How To Utilize A Shield

Have you ever actually used a shield?

I’m not sure I ever have, at least not for real. But I’ve seen shields used a lot in movies and never really thought about how to use one until our pastor made an interesting observation a few weekends ago.

It’s almost impossible to use a shield effectively if you’re running away from the enemy.

Picture that in your mind. I suppose it’s technically possible to hold a shield behind you while you flee, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it used like that. A shield works best when you’re facing your enemy head-on.

God’s Armor

One of the well-known passages in the Bible describes putting on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17):

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

We’re not warned here about a human enemy, but rather about our spiritual enemy. Personally, I’ve always thought about avoiding confrontations with THAT enemy. I’m afraid of him. But this tells me something different.

I’m instructed to stand my ground and stand firm. And then comes that statement about “… the shield of faith that can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

I can’t picture blocking those flaming arrows as I turn my back and run in fear. The shield of faith loses its effectiveness.

But when I face the enemy squarely, confront my fear head-on, I can deploy that shield and hold my ground with confidence.

Ironic, isn’t it? Facing my greatest fear also allows me to employ my most effective defense.

But turning toward an enemy who’s shooting flaming arrows at me is scary.

Knowing that it makes sense doesn’t make it much easier.

How can we learn to face the thing we fear so we can stand firm behind the shield of faith?
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Copyright 2010 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site

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