When you watch some of the violent protests, you see protesters throwing large rocks, bottles, fireworks, and other explosives at police. In many cases the only thing that has saved the officers from serious injury are the shields they hold up.
It is the same in spiritual warfare.
Just as the violent protesters do not care that people get hurt, neither does Satan. In fact, that is his passion – to kill, steal, and destroy you (John 10:10a).
That is why God has given you HIS shield. Have you noticed that in the Ephesians passage that we have been studying this week on spiritual warfare, it does not say, “Put on your armor”, but rather,
“Put on the whole armor of God!”? Ephesians 6:11
This shield is a supernatural shield. We know that not only because it is God’s, but also because of how Ephesians describes its capability:
“Above all, taking the shield of faith with which, you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” Ephesians 6:15
It can quench ALL of Satan’s attacks.
To quench is to “put out, douse, extinguish, smother”.
So, what quenches all of Satan’s attacks? Your faith!
Faith says that no matter what Satan throws at me, I will trust God. I will believe His promises, period!
It is when you get discouraged and battle fatigued because things are not changing as fast as you hoped they would, that you begin to drop your shield. This is when you will get knocked out!
What does the Bible say about this?
“Therefore, do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:35-36
There is another way Roman soldiers (where Paul is drawing his analogy from for the armor of God) used their shields. They would hook them together on each side and on the top to make what is known as a “Turtle Shell”.
This speaks of the absolute must of staying connected to the body of Christ!
If you are on the battlefield alone, you are toast. You MUST have faith-filled friends on either side of you, encouraging you to keep believing! And if you have fallen, they will put their shields around you to protect you.
“So, brothers and sisters, be careful that none of you has an evil, unbelieving heart that will turn you away from the living God. But encourage each other every day while it is ‘today.’ Help each other so none of you will become hardened because sin has tricked you. We all share in Christ if we keep till the end the sure faith we had in the beginning.” Hebrews 3:12-14 NCV
This passage will not be anything more than a nice suggestion until you go through a deep trial. Unfortunately, for many, it won’t be until they are laying on the battlefield full of arrows that they will reach out for help. This passage is saying to do it BEFORE the trial comes so that you will be protected by the Turtle Shell.
I am SO THANKFUL that my wife and I had developed a strong bond with a community of faith-filled believers before she was attacked with breast cancer. It has been the shields of our friends that have protected us. Without them, I honestly do not even want to think of the spiritual condition we might be in.
Life is hard and Satan is diabolical. He is looking for the ones who are isolated. They are the easiest to pick off.
Keep your shield of faith held up. Keep close to faith-filled friends. And you will quench ALL the fiery darts of the evil one.
Q. Have you become discouraged and battle fatigued through unanswered prayers? Have you begun to lower your shield? What can you do today to lift your shield back up?
Q. Are you alone? Isolated? Have you allowed your relationships with faith-filled believers to fall to the wayside? What will you do today to reconnect with your believing friends?