In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.
In All Circumstances
I loved the fact that Paul made sure to say “in all circumstances” we’re to take up the shield of faith. Like the rest of the armor of God, we are the ones who need to put it on, and in the case of the shield, we are the ones who need to pick it up because God won’t force our hands open to make us take it. Can you imagine a Roman general picking up the shields for all of his soldiers and then handing them to them? That’s inconceivable, isn’t it? The shield to the Roman soldier was used in preventing the fiery darts of the enemy from hurting or killing them. Paul loved to use the examples of the Roman soldier because he was with them often, so he knew what each piece of equipment was and why each one was critical. When foreign armies attacked the Roman soldiers, they would be attacked with arrows that had pitch on them, which was highly flammable. If one of these arrows struck the solider, the soldier could be quickly engulfed in flames. The enemy that Paul is referring to is a lot more cunning than human enemies and a lot stronger than we are, so we need the shield of faith to put out these fiery darts. But what is the shield of faith?
Saved by Faith
The fact that we are saved by faith is not a New Testament doctrine at all because even Abraham believed or trusted God. That trust or faith was accounted to him as righteousness (Gen. 15:6), and this came hundreds of years before Christ came to die for us. Paul essentially quoted Genesis 15:6 when he wrote to the church at Rome that our faith in Christ is accounted to us as righteousness (Rom. 4:3). We should rejoice that we don’t have to depend on our working out our own salvation to be saved because it’s an absolutely free gift (Eph. 2:8-9). That type of faith is the faith that can shield you every day of your life as you leave your home and go out into the territory of the enemy. A shield of faith can immediately quench or put out those flaming arrows that Satan and his demons will surely be aiming and firing at us today and every day.
Strengthening the Shield
Let me stress again that you need to pick up that shield of faith because the darts or flaming arrows are coming directly from Satan (Eph. 6:16). So you’ll need all the protection you can get. How can you pick up the shield of faith every day? By picking up the Word of God every day because faith comes by the hearing of the Word and by reading it, too (Rom. 10:17). You can pick up the shied by picking up your Bible. If you are inconsistent in reading the Word of God, your walk with God will be inconsistent. The more Word that gets into you, the stronger that shield is; therefore, change your daily life by abiding in the Word daily.
A Closing Prayer
Father God, You are so good to me because You have provided me with all I will need to protect myself from the enemy, who has it in for me. But Your Word increases my faith, and I trust You. In the King of kings and Lord of lords’ name, Jesus Christ, I pray.
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