Okay for all you movie buffs out there, especially the ones who like to watch war movies that took place before tanks, planes, automatic rifles, submarines, etc. I mean the movies where the soldiers would walk out on the field to face each other with their spears, their swords, and their shields. They had the catapults. They had their fire pits. They had their speeches. They had their courage, not that soldiers don’t have courage today. They fought until they couldn’t fight any longer. They’d take a break and then come out swinging again.
One of the tactics of war that you’d see from some of the armies was a tactic called a shield wall. I’ve seen this in a lot of Viking and Greek movies. The concept is that the army was basically outnumbered and they would band close together. The leader would shout, “Shield Wall.” All the army would get real close and almost hook their shields together to form an impenetrable wall with their shields. With some armies it was not only in front, on the side, but also above their heads. They never had cover from the rear because they were always pushing forward and killing the enemy as they did so.
As they pushed forward, they would open up the wall long enough to stick their sword out to stab the enemy soldier to kill them. They’d withdraw the sword and close up the wall. If arrows were being fired, they were protected by the shield wall, especially if they had the wall above their heads. Depending on where the army was from, the material used for the shield would either repel the arrows, or they would have a tough time getting through them.
With our faith, we form a shield around ourselves to protect us from the arrows that the enemy hurls at us. When Paul wrote this passage, in Ephesians 6:16, “In addition to all these, take the Christian faith as your shield. With it you can put out all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” He was quite familiar with the Roman armor, as well as the armor of our countries. The word shield does not mean the small round shield which the soldier held in his hand to fight off the weapons of his enemy. It meant the great oblong shield worn by the soldier to protect his whole body from the fiery arrows that were shot, thrown, hurled at them by the enemy. If you’ve watched any of the movies that I was talking about, you know that the tips of these arrows were dipped in pitch or some other combustible material and set on fire. When they struck, they served the purpose of small incendiary bombs.
Our enemy has his fiery darts, as well. He uses darts that causes us to question our salvation. Maybe to question our call into a ministry. To question whether we are to serve in the Kingdom. To question if the project can really be done by us. To question, doubt, and wonder if God is really there, or really alive, or really in what we’re doing. To become discouraged, depressed, and defeated over something, or the loss of something, or someone. To even burn with passion and desire for something that is not of God. These fiery darts often come at our mind, one after the other, fighting against our will, struggling to get hold of our mind and subject it to doubt or to walk that evil path.
However, as believers, the sign that we are ready for battle, the sign that we are a good soldier in the Lord’s army is that we have our shield of faith. We have faith in God. That we perfectly trust Him. That we completely trust Him. This is a faith that says, “God I know that You place a ‘shield wall’ around me and will quench the darts of doubt and evil that attack me. That You will help me control my mind and conquer the evil doubt and thoughts that I have.” As a good soldier, our consciousness of God’s presence is so great that God’s presence itself become our shield and defender. Psalm 3:3-4 says, “But thou, O LORD, are a shield for me; m glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the LORD with. My voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill.”
The next time you find yourself in a tough spot…holler, “Shield Wall!” and know that the Lord will surround you.
Until Next Time,