“In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.”
Ephesians 6:16 NLT
Firey arrows… just THINKING about being bombarded with firey arrows makes me feel anxious. However, that’s what many of us see every single day. Firey arrows aimed directly at us, our families, our friends, our children. Maybe it’s a diagnosis. Maybe it’s the pressure of a toxic work environment. Maybe it’s losing someone who is very dear to you. Whatever direction they’re coming from, they certainly are creating a lot of damage and chaos. It doesn’t help that they set everything on fire all around you and you can feel the intensity of the heat from the flames.
Ephesians 6 tells us to put on every piece of God’s armor, but I want to focus right now on the Shield of Faith.
When I think of a shield used by the Roman soldiers-that’s a pretty heavy piece of equipment! I would imagine it would get rather tiresome having to carry that thing around all the time, but if I were to get caught in a storm of firey darts, I definitely wouldn’t want to go without it. The purpose of a shield is to block something dangerous from hitting you. You have to hide behind it. If you’re in battle and there are firey darts all around you, you had better use that shield!
If you have been born again, Christ has placed you in a position of victory. (1 John 5:4) Your job in battle is to stand firm.
Ephesians 6:13-14 NLT
“…Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.”
We must stand firm to maintain our position of victory. At times we will need to fight to maintain our position as well. However, since we’re focusing on the shield of faith, we will focus on standing firm.
(If I ever get around to doing something like this on the Sword of the Spirit, then we can discuss maintaining our position of victory by engaging in battle.)
So, how do we stand firm in our position of victory in Christ? What happens if we aren’t able to stand firm?
Ephesians 6:12 says we aren’t fighting a battle in the natural. Our battlefield is in the spirit realm. It is a tactic of the enemy to overwhelm us with firey arrows. After all, the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). Out of self preservation we instinctively want to retreat, which is exactly what the enemy ultimately wants us to do. If we retreat, we lose our position. We get knocked out of our position of victory and into a position of defeat. In other words, we become prisoners of war on the enemies territory.
The only way to stand firm in an attack of fiery darts is to use our shield of faith. When you became born again, you not only were drafted as a soldier for the Kingdom, but also you were given all the armor of God. Many of us are marching through battle carrying our armor instead of wearing it. Ephesians 6 tells us to PUT ON the full armor so we can stand firm. It’s not enough just to possess the armor, we have to utilize it.
God gives us the shield of faith specifically to protect us from an assault of firey arrows. We have to hide ourselves behind it. Any part of us that is exposed could be subject to a fatal blow. Often in battle we are pushed or forced back. In order to maintain our position we must move forward. Imagine a treadmill, if you will. We have to move forward with the same force that we are being pushed back. Otherwise we are thrown out of our position.
So at times, we move forward in order to stand firm in victory. We have to do this while covering ourselves with our shield, but how can we move forward when we can’t see what’s ahead from behind our shield?
2 Corinthians 5:7 KJV
“(for we walk by faith, not by sight:)”
The truth is, the shield of faith blocks us from seeing what’s happening in the natural. We are not moving blindly. Unlike a shield in the natural, we actually will still see in front of us. We see in the the spirit. I have a mental image of someone holding an open Bible over their eyes. We are aware of the chaos around us, but our focus is on the Word, not the world—it’s a Kingdom focus. We are able to move forward and not retreat because we are seeing what’s eternal in the spirit and not momentary in the natural. We are aware of what’s happening around us, but it’s not our focus.
So what happens if the battle continues for a long time and we grow weary? As I mentioned earlier, the Roman shield is a hefty piece of equipment. I would imagine in an attack, your arms would grow tired. You may be tempted to peek over the shield and see what’s happening. This is how we become overwhelmed and retreat. When we focus on what’s being thrown at us from every direction in the natural, we, understandably, become anxious. We risk losing our position of victory by lowering our shield.
What if we’ve become too weak to continue to hold up our shield? How can we preserve our strength?
Well, for starters, if we can resist the temptation to spy what’s happening in the natural we will better maintain our strength. This is because we will be laser focused on Gods promises in His Word. One of the enemies tactics is to keep us from spending time in Gods Word. It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life that we forget to make time to shield our eyes with the Word.
