23 Jul Taking up your shield
We’re living in times where it truly feels like we’re on a battlefield. It has made me grateful that we don’t have to scramble for weaponry and armour, as God makes his amour available to us to use in times like these.
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand.” – Ephesians 6:13
I’ve been particularly fascinated by one piece of this armour – the shield. A shield, in this context, is one of the handheld weapons amongst the body armour and serves a defensive purpose. It was a metal barrier protecting the body from harm. The shields used by Roman soldiers were made of metal, rectangular and long enough to cover the entire body. Now Paul describes faith as this shield.
“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” – Ephesians 6:16
Faith is our shield, our defence and protective barrier against all harm. Faith is what we hold up, to defend ourselves when we are under attack. Faith has the ability to protect us by blocking off and putting out the enemy’s flaming arrows, making them ineffective in harming us. This gave me a new understanding of Isaiah 54 where God promises us that weapons formed against us won’t prosper.
“’See, it is I who created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work. And it is I who have created the destroyer to work havoc; no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,’ declares the Lord.” – Isaiah 54:16-17
I always thought that the weapons don’t prosper because God does some miraculous act to stop them, basically without my participation in the act. But I’ve learnt that God performs the miraculous act with and through me. He provides me with his weapons to fight and when I stand and use them, whatever the enemy sends out against me, fails. God’s weapons and armoury are better than any weapon the enemy has up his sleeve. This is also because God says in this text that he created the blacksmith who forges the weapons, so God knows exactly what the enemy is capable of forming, and outdoes him each time.
Another thing God reminded me of while going through this portion of Scripture is that arrows are mostly used when an enemy can’t come close to its target. The evil one uses arrows to attack us because of the distance between us and him. As we learn through Job’s story, he can’t come near us without God’s permission.
So, faith is stronger and greater than anything the enemy targets us with. No wonder God says the righteous would live (remain alive) by his faith (Habakkuk 2:4). In another place, he says it is our faith that overcomes the world (1 John 5:4-5). This makes it so important for us to keep believing during this time. We need to be certain that God and what he says is true above what we are seeing and experiencing.
So, as you pick up that bottle of sanitizer, don’t forget to take up your shield. Your faith is your protection but it can’t protect you laying down, you’ve got to take it up!
A struggling adult (where’s the reset button???), part-time student, and natural hair fanatic. My life is dedicated to edifying Christ’s bride and assisting brides and grooms with their earthly marriages. In my spare time, I enjoy reading anything by Francine Rivers, lazying around with my two sisters and parents, or penning down (well, typing out) my thoughts on my blog Thoughts and Other Things.