How often is there conflict on Sunday morning and during the drive to church? Then when you get to the church, you are all smiles as if everything is good. How often do you feel like staying home or sleeping in on a Sunday morning? Do you or know someone who prefers to stay home and attend a zoom church or TV church? I ask these questions because they reveal the unseen war against the church and God’s people. We don’t know we are in a spiritual battle, but we are. Satan hates God and God’s children and works to destroy the church and separate God’s children. The devil’s destruction has been happening since the church began.

Act 8:3 tells us that “Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.” Many places around the world cannot openly worship God and attend a church service. Many Christians are languishing in prison because of their faith. Remember to pray for them. We, in America, still have the freedom to worship God and attend church, but for how long? Can you see the beginnings of the war on Christianity and the church in America?

What if someone barges into your house and puts you in prison for your faith? Would your faith hold strong? Revelations 2:10 states, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Honestly look into your heart. Will you be faithful if you should face persecution?

Satan’s Unseen Deception of Eternal Security

Ask God to help you examine your beliefs about eternal security and church attendance. Jeremiah 17:9-10 states, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? 10I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.’” God knows all your thoughts and beliefs; ask Him to show you the truth. Do you believe that saying a salvation prayer is your ticket to heaven, and you can continue to live as you please? The salvation prayer is the birth of your faith. After receiving Jesus Christ’s forgiveness for your sins, you need to grow your faith. Your faith increases when you read the Bible, pray at all times to exercise your faith, share your faith to strengthen it, and go to a Bible-teaching church to reinforce your faith?

The following truths are hard, but ask God to give you understanding. Matthew 7:21 states, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Are you obeying the Word of God, which is His written will? Matthew 10:32-33 states, “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” Are you sharing your faith and telling others about Jesus and what He did for you? Also, Revelations 3:5 states, “The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.” Yes, God can blot your name out. Only those who conquer persecution and the unseen battles of deception and temptations by the power of Jesus Christ will enter heaven. Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14) For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”  I wrote my book called “Fighting Unseen Battles” to help everyone find the narrow gate and endure.

The Apostle Paul tells the Philippian church in Philippians 2:12, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Also, 1Peter 1:17-19 states, “And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” To work out your salvation or conduct yourselves with fear means to forsake evil and do good through God’s divine power. Working out your salvation with fear begins with a salvation prayer.

Satan’s Unseen Deception of Church Attendance

Many people who grew up in the church believe they are going to heaven. My neighbor told me that he went to a children’s Bible School, and he thinks he is going to heaven and does not have to do anything else. Some Pastors think they are going to heaven because they know theology. Ask yourself, “When I stand before God, and He were to ask me, “Why should I let you into My heaven?” What would you say? Does the Bible say going to church makes you a child of God? Does the Bible say that being born into a Christian family or having a grandfather who was a preacher make you a child of God? John 1:12-13 states, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

Does regular church attendance guarantee an entrance to heaven? Since I am writing to a Christian audience, I hope you know the right answer. Surprisingly, many church people don’t get the answer right. Some people say they are good, so God will let them into heaven. They think they are going to heaven because they are better than most Christians. Romans 3:23-25 states, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,  whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.” And others said they don’t know but hope that God will let them in because He loves all humanity and would throw no one into hell. Can you see the deception that Satan puts in people’s minds?

Satan wants to prevent us from being a follower of Jesus Christ. The devil also does not want us to obey His commands, namely, to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love others. Mark 12:30-31 “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. 31The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Do you love God and spend time with Him in His word and in prayer? Do you love the people in the church?


Again, I could have written a lot more, but I believe you understand that there is an unseen war of deception against God’s people. Many people are deceived into thinking they are guaranteed entrance into heaven based on faulty beliefs. I understand some verses say the Holy Spirit guarantees our inheritance, but guarantees are based on conditions. Ephesians 1:13-14 is conditioned on believing until you receive your inheritance from God. So if you stop believing and live a wicked lifestyle, you forfeit your inheritance. Hebrews 12:1 states, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Find the condition in Romans 8:16-17 “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” No one wants to suffer. 

In the end times, there will be a great falling away because of deception and suffering. Resolve in your heart today that you will not fall away and begin today to do the will of God found in the Word of God. Hebrews 3:12 states, “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.”


Getting The Most Out of Church

How The Church Prepares You to Meet God

Why Go to Church?

Four Realities of the Spirit World

All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, The information is copyright protected, and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

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Have you ever been in a snowball fight as a kid or threw little rocks and sticks at each other? It helped to have a trashcan lid to shield and deflect the snowballs or sticks. Maybe you looked for something to hide behind for some relief for a short while until someone found you. In this post, you will learn why you need the shield of faith and when and how to use it.

The problem with spiritual warfare is that we don’t see what is coming in our direction or when it will come. It is safe to assume we will continually fight a spiritual war for our souls. Consequently, we need to stand firm in our faith. Without faith, we are vulnerable to every empty philosophy, temptation, and deception hurled at us. A warrior’s shield is the first layer of protection.

In my last post, I explained that we should expect spiritual war because “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1John 5:19b). The Bible says we need the shield of faith to protect us from the fiery arrows the unseen enemy shoots at us. Ephesians 6:16 states, “In all circumstances, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” Because you can’t physically see the invisible flaming darts, you need to keep the shield of faith up. Faith protects you from the following:

  • darts of doubts designed to destroy your convictions and knowledge of the truth;
    • arrows of temptation designed to weaken your resolve to die to sin and to be holy as God is holy;
    • missiles of accusation designed to make you feel insecure, rejected, and worthless;
    • flaming arrows of condemnation for things you have done in the past that would keep you in bondage to shame and guilt. Guilt keeps you in despair and makes you ineffective; and
    • thoughts of failure and rejection.

