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Taking Up the Shield of Faith

. . . taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to
extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

– Ephesians 6:16

 Let’s not take all our combined knowledge and formulate an understanding of this verse of scripture. Let’s just look at this one single verse, pretending that we know nothing of the rest of scripture and try real hard to do what it says to do (smile).

I cringe when I read the first four words! I’m supposed to "take up the shield." I don’t think I can handle a shield. I haven’t been taught to use one–to sidestep or thrust, or twirl a 380 to out-maneuver my opponent. I doubt my ability to swing my shield around from side to side to ward off blows coming from all directions or the strength of my forearm to lug this piece of armor around for the length of the battle.

That’s not a real good positive attitude to start with, is it? And the next few words strike fear into my heart. It’s apparently a "given" that I’m going to be under attack where someone evil is going to be shooting flaming arrows at me. I can see it all! I’m ducking, running for shelter behind a rock, trying to ward off the flaming missiles by throwing my hand up and knocking them down to keep them from hitting me (and that burns like crazy!), protecting my eyes, slapping at the flame that’s spreading on my shirt, and all in a vain attempt to protect myself. When I envision this battle I’m ready to wave the white flag and surrender before I get off the bus at the battleground.

So I have a gigantic need in this world of mine where flaming arrows are flying all around me. I need an immediate working plan for a shield. That’s when He shows me this verse:

He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.
– Proverbs 30:5(b)

Hallelujah! I read the verse again and again and again! Reprieve! But wait, there’s a condition in the verse— to those who take refuge in Him. Before He can be a shield to me—for me—I must choose to take refuge in Him. What does that mean? To believe His words, to think about Him, set my mind on His presence, His strength, His power, step out of His way and let Him show me what an expert "shield bearer" He is. And to shout encouragement as He deftly destroys the flaming arrows and brag on Him!

Now I see the arrows hitting the Shield and falling on the ground. Why? HE is my shield. If He had not shown me that verse I would be a goner. I have to hold the shield up. I have to be aware of the enemy’s position—Where is he going to strike next? Is he behind me? to my right? to my left? I have to master the technique for using my shield—how to catch the glancing blows, how to hold that shield so it will be slanted just right for a direct frontal attack. I have to do it all! Oh, no! Not me! I’ve learned something wonderful! I was never meant to carry the shield!

So Ephesians 6:16 isn’t scary anymore. I don’t have to do it! He is my shield. He stands to protect me, ever aware of approaching danger and will throw Himself in front of me to keep me safe…amazing! Praise the Lord. I was never any good in athletic competition! But I am a cheerleader of Olympic class! Go God Go!

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.