The Whole Armor of God, part 4
Updated: Aug 26, 2020
The fourth piece of armor that Paul wrote about in Ephesians 6 is “the shield of faith, by which we extinguish the fiery darts of the wicked one” (verse 16). Satan’s main weapons are the lies he shoots into our hearts like fiery darts. Christians are not supposed to use logic or human reasoning to duck away from Satan’s lies. In the face of Satan’s lies, God calls us to hold up the shield of faith! We are instructed to hide behind what God has told us is true in the Bible. Satan shoots his fiery darts at you, saying such things as:
· “You’re no good.”
· “After what you did, do you think God still loves you?”
· “You can never make a difference.”
· “Even on your best day, you are not good enough.”
· “You will always be sick, miserable, lonely, depressed, etc.”
When we are attacked with these mental “fiery darts,” we must hold up the shield, block off the Enemy’s lies, and speak the truth of God’s Word to ourselves:
· “I am saved by grace through faith.”
· “I have not received the spirit of fear, but the Spirit of adoption.”
· “If God is for me, who can be against me?”
· “Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life!”
· “I am more than a conqueror through Christ who loves me.”
· “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
· “Jesus loves me and has never left me and He promised he never would leave me.”
The burning arrows that Paul wrote about, the ‘fiery darts’ of the wicked one are evil thoughts, injected into the mind. They may be compared to arrows because they come suddenly and swiftly; thick and fast. These arrows are very numerous, and where they stick they can be very troublesome because they cause pain and grief. They are called burning because they serve to inflame the passions into acts of transgression such as lust, anger, and revenge, or fear and discouragement, and to invite us into sin. If these thoughts are not repelled, they would bring about sinful thoughts and actions. Satan wants to ruin everything in you that reminds him of Jesus!
He wants to:
· destroy your right standing with God.
· remove your hope of salvation through faith.
· eradicate your knowledge of the Truth.
· dispute your confession of the faith in the Word of God.
· silence your proclamation of the Good News of peace.
The shield of faith is here compared to the great oblong shield of the Roman foot soldier, called a scutum. This scutum covered and protected the whole body. Faith thus also covers all the other pieces of the armor of God, providing double protection. To quench or extinguish burning missiles, the shields that were ordinarily made from skins or hides of animals were either soaked in water or covered with metal on the outside, thus preventing the fire from catching hold on the shield. The shields were used not only to repel the enemy’s weapons but also to attack the enemy by hitting him with it or pushing him aside.
Our faith in God is like a precious golden shield. Just like the soldier’s shield covered his other pieces of armor, the shield of faith also draws upon the grace that preserved all the other pieces of the armor of God and activates the armor in our lives. Like the shields of the soldiers in the Roman legions, by which mighty feats of warfare were accomplished, the believer uses faith to repel and conquer the enemy of our souls. We use the shield of faith to quench the fiery darts of Satan’s temptations so that they will not have the malignant influence for which they are designed. We do this based on the blood of Christ.
· “No one can please God without faith, for whoever comes to God must have faith that God exists and rewards those who seek him.” (Heb 11:6)
God is our shield of faith, through our faith in Christ Jesus. Therefore, God’s love and favor encompass us as a shield. Jesus’ blood and righteousness are our protection. Faith such as this will quench any dart of the devil. Though they pass through your mind, they will never stay there. You catch them with this shield of faith, blunted and extinguished. Similarly, the Word of God is a shield against false doctrines and the schemes of Satan.
· “God keeps every promise he makes. He is like a shield for all who seek his protection.” (Proverbs 30:5)
· “The LORD is my protector; he is my strong fortress. My God is my protection, and with him I am safe. He protects me like a shield; he defends me and keeps me safe.” (Psalm 18:2)
· “But you, GOD, shield me on all sides; You ground my feet, you lift my head high.” (Psalm 3:3 MSG)
The shield of faith makes all the difference.
· “When you pray and ask for something, believe that you have received it, and you will be given whatever you ask for.” (Mark 11:24)
· “Every child of God is able to defeat the world. And we win the victory over the world by means of our faith.” (1 John 5:4)
· “Anything that is not based on faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23)
Jesus is all we need. He is the beginning and the end of our faith.