in addition to all, 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(NASB)
In our Christian walk, we are not fighting a physical battle but a spiritual one, and God in His grace, has equipped us with a wide range of spiritual armoury which when used correctly, will be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the enemy, be a protection to ourselves and others, and give glory to the Lord.
Every part of our armour is given for a different, yet important purpose, and each piece is designed to be used in concert with the others. But we need to know the benefit of each piece of the weaponry we receive.. one of which is the Shield-of-Faith, "with which we will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one."
At salvation, we are saved by faith and are eternally protected from the arrow of death and fires of eternal damnation.. but throughout our Christian life we are to continue to walk by faith. We need faith in the Word of God to sustain us, and we need to believe all God's promises to His children, for we are to live our entire life by faith in Him. We are to live by faith - and not to trust in our own works of the flesh. Saving faith is by grace alone, through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone - and so is our ongoing, sanctifying faith.
As we journey through life, we need to continue in sanctifying faith. We are to grow in grace. We are to mature in the faith. We are to walk by faith. We are to live by ongoing, persevering, purifying, trusting faith - for without faith it is impossible for the child of God to please the Lord, for we must KNOW and TRUST that His Word is sure, that His promises are true and His truth stands fast forever and ever.
We can never fight a spiritual enemy by natural means. The greatest enemy we encounter is death - but Christ won that battle on our account, and by faith in His death, burial, and resurrection, we too have victory over death, and will be resurrected from the dead - because all born again children of God are given eternal life. Christ's own eternal, resurrected life, becomes our life by faith. In Him is life, and His supernatural life becomes our eternal life, through time and into the eternal ages to come.
But saving faith is not the type of faith about which this passage is speaking. This scripture is addressed to those that are already saved. It instructs believers that ongoing, sanctifying faith, is a necessary protection throughout our Christian life. And the Shield-of-Faith, when utilised correctly, will protect our heart and soul from all the flaming arrows of the enemy, during our time on earth.
Temptations and fiery trials, tribulation and stormy seas, irritation and deep disappointment, persecution and various people, will be used by the enemy to burn our soul and shipwreck our testimony. Discouragement and unholy anger, doctrinal error and spiritual confusion, together with false teachings, moral failure, and self-recrimination, will flood our hearts if we step outside the protection of an unwavering faith in God - and Jesus Christ, Whom He has sent.
The enemy knows our weakest point and aims every one of his fiery darts at the bullseye of our human frailty. He will use fractured relationships, money concerns, health issues, the state of the nation, and anything else that may cause us to take our eyes off Jesus, and focus on the problem at hand.
We are to be astute, and recognise that anything that may cause our hearts to fail, can be prevented when we cast all our cares upon Him - by faith.. knowing that ALL His promises are "Yes" and "Amen" in Christ Jesus our Lord. When the enemy seeks to instil worry in our heart or to whip up our frantic emotions - it is the Shield-of-Faith that is our protection - for God's Word is sure and we must stand firm on His truth, however fragile life's circumstances may have become.
There are many pieces of spiritual armour which God has prepared for our protection during our sojourn on earth, and those that know their God and trust His Word will continuously carry that Shield-of-Faith - by taking every thought captive to Christ.. by keeping their eyes of faith on Jesus and by resisting every attack of the enemy, through standing firm on the Word of faith.
May we stand fast in this evil day and take up the Shield-of-Faith moment by moment, knowing that with it, we are able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one, and stand victorious - by the power of His Spirit, which is given by faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You have fully equipped us to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil, with such wonderful pieces of spiritual armour. Thank You for the Shield-of-Faith, with which I am enabled to extinguish all the flaming arrows and fiery darts of the evil one. Help me to stand fast on the promises of God and to keep my eyes looking to Jesus. Thank You that I have not only been saved by grace through faith in Him, but that in the power of the Holy Spirit I may live by grace through faith. Father, I pray that I live by faith and not by sight, to Your eternal praise and glory. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.