“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
Ephesians 6: 16
Measuring approximately 4.5’ tall by 2’ wide, the Roman shield would completely cover a soldier as he advanced forward. It was designed and built to link together with the shields of his brothers-in-arms, enabling them to advance together, side by side, and be protected from deadly enemy arrows flying at them.
When the first-century soldier picked up his shield, he had a powerful defensive weapon in a flesh and blood battle. If the enemy could fire a flaming arrow and hit the intended target, some serious damage could result. The shield was created from wood, overlaid with leather, and dipped in water or some other substance to extinguish the flames when those arrows inevitably landed.
The tall, powerful shield — especially when linked with those of comrades — allowed the soldier to move forward, to gain ground, to fight with confidence instead of fear. He trusted that shield to protect him.
Just as the military soldier held his shield high and in place for protection, so does the believer. Advancing confidently, even when you look up and see the enemy about to launch a flame-tipped arrow in your direction, means you have faith that the shield is going to protect you.
Your confidence is in that shield.
Faith is simply believing God. Saving faith is placing our trust Him for eternity — it’s what seals our destiny. The Armor of God passage in Ephesians is written to believers … those who have already claimed salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. But Paul is teaching us here about living faith: walking it out, remaining faithful, choosing to live and behave like we believe.
When we lift up our shields, it is a declaration of what we believe about God. And when we lower them, it is a declaration of what we choose not to believe about Him.
A woman of faith goes forward in battle with confidence — not knowing what exactly will happen, but trusting and believing the One who is with her.
We hope and pray that as we Write the Word, focusing our attention on faith, that we will each be spurred on to believe God, to lift our shields of faith high as we face whatever battles each day brings.
Laura Macfarlan writes for areasonforhomeschool.com. This post is an edited version of Laura’s series on Write the Word from Sunday Soaking.