In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Ephesians 6:16
Back in biblical times, the Roman soldier would have to hold up a large shield during battle to protect himself from arrows. In fact, a big strategy of the enemy was to use a large part of the army as archers and to throw hundreds of arrows into the air with the hopes of taking out a bunch of the other side’s army. In other words, soften them up. We employ the same strategy today except we have gone from arrows to lobbing explosive shells into the air and dropping smart bombs on the enemy. Paul here uses the analogy of fiery darts here for a reason. The old times would use basic arrows and fiery darts. An arrow is just that, an arrow. A fiery dart is an arrow with fire on it. The scariest sight for a soldier was to see hundreds of fiery darts coming at you. You really had no idea where they would land, Sometimes they would ignite the land around you in flame. Holding up that shield would prevent you from being burned. After all an arrow just stabs, but a fiery dart stabs and burns.
The next part of our love light armor is the shield of faith. We cannot fight the enemy with our shield down. Unfortunately, many Christians don’t lift up their shield at the beginning of the day. They wait till the end of the day to lift it up when they are tired and weary from the days battle or they never lift it at all. I have heard many a sermon on the topic of quiet time, and using it when you feel the time is right. Meaning you can have your quiet time whenever you would like, as long as you have it. I agree with this idea somewhat, but not all the way. I can’t see why we can’t sacrifice a little extra time in the morning and just get up and read our bible. You can get a short devotional that can start your day off right. I am not saying get up and do a full blown bible study, but just a word from God to get you going. Then pray after you have read God’s word on the way to work in need be. We really should be praying throughout the day. Lift that shield by doing a quiet time early at the start of your day. I will be bold enough to say that this is the way it should be done.
The next way we lift our shield is to understand the battle we are in has already been won. Jesus has claimed victory; all we have to do is stand firm in our battle line. As I wrote on perseverance the other day, our faith is built on tribulation that brings perseverance, that gives us character, that gives us hope. I just came out of a major battle in my life and my faith is so much stronger because of it. Always know and trust that God is going to turn a bad thing into a good thing in your life. Sometimes it’s up to us to see that. Some go through a major crisis and stay there anchored to the past tribulations instead of moving forward into perseverance and joy. I like that old saying, if life gives you lemons, then make lemonade. Our attitude can determine the strength of our faith.
Finally, the soldiers would huddle together with their shields up over their heads. This huddling together would make a strong battlefield fortress for those fiery darts to break through. My shield is not big enough to fully protect me, but with my brother and sister beside me with their shields up, we cover each other. God doesn’t want us to lone wolf it. He wants us together fighting strong with each other. Part one of this series talked about how important it is we have each other’s back. Remember our back is always exposed unless we have one another’s back.
Three ways we lift our shield, by having a quiet time early in the morning before we start our day. We have to have an attitude of seeing what God has done in the past and know He will always come through. As a final point, always huddle together to protect each other and to be a major fortress on the battlefield
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.