Ephesians 6:16 (NIV)
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.
I love to break down verses so I can understand them better. Usually that involves me finding out definitions of words and looking at the biblical cultural references if they apply.
Let’s start with the main thought; what is Faith? Faith is defined as complete trust or confidence in someone of something. According to the bible, in Hebrews 11:1 it says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Then just a verse over in Hebrews 11:3 it says, “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.
Now let’s look at the counterpart to faith in this verse – the shield. Although I’m pretty sure I know what a shield is, its always good to still look up the definition and for this reference, what kind of shield was being used by the roman army at Paul’s time of writing this?
- The definition of a shield is a broad piece of metal or other suitable material held by straps or a handle attached on one side used as a protection against blows or missiles.
- The Roman shield was called a sculta or scutum. it was a long square and covered 3/4 of the body. It could be used as a stretcher in battle. It was always also linked together so soldiers in the lines had a wall of metal to protect them.
Moving on to what the shield is protecting us from; the flaming darts or arrows of the evil one. What are those? Accusations, gossip, slander, faultfinding, bitterness, guilt, comparison, fear, jealousy…ect. Anything that is opposite of the fruit of the spirit… or opposite of God’s nature.
Rick Joyner said ” If we are constantly getting hurt or wounded, it is almost certainly because we are not carrying our faith right.”
So how to you keep the faith?
… And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faithHebrews 12:1-2 NLT
You keep the faith by keeping your eyes on Jesus! He’s the one who gives you your shield. He is the one that upgrades it! The material that makes up our shield IS FAITH. Look to what His word says to guide you. Spend time with him in prayer and quiet times. Seek out His Truth. So when you put your trust in God, when your focus is on Him and what He wants for you, your shield will be impenetrable!