Ephesians 6:16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
The shield that Paul was referring to here was not the small, round shield we normally think of. He was referring to the shield that a Roman soldier carried. These shields were quite large (almost like a door) usually about two feet by four feet. By crouching behind it, the soldier could hide himself completely. The shield was made of wood that was covered with cloth and leather. Sometimes the soldier would dip it in water so that the fire-tipped arrows would be extinguished when they struck the shield. Paul used the image of this kind of shield to represent the believer's faith.
What is a this faith? It is a faith which can withstand the flaming arrows of the enemy.
Flaming arrows of guilt: This is the enemy’s favorite territory. Often I am hit while standing in the shower. An ugly and distant memory of a past shame will leap, front and center, into my mind. (Am I alone here? I think that is why I pray a lot in the shower. To keep my mind from risk.)
I can be utterly caught short-of-breath remembering some shameful event of my past. My thoughts run so fast that I am wounded before I realize what hit me.
What really makes me mad is knowing Satan did everything in his evil power to tempt me into sin. Then he returns to rub my nose in it. He continues to try to wound me even when I KNOW I have been forgiven.
Other powerful arrows in the enemy arsenal: the media (don’t even get me started on this one. We would be reading for weeks.) How about: discouragement, disillusionment, temper, or how about comparisons. This one can be deadly when used on women.
In the Apolstle Paul's day, fiery arrows of the enemy could burn a city down. Today they burn a family apart. A marriage goes up in flames.
When the arrows are launched, I don’t walk I RUN to take cover behind my shield. My shield is Jesus. He takes every arrow. He defends me. He sets me on the straight path. He reminds me He loves me. He tells me my sin is as far as the east is from the west. Read the Psalms. David has it figured out. Psalm 103:12.
When our marriages are under attack. When we receive a direct blow from the one person on this earth who knows where to hurt us. When we are over wrought with guilt, we must run, don’t walk to our prayer closet, and climb into the arms of Christ. Please read this post: When Your Spouse Ridicules Your Faith. This is my story of running into the arms of Christ.
Be encouraged. God chose us. God will redeem every arrow, every guilt, every hurt and sees every tear.
Psalm 56:8 (The Message) 8 You've kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book.
Be Blessed, Lynn
Also, this weekend we are praying for Annie. Say a word for her and her family. Read their story at Quantum Leap.