This is what God gave me today in his word:
In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; (Ephesians 6:16)
The shield of faith
What was the job of the shield? Obviously, to protect the wearer. In the case of the Romans – who, by the way, may be who Paul is basing this armor on. Seeing as he was most likely in Rome while writing this letter. Albeit under house arrest. But still… –, as well as blocking swords, it was also used to block arrows and spears. All the Romans in the army would lock their shields together, hold them up, and hardly anything could get past to harm them. Just like that, they had an old fashioned force-field, able to blunt all attacks…. At least, so long as they were all standing together, with their shields locked into place.
Likewise, so longer as believers stand together and have the shield of faith, we’ll be able to blunt all the Devil’s arrows… But, faith in what? What is it that we have faith in that gives us this shield of faith? Some all-powerful genie? A mighty warlock? None of the above, rather, a man on a tree. That’s where our faith originates from.
Jesus protects us:
A mighty man and son of God? Yes. A man whose given up His spirit on a cross to save all humanity? Yes again. He, Jesus Christ, is who we believe in; is who we have faith in. Thus when we hold up our shields to defend against the Devil, we are holding Jesus, our faith, up to defend us. When the devil throws His arrows, we hold Jesus up on the cross to defend ourselves. But more than that:
Jesus unifies us:
In order for all to be safe, all must lift their shields up together, and lock them into place together. The only way to have a unified shield without any gaps is for everyone to take part. The only way a church or any other gathering of believers can be safe from the Devil is by exalting Christ Jesus on the cross and their faith in Him. Everyone becomes at risk when one person lets their shield down, because a single person letting down their guard can cause a domino effect: the enemy will target the weak one, and when his/her shield is down, they can attack those next to the fallen one from the side, which creates a bigger gap, which leads to everyone’s death, if someone does step in remind the weak soldier to keep His shield high.
Our Spiritual lives rest wholly upon Christ. He must be our very life, or our shield lowers. And the moment that happens… Picture one of those practice dummies with a couple dozen arrows sticking out of it.
The Roman army is actually a surprisingly good example of what Christians should look like:
- Always on alert.
- Armored against attack.
You are Loved