What is faith?

When I think about faith, I think of a warm, secure, peaceful place for my mind to dwell. In that safe place, I have no worries, fears, anger, and so on. I have peace when I trust God has a purpose and is in control. I trust that He will work everything out for my good because I love Him (Romans 8:28). The Bible says in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” I could not see how God would work out all the problems I was facing when I became a single mother. But I decided to put my hope in Him and stay tight with Him through prayer and praise. The other choice was to become depressed and angry about how unfair life was. When I put my trust in God and claimed His promises during my divorce, I saw God do many miracles, which strengthened my faith. You can read my story WHAT IS INNER LIFE TRANSFORMATION? My Story.

Hebrews 11:6 explains, “And without faith it is impossible to please him [God], for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Though you do not physically see spirits, you can observe the evidence. For example, you can see the destructive force of evil in a person’s life who has yielded to the influence of evil spirits. Peace and life are evidence that a person has yielded their mind and heart to God (Rom. 8:6).

Faith became a shield for me as long as my mind was on the things above where my savior, Jesus Christ, is. Colossians 3:1-2 states, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” When I think about the things on the earth, I become anxious, especially when I watched the news. I feel peaceful and secure when I think of God’s goodness and sovereignty over the affairs of our country and my life.

When I am anxious, I often will recite Psalm 91, then I immediately relax and feel peace, especially at night when my mind can’t stop thinking about life’s worries. You can read the series of posts I wrote on Psalm 91 in Psalm 91 Posts. 2Samuel 22:31, Psalms 18:30, and Proverbs  30:5 states, “This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” We take refuge in God through praying, praising, and pondering Scripture.

Faith believes that God will do what He promised He to do. Luke 1:37 states, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” Faith is the childlike trust that what God has promised, He will do. You put your spiritual shield of faith into action by claiming God’s faithfulness to keep His promises. See my post about the 15 promises we can trust God to keep. However, the shield of faith is useless if you do not meditate on or memorize God’s Word. As you memorize Scripture and claim God’s promises, you are strengthening your shield of faith so the fiery arrows from the devil cannot penetrate your mind.

Why do we need the shield of faith?

1. The shield of faith protects your mind from deception. Often, people unwittingly put their faith in lies from the devil, such as, “I will never succeed” or “I am not worthy to be loved,” which produces sorrow and many times destructive thoughts. Your faith in Jesus and applying the living water of truth extinguishes the devil’s darts of lies and accusations. The allegations and enticements seem so real that many people believe them and try to build their lives upon them. Satan’s lies are empty and destructive.

2. The shield of faith will strengthen the faith of others who are struggling. People grieving a loss are the most susceptible to spiritual attack? It could be a loss of health, a job, a loved one, and so on. When you are in a community of believers, they can cover you with their shield of faith through prayer and encourage you to keep your hope in God’s promises. Also, Hebrews 10:24-25 states, “And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.” The faith of other believers encourages our faith when we are in a battle because their faith helps us stand firm in our faith. For example, when soldiers stand close together and lock their shields together, it forms a barrier against an attack. Do not forsake going to church. Satan will throw all kinds of offenses at you, so you quit going to church, which will weaken your faith to fight the spiritual battle he wages to take your soul.

In Luke 22:31-32, Jesus says, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter denied knowing Jesus three times because he was alone and his faith was weak. God’s Word says that Satan comes before God to accuse us. Read Job 1:6-12 to learn how Satan asked permission to test Job’s resolve to fear God and not sin. We will learn more about the power of prayer in the next post.

3. The shield of faith helps you believe in God’s promises. Trials and temptations will cause you to either have faith in God or doubt His promises and mentally dwell in the pit of despair. When trials test our faith, and we resist the temptation to worry or despair, we will become stronger. James 1:2–4 states, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials [temptations] of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness[endurance, patience]. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Three different words describe what testing of our faith produces: steadfastness, endurance, and patience. All are necessary to be victorious in the unseen spiritual battles. For an example read about Paul’s thorn in the flesh in 2Corinthians 12.

  • Steadfastness means firm, fixed, settled, or established, or constant and not changing.
  • Endurance is the ability to last, continue, or remain, or the ability to stand pain, distress, fatigue, etc.
  • Patience is to bear or endure provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.

Where do we get faith?

First, you need to get the shield of faith from Jesus. Hebrews 12:2 states, “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Second, we get faith from reading the Bible. Romans 10:17 states, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ.” So, when you study God’s Word and pray daily, your shield of faith is up, and the devil’s arrows bounce off. But when you miss time reading God’s Word and praying, your protection is down, making you vulnerable to Satan’s temptations and lies. You will lose spiritual strength and health when you don’t read your Bible and pray daily.


Daily pray: I take up my shield of faith to block the fiery arrows of condemnation, accusation, temptations, doubts, and flattery of the enemy. I believe that God loves me, cares about me, and is the shield that protects me from evil. I will strengthen my faith by meditating on Scripture day and night. (Eph. 6:16; Rev. 12:9; 1John 3:1; 1Peter 5:7; 2Thes. 3:3; Rom. 10:17)