Ephesians 6:16 KJV Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
The shield of faith is a weapon we have with us and we pick it up when we need it. We already have the breastplate of righteousness on so this is like double protection. This shield is used for a specific kind of attack. When the attacks ramp up, that is the flaming arrows of Satan.
We saw in the first study examples of how people prepared to meet the attack and here we will also see examples of people who took up their shield of faith and put out the flames and deflected the arrows so they fell harmless to the ground. The war against Christians is building which makes it more important everyday to know how to use the Armour God has given us.
The Flaming Arrows
What are Satan’s flaming arrows?
The arrows are versions of the same ones he threw at Adam and Eve, which we find in Genesis 3:4-5. Satan’s arrows include the following,
Satan says: God is a liar and God keeps good things from you for His own gain and to keep you beaten down under His control.
God says: I am the Truth, I know the plans I have for you, which are good, to protect you (Psalm 18:2, Jeremiah 29:11-13) and apart from me you can do nothing.
We find who they chose in Genesis 3:6. Eve listened, accepted, and finally agreed with Satan and her own flesh. She went to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and as she looked at its fruit her thinking and her desires pushed away God’s command and she:
- saw the tree was good for food – lust of the flesh
- it looked pleasing to the eyes – lust of the eyes
- eating the fruit would make her like God – pride of life
1 John 2:16, 1 John 5:19, and Ephesians 6:12 all tell us the world is run under the influence of Satan. The world’s way of thinking and doing is Satanic due to its sinful nature. Believers war against these ways and thoughts we use the shield of faith to throw water on the fire, so to speak, so the arrows are harmless and the fire goes out. What we need to know is how to use it. We will look at 2 examples, we are to have faith and speak the written Word of God.
Life Examples of Using The Shield
We are to have Faith.
Romans 4:18 KJV Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
Romans 4 is about righteousness before God, is it through faith alone or through good works. Abraham and his righteousness is the subject of the discussion. What we find is faith alone in the name Jesus Christ is the only way for God to have peace with us and for us to be at peace with God.
Here we have an example of FAITH.
God had told Abraham he would be the father of many nations but Abraham and his wife did not have any children and they were now old. However, God promised him and his wife, Sarah, they would have a son but again they were very old. What we read above is Abraham holding onto the promise God made to him even though his body and his wifes body told him it was impossible.
We know Satan sent flaming arrows because instead of completely waiting there was a bright idea they could have a son through Sarah’s maid (Genesis 16). That did not go well but that is for another time.
How did Abraham use his shield of faith?
We find the answer is verses 20 and 21: he did not go back and forth in believing the promise, he was empowered by the Lord to stand strong in his faith (Ephesians 6:10), and he stood on the ability of God to perform His promise. How did he do this, he gave glory to God.
What does that mean?
He praised God, that is, he worshipped him for who He believes and knows He is. Abraham trusted God’s promise and His ability, and while he waited years for the promise to be fulfilled, he stood firm in faith and did not move in his opinion about God.
So, when Satan sends fiery arrows our way we raise our shield of faith by knowing who God is, what God says, and God is able to perform what He promises. Hebrews 11:1 defines the faith that pleases God as, being confident of what we hope for and convinced of what we don’t see. That is we are confident God exists and He rewards those who diligently seek Him. Satan will send fiery darts aimed at our belief of God’s existence, His character, and His abilities.
We are to Speak the Written Word of God
Jesus, Himself, experienced the flaming arrows of Satan and He has given us the perfect example.
In Luke chapter 4 verses 1-14, Jesus was tempted for 40 days and nights. However we only know 3 of the fiery arrows Satan shot. These are the same flaming arrows Satan used with Adam and Eve. Jesus, God in flesh, shows us how to reflect the arrows, put the fire out, and came away victorious over sin and Satan.
Lust of the Flesh
The first arrow is the lust of the flesh. Jesus had not eaten in 40 days and nights and Satan told Him to turn the stones into bread (Luke 4:2-3) but how is that an arrow, I eat when I am hungry. Satan says “if” challenging that He is the Son of God and wanting Him to fail by satisfying the lust of His flesh. It is not eating but the why behind it. What does Jesus do, He says it is written.
Lust of the Eyes
The next arrow is lust of the eyes. Satan shows Jesus all the kingdoms he has on this earth. He offers to give them to Jesus if He will worship him ONE time. Satan knows Jesus is the Son of God, Luke 3:21-22. So, why? Satan has one agenda but God has another and Hebrews 4:15 says Jesus was tempted in every way we are but Jesus never sinned. This means Jesus has sympathy for what we go through here in this world under the control of the evil one and He knows exactly how to stop the fiery arrows of Satan. What does Jesus do, He quotes scripture.
Pride of Life
The last arrow is the pride of life. Once again we hear from Satan, If you are the Son of God, cast yourself down from here but this time Satan also quotes scripture for it is written cast yourself down from here and “He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: (Psalm 91:11-12 Satan left out in all thy ways) And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone”. (Luke 4:10-11).
Satan took scripture out of context (Deuteronomy 4:2, Deuteronomy 12:32, Revelation 22:18) for his own personal gain. He did this to Adam and Eve. When Eve answered Satan she added “we cannot touch the tree” and God did not say that. The Pride of life is when we put our own twist on scripture. Eve added to the Word of God and disobeyed. This caused them to get kicked out of the Garden of Eden.
Jesus is all about His Father. He quotes scripture for its true purpose. And we are to worship the Lord God and serve Him only not ourself.
The Flaming Arrows of Today
Again, the flaming arrows of Satan has not changed over time but they have been packaged differently. Today the arrows come by way of the TV, Movies, Internet, entertainment, commercials, etc.. They tell you you should not be content with what you have but covet what you don’t have. We cannot quench the fire and deflect the arrow without knowing who God is and who Jesus is.
Genesis 15:1 KJV After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
Psalm 5:11 KJV But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. 12 For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.
There are many more, but the point is:
Romans 8:31 KJV What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
Our shield of faith is God Himself and with God shielding us who can stand against us, no one.