“Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one”.
Eph 6:16 NIV
In the days of bows and arrows the shield was an important defensive weapon. If the soldier could see the arrow coming he could parry it with his shield.
The shield referred to here was “the great oblong shield which the heavily armed warrior wore. One of the most dangerous weapons in ancient warfare was the fiery dart. It was a dart tipped with tow dipped in pitch. The pitch-soaked tow was set alight, and the dart was thrown. But the great oblong shield was the very weapon to quench it. The shield was made in two sections of wood glued together. When the shield was presented to the dart, the dart sank into the wood, and naturally the flame was put out” (W. Barclay, The Epistle to the Ephesians, p134-5).
The arrows of the evil one can be defended with faith which is utter and complete trust in God. The darts that assail us in our spiritual warfare are doubts that try to persuade us that God doesn’t exist, or even if he does, he doesn’t care. The ever-present lure of a materialist attitude to life is a further temptation, as are lust, despair, the sense of futility and the suggestion that “everyone is doing it”. Harbouring resentment and the resultant depression can cause spiritual havoc and provoke more anger and negative consequences. Satan is doing well if he can get you to seethe with resentment – it can really foul up human relationships. Whispering to you that it’s all right to disobey God is another of Satan’s stratagems. Deep trust in God is the way to deal with these nasty attacks.
PRAYER THOUGHT Lord, deepen my faith to withstand all temptations.