Where's Your Shield?
By Daphne Delay
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His great power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can fight against the devil's evil tricks… And ABOVE ALL, take the shield of faith with which you can stop all the burning arrows of the Evil One." (Ephesians 6:10-11,16 NCV)
When it comes to spiritual warfare, this passage of scripture in Ephesians is the most instructive. And although we could dissect each verse and look at the individual pieces of our spiritual armor in great detail, I want to focus on the "shield of faith."
Paul used the wording "above all," causing us to think he meant "more important than all." But I recently heard a teaching by Rick Renner, a Greek scholar who has a wonderful gift of breaking down New Testament words in their original language. He asked: "Could [the shield of faith] really be more important than all? Could it really be more important than the sword of the Spirit? Or the breastplate of righteousness?" The answer is no.
In the Greek, the phrase "above all" is translated from two words. The first means over or out in front. The second word means all or everything. Putting these two words together, they do not describe the importance of the shield of faith, but instead describe its POSITION. So a better translation would be "out in front of all" or "covering all."
Shields aren’t designed to be held next to your side or behind your back. They are to be used in a forward position. Your shield of faith is a weapon against the devil, to cover and protect you from his onslaughts.
Renner suggested Paul was using Roman soldiers as his example. They always kept their shields out in front to defend themselves from attack. If they marched into battle without their shield in its proper position, they would be slaughtered. It would’ve been pure foolishness for a Roman soldier to forget his shield, or leave it at his side.
In the same way, God wants us to grab our shield of faith and carry it out in front "...with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one."
Paul also said we must take the shield of faith. Many Christians either forget to pick up faith or don’t know how to use this vital weapon. The word "take" describes a repetitive action. In other words, not only are we to pick up our shield of faith and use it out front, carrying it high as a covering at all times, but we are to do this repeatedly! Every hour of every day… Never, ever, ever, are we to lay our shield down. When we are faithful to awake every day, picking up our shield, God will be faithful to empower us with it.
Apparently, the Ephesians had laid theirs down; therefore, the Apostle Paul was commanding them to pick it up again. He was not only reminding them of the spiritual armor God has given us, but he was also advising them to use them!
So where is your shield of faith? Can you say your faith is active, alive, and out front? Or is it lagging behind? Have you allowed your shield of faith to drop to your side, instead of maintaining it in the forward position where it once was?
Make a choice today to take your shield in hand and put it in the position it is supposed to be in—because it will not get there by itself. YOU will have to take action. It's as simple as a decision. By an act of your will and by your confession, you can pick up your shield of faith.
Put your trust in God and the authority He has given YOU to thwart all the attacks of your enemy. The Bible says, "No weapon formed against you shall prosper..." (Isaiah 54:17). It doesn't say weapons will not be formed against you—it says the weapons formed do not have to prosper (or make contact). In other words, the devil can misfire, or better yet, YOUR SHIELD OF FAITH can stop his ammunition altogether!
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Daphne Delay is the founder of Mirror Ministries in Seminole, Texas. She is the author of Facing the Mirror: Finding a Self to Live With. Daphne has written over 200 articles for subscribers to Mirror Ministries and other publications, and she blogs nuggets of spiritual growth encouragement every week. Daphne is the wife of a senior pastor and the mother of three. www.mirrorministries.org
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