FAITH IS A SHIELD
Our faith is a shield. We use it to demonstrate our trust in God and His Word in order to block and quench the flaming arrows of the wicked One against us, which in turn leads us in victory (see 1 John 5:4 KJV).
Reference: Ephesians 6:16 English Standard Version (ESV) "In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one."
A shield is very important in times of attack. During a chaotic riot, we see the police hold up their riot shields against the flying rocks and bricks. Once they wear it in front of their bodies, they can protect themselves. In the old testament, God often served as a shield to His own people. For instance, in Genesis 1:15 (NIV), the Scripture says, 'After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward." In other words, "Abram, I will protect you, and your reward will be great.'
A shield can serve as a strong protection. And to stand firm against the enemy's attacks, we must take up the shield of faith. So Paul notes that our shield of faith must be used in all circumstances so we can strategically extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one. Our faith averts or wards off the enemy's attacks. To me, this very knowledge that God gave us a weapon that can extinguish all fiery darts from the enemy is something to shout about and be thankful for. He is indeed a great God, who never leaves us defenceless.
Flaming darts are fiery arrows from the enemy. They can be identified as spiritual hosts of wickedness. They come in diverse forms. For instance, the enemy can sow an arrow of division among good and prayerful Christian friends in order to separate them. He can throw an arrow of rumours to encourage offense and hatred. He can stir the pot of challenging circumstances to weaken a Christian's faith, or he can devise a scheme of ample distraction towards God's people to deter them from focusing on what truly matters - the Kingdom service. However, the golden news is that no matter the level or extremity of fiery darts of the wicked one against us, our shield of faith can extinguish them all.
But how do we take up the shield of faith and use it as our defence and protection? First of all, we must acknowledge that our fight of faith is not a physical battle. Ephesians 6:12 (NLT) explained: "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." So Paul confirms that our battle is indeed spiritual, not physical. The enemies that we face are not really humans or objects. So our shield of faith is one of the equipment designed for our spiritual warfare.
Second, to take up the shield of faith is to fight the good fight of faith and stand on the Word of God in the face of attack, opposition, temptation, oppression, and adversity. It is declaring what God says concerning any unfavourable situation, thereby refusing to give in, yield or surrender to it. It is maintaining a good confession without giving in to the pressure. It is sustaining a godly character in whatever the circumstance maybe. It is refusing to bow to some enticing or luring practices that contradict the Word of God. It is blocking all the negative voices that try to convince you that you are not good enough to serve God or worthy of His glory. It is holding on to what God has said concerning you, no matter what or who is trying to persuade you into giving up.
What if you find yourself in any negative situation? Taking up your shield of faith means exercising your faith on the finished work of Christ, speaking forth and holding fast to every Scripture which counters the flaming dart, and also praying and making supplications to God with those Scriptures. Therefore, it's always crucial to search the Scriptures, locate and learn the promises of God concerning any situation instigated by flaming darts of the wicked one. Then speak forth and pray with those Scriptures to acknowledge the tone of victory in your spirit. This will strengthen your faith and position your heart to always experience the victory in reality. Shalom!
Scripture Reading - Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Corinthians 16:13; 1 Peter 1:7; 1 Timothy 6:12; 1 John 5:4.
Guided Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, I thank you because my faith is strong in you and in your mighty power. By taking up the shield of faith daily, I take my stand against the devil's schemes, always praying in the Spirit in all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. My shield of faith quenches doubt, discouragement, fear and every assault from the evil one. Thus I walk in absolute victory and dominion over all the flaming darts of the enemy, in Jesus' Name, Amen!