“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” Ephesians 6:16
This verse is in the middle of the description of the Armor of God that Paul tells us to put on in the book of Ephesians. When we put on the Armor of God, we have put on the belt of truth, and the shoes of the Gospel of peace. But we “take up” the shield of faith. Look at that, it is an action word. Now I know that putting on the belt and the shoes take action too. We have to do those things. We have to think on the righteousness that we have through the blood of Jesus. The way to do that is to know the gospel of peace. We have to know God’s word to really have the gospel of peace. But even with knowing our place under the blood of Jesus and with knowing His peace, we still must take up the shield of faith. We must actively hold our shield in place to “extinguish the flaming darts of the evil one.”
The explanation of the armor to the people in Ephesians that Paul was speaking to would be easy for them to imagine as they had a picture of what all of this armor would look like. They also knew that in battles that there would be arrows or darts that were set aflame and shot at them by the enemy. Therefore, they could picture the warrior actively taking up his shield and having to protect himself from arrows that were truly set aflame. Paul using these word pictures was to let them know the seriousness of the attacks that would still be coming at them even after knowing their place in the kingdom and knowing the gospel. We would love to think that once we become a Christian that Satan is just going to leave us alone. Right? But he doesn’t, unfortunately! But the good news is when we put on our armor of God it comes with a shield of faith.
You see Satan will continue to play with your mind. He will give you thoughts and feelings, he will fuel your imagination with fear and with lies and he will hurl all of these things at you until, if we are not careful the rest of our armor will get stiff and rusty. But when you take up that shield of faith and you turn them back on Satan’s head you can stand tall in your armor.
Faith is a very important element of our armor. You have to exercise it, sometimes those darts may be coming at you so much that you have to take extra steps for it. I know I have been there. Sometimes that shield just gets heavy doesn’t it? So you have to take extra steps to keep that shield up. When the devil’s lies and torments begin to take over, watch what you are putting in. For instance, when I feel myself getting overwhelmed with what ifs and I feel my imagination run wild and I know it’s because Satan is hurling a few darts, I will turn on some praise music as my background noise. If I have something very specific that I need to keep in my mind to pray, I will write out verses on sticky notes and paste them everywhere. All of these are the ways that I take up my shield of faith. It’s active, it’s purposeful. We have the power to stand against those fiery darts my friends, we just have to take up that shield and to put on our armor. We need to know where we stand in truth, we need to know the gospel of peace and we take up that shield and stand and extinguish those darts coming at us.