Shield – to hide or to protect?

As children often do, I would fight with my siblings.  Oh yea, we would have some “wing-dingers”!   If towels were being flicked around the kitchen, the “victim” would run and try and hide.   I can remember running down the stairs trying to get away, when just as I turned the corner I felt the sting of the towels end right on my backside!  Ouch!   Well, as I got a little older I discovered that the best defence was to get as close as I possible could.  The closer I got to my “attacker” the less they had time to wind up and get me.  I was in their face, and standing confident that I was protected.

“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

We are to take up the shield of faith, not hide behind it.  I have a picture that is pretty vivid in my head every time I read this verse.  Imagine in your minds eye, you, standing there.  Holding this very amazing shield with confidence that it WILL protect you.   You feel the weight of it and then over time you learn to handle that weight and soon it becomes part of you.  When you feel it begin to drop, you find one more reason to pull it up in front of you and you are given unexplainable strength.   You aren’t hiding behind it, you are going into battle carrying it to protect you.   You are pressing into the battle knowing that your shield of faith will protect you.   You are not a coward that runs away to get around the corner to hide, nope.  You are strong, standing there with your belt of truth, your breastplate of righteousness, your shoes ready to deliver the message of the gospel of peace and now with your shield of faith.  You,yes, you are a warrior for the King of Kings and are prepared to fight off the fiery darts of the one who has already been defeated but continues to badger and attack the child of the King, you.  You can hold that shield with confidence that the work has been done, through the lamb of God.

I was reading about the types of shields that the Roman Soldiers used and found it pretty interesting.   There was one called the “scutum”.   It was very large and when the soldiers would stand side by side and close to each other, the shields could be held close together in the front and close together overhead.  This provided them protection from darts and overhead attack, then once ready they could break away and go into battle protected by their own shield.  They could then push into battle with their shield along side others with the same shield knowing the protection was in place.

What is this shield?  Faith.  Sound hard?  Well, we put faith in so many things in a day.  Our car, our loved ones, our debit card machines, and well, you get the picture.   This is not that kind of faith.  The faith that this shield represents is a reflection of the work on the cross and in the resurrection of Jesus.   Our faith is in the one true God, it is the shield by which we can stand and say:

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:37-39

Our shield of faith is a shield to remind us that we are covered by Christ, that the battle is His.   This shield is given for our protection, not for us to hide behind because we have nothing to hide from.  Satan is out to attack, to really bring life around us and bring us down.   We stand together as believers with the shield of faith…. in prayer for one another, and together.  We stand together as believers with the shield of faith … in confident belief that Jesus is the Christ who was promised long before His time.   Our faith need only be in Him and with that shield of faith our battles might be hard, and satans flaming darts might be strong, but the battle is won and we are being protected.  We can press against the attacks of satan with the shield of our faith, the one we have faith in has already won!

So, take up your shield of faith.  Let your faith grow in your devotional times and quiet times, your times at church or study or standing by the oceans waves.  Be confident in the one who loves you enough to die for you and remember He didn’t stay dead… He conquered, so we can fight off the attacks of the one he defeated.

Next time someone goes to flick you with a towel, remember… the shield of faith and go into battle and push back the attacker.

Love, Hugs n Prayers
Jackie

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