Last Thursday, in "God's Armour, Part 3", we saw that when we put on those "gospel shoes" we are basically rooting and grounding ourselves on God's love, that same love that He poured out on us through Jesus. When we make the gospel of Jesus Christ our firm foundation, we ensure that no matter how strong the wind of circumstance or how fierce the storm of trouble--we will stand!
This brings us to the next piece of armour that Jesus makes
available to: "...and in all of this, by taking up the shield of
faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil
one."(Eph. 6:16 NET)
Of all the armour we are
advised to take up, a shield is perhaps the one that makes the most
sense to me. It has always been a vital part of any soldier's armour,
and in Roman times, the time in which Paul lived and wrote, the shield
was as large as a door and could completely cover the warrior. Not only
was it a defensive weapon, but it could also be used to push opponents
away; and when fighting in a group, the soldiers could position their
shields so as to form an enclosure around themselves.* Thus, the shield
was used to protect, screen, guard against, safeguard, provide security
for, cover and defend.
This sounds like a pretty
important piece of armour, doesn't it? Especially since what we are
fighting is not even of the physical world: "For our struggle is
not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers,
against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces
of evil in the heavens." (Eph. 6:11-12 NET)
And what is this "shield" made of?
the Roman shield was often made of a flammable substance: Wood!*
The Bible tells us that our spiritual shield is made up of our
faith, and faith is: "... being sure of what we hope for,
convinced of what we do not see." (Heb. 11:1 NET).
Now I don't know about you, but my faith is often kind of like
that wooden shield of the Romans: It is flammable! Sure, my faith is
growing, but as soon as one of those fiery darts of the enemy comes my
way, it becomes shaky at best, and it often seems to "go up in smoke".
Wood wasn't the only material used in the construction of
these roman shields, however. History tells us that the base, wood,
would then be covered in animal hide. Because animal hide can also be
flammable, the hide-covered Roman shields would then be dipped in water,
thus giving this flammable piece of armour the ability to extinguish the
flaming arrows of the enemy.*
The good news about
our spiritual shield is that it, too, can be covered in animal hide and
dipped in water! Let's remember that when Adam and Eve first sinned, God
gave them a covering of--Animal hide (See Gen.
3:21)! He would later, under the Old Covenant, command
that the people make animal sacrifices, and the blood was used as a
symbol of the washing away of our sins that would happen when Jesus'
blood was shed on the cross (Ex.
10). Thus the "animal hide" is symbolic of Jesus' blood
sacrifice that once and for all forgave all of our sin, and our faith
cannot stand without the firm foundation of Salvation. "Water" is also
an often-used symbol that refers to a number of things in the Bible,
including: the Word of God (See Ephesians
5:26), the knowledge of God (See Isaiah
55:10-11), and the presence of God (See Hosea
6:3). In the same way that the wooden,
animal-hide-covered shield of the Roman soldiers were dipped in water,
our spiritual shields of faith, covered by the blood of Jesus, must also
be dipped in spiritual water to render them useful in our spiritual
In summary then, what our often-times
shaky faith-shields need in order to provide us with adequate protection
from those "flaming arrows of the evil one", namely
temptation, addiction, circumstance, and especially this time of year,
materialism, commercialism and tradition that the enemy of our souls
continually throws our way, is to be covered in the "blood of the lamb",
and then "dipped in water" by spending time in the Word of God, by
increasing in the knowledge of God, and by spending time in the presence
I encourage each of you today to spend some
time with God thinking about what it means to take up the shield of
faith. Accept His Christmas gift of Salvation with all of its other
beautiful parts--joy, peace, victory, healing, freedom, etc. Then spend
time contemplating God's goodness to you and to others around you. Spend
time in His Word and in His presence, and continue to grow in the
knowledge of God. Then when the flaming arrows of temptation, doubt,
discouragement are at the door, you will face them changed, empowered,
protected, ready to continue the battle, "...so that you may be able to
stand your ground on the evil day" and then, "...and having done
everything, to stand" (Eph. 6:13 NET).
Join us next
Tuesday for "God's Armour, Part 5: The Helmet of Salvation."
In His love,
Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard
God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of
Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet
newsletter, and Scriptural
Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and
inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer
Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter@lynchaffart.
*Taken from: https://gotquestions.org/shield-of-faith.html
(To access the entire "God's Armour" mini-series, please