The Shield of Faith

During quiet time last week, I was reading through Ephesians 6 and the armor of God. Of particular note to me was the Shield of Faith in verse 16:

"Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one."
The first thing I see is that God says, "above all." That places significance on the shield - it is an additional defense that I must take hold of after putting on the other armor. Most often, a shield would be used to deflect the items being used in the attack (arrows, swords, etc.). However, God says that with the shield "you will be able to quench." Kind of interesting to think of a shield as quenching something. But if it merely deflected the fiery darts, they would drop to the ground or bounce onto something else. Since they're burning, they could still cause further damage, or worse, I could step on them. God makes sure that they will be extinguished and no longer able to bring destruction.

He also says, "to quench all the fiery darts." He doesn't say I can just put out a few, or some of them, or only specific types. He says all - so that really does mean all of them. God means what He says.

Another significant thing about a shield is that it's not stationery. I can hold it in various directions and maneuver it into the proper position as needed. But I have to hold onto the shield, keeping it in place. If I set it down to rest or even drop it entirely, allowing a fiery dart to hit me, it doesn't just stick me in the arm or elsewhere. Once stuck, its fire will spread, consuming my clothes and my flesh. The damage will be much more than just a little prick mark.

Last, He makes it clear exactly who is shooting these fiery darts. It's "the wicked one." So often it can be easy to forget that I am engaged in a spiritual battle. But verse 12 states it plainly,
"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."
When I forget this, it's easy to think maybe my kids are shooting those fiery darts, or the insane driver that flew past me, or even that they're self-inflicted. But that's not the case. They come from the "wicked one." Fortunately, God has provided me with His armor, and just like all of God's provisions, this armor is designed to handle the battle, protect me, and keep me reliant upon Him for my strength and faith.

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