Another strategy the enemy uses to get us to lower our shield is by what we listen to. We are very aware of the firey madness around us. We can hear what’s going on. We may hear others in total panic. The sound of some of our fellow soldiers shouting to retreat, can be terrifying. It may persuade us to peek over our shield and follow suit. That’s why it’s so important that we keep our eyes on His Word.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
John 10:27 NLT
We have to know His voice. We have to listen to the still, small voice over the loud shouting of the enemy. We can overcome the enemy shouting in our ear by using the Sword of the Spirit, which is the spoken Word of God. This will help us not to become weary or give in to lowering our shield.
What do we do if we’ve already lowered our shield? How can we, then, find the strength to raise it back up?
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NLT
“9 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 11 Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? 12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”
There is strength in numbers, my friend. Another tactic of the enemy is isolation. Satan wants us to think we are alone in the fight. When we become overwhelmed with blow after firey blow (another strategy of the enemy is to wear down the saints) it can be difficult to preserve our faith. Satan wants us to feel alone and overwhelmed. If he can make us too ashamed to reach out for help when we’re struggling, then we’re much more likely to fall back out of our position. The devil knows there is strength in numbers, as well. So he uses these tactics to keep us isolated.
“Each one of you will put to flight a thousand of the enemy, for the Lord your God fights for you, just as he has promised.”
Joshua 23:10 NLT
“How could one person chase a thousand of them, and two people put ten thousand to flight…”
Deuteronomy 32:30 NLT
When our arms have grown tired and we find ourselves at the point of retreat, we need to reach out. We are much stronger together than we are alone.
The Lord gave me a vision of a soldier treading through fire. The soldier was hiding behind his shield, being protected from the flames. Then the soldier fell to his knees. It took all his strength to continue to hold up his shield. He had become too exhausted to carry on. Then I saw 2 other soldiers who had already made it through the battle do the unthinkable. They looked back into the disarray of fire. They weren’t looking back to focus on the utter destruction. They were looking for fellow soldiers. Then I saw the 2 soldiers go back into the fire. They braved the firey arrows again to bring out their fellow soldier. They didn’t carry him out. They helped him lift his shield and walk through the battle to safety.
It is our job as Kingdom warriors to help our fellow soldiers that have fallen into enemy territory back into their position of victory.
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”
Proverbs 27:17 NLT
The Bible teaches us that we overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. (Revelation 12:11) So if you’ve become too spent to continue lifting your shield through battle, you can overcome by reminding yourself of what God has already brought you through; and for those that have already made it out of the fire, we can help others out by the word of our testimony as well. We help lift up their shield of faith by testifying how God brought us out of the same battle.
Revelation 19:10 KJV
“…..for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
Therefore, when we testify of how Jesus overcame and how we also overcame because of His blood, we are building faith in those that are still out in the battlefield. We are unleashing the spirit of prophecy over them. What battles God has brought me through, He will also bring you through.
Perhaps you’ve not been equipped with Gods armor. You can’t dress yourself in something you don’t possess. I have good news—though the battle is raging, the war has already been won. Jesus made a way for you at the cross. He was the ultimate sacrifice and His blood covers all our transgressions.
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.”
Romans 8:1-2 NLT
Will you enlist to fight in a war that Jesus already won? We don’t fight to win the victory. We fight to maintain our position of victory. We fight because our brothers and sisters are still slaves to the power of sin, which leads to death. We fight because we love. We fight because He first loved us.
Will you give your heart to Jesus and fight the good fight?
Romans 10:9-10 ESV
“Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
If you believe Jesus raised from the dead and He is Lord, and you confess it with your mouth, then, congratulations, my friend! God has drafted you into the Kingdom army. You have been moved into a position of victory. Not only are you now fully equipped with the Armor of God, but you have also become a temple of the Holy Spirit! Every promise in scripture now pertains to you! I encourage you to find a good church family and sit under solid teaching so you can grow stronger in your faith. Dive deep into the scriptures so you can really know the Father!
Congratulations, my now forever friend! We’ll fight together. ❤️