Waiting can get you behind because you are not on the move. You are stagnant. But God requires us to do a lot of waiting.

I learned there is a difference between waiting “in the world” and waiting “in the kingdom.” Waiting in the world gets you behind…but waiting in the kingdom gets you ahead.

When the Lord is working on your behalf behind the scenes and requires you to be patient, the results of your waiting will propel you farther than you will have gone had you not been patient.

The results of being patient will propel you. Patience is a tool. Wait on the Lord!

 

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