Sunday, May 19, 2013

Extinguish Flaming Arrows with the Shield of Faith

"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.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  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 6:13-16

 Today's Bible study is part 5 in a series on "Becoming A Christian Soldier." - Now, I have to be very clear - I am NOT talking about becoming a physical soldier and I am NOT saying that you should go out and physically fight (although I appreciate and respect anybody who has served or is serving in our army, navy or air force) - what I'm talking about in this series is on a spiritual level. 

Our God is all powerful, all knowing, He is our Protector and Provider - He would never throw us into a battle without fully equipping us first.  Today we continue learning about the "full armor of God" and specifically "the shield of faith."  
What was the shield in a Roman Soldier's attire during Jesus' day?  The shield was an oval shaped protecting gear that was light enough to be held in one hand but large enough to stop arrows from penetrating the soldier.  It wasn't just held in place - the soldier moved the shield up and down or left and right - When the soldier saw which direction the enemy's arrows were coming from he had to move that shield to intercept the weapon zooming at him.
I find the use of "flaming arrows" in the highlighted verse above very interesting.  Roman Soldiers truly did use flaming arrows but in today's scripture we are talking about "flaming arrows of the evil one" - remember the evil one is Satan; the devil a.k.a. the Christian's enemy.  "The flame" infers eternal damnation but to me it also symbolizes sin.  Whenever I do something wrong, whenever I have sinned I feel this burning rush of guilt flow over me - it's hot & fiery almost like an embarrassment flush only worse.  This happens when the evil one's flaming arrow has penetrated my spiritual body and it happened because I did not have my "shield of faith" in hand.  These "flaming arrows" can come in the form of temptation and deception and can be subtle - this flaming arrow could fly by you from behind & just catch your clothes on fire - you don't notice until you're fully engulfed in flames.
The only way to extinguish these deadly arrows is to "take up the shield of faith."  This is action on our part - we must cling to the shield & move it in the direction necessary to smother the arrow.
I looked up the meaning of faith in the dictionary: faith - belief in something that cannot be seen, trust in & loyalty to God, confidence in a person, thing, deity or doctrine, conviction, assurance, devotion. 

This "Shield" is our Christian faith - which comes from accepting the gift of salvation through Jesus who died for our sins.  It is this faith, conviction, belief, devotion that is the only weapon that will continually protect us against the evil schemes of the devil - our Christian assurance is the only thing that will stop Satan's temptation & deception.
Be sure to have the Shield of Faith in hand at all times - moving it in the direction that will extinguish all arrows!

1 comment:

  1. So true. When we arm ourselves with God's word and put on His protection, He will fight for us. I have my shield of Salvation on tonight. Thanks for the encouraging word.


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