Our Shield, Our Helmet, And Our Sword

Our Shield, Our Helmet, And Our Sword

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

In Ephesians 6, Paul took inventory of the resources God has given us to defend against Satan’s attacks. The fourth piece of spiritual armor is the shield of faith. Look at verse 16: “Taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” The Roman shield was a piece of wood, covered in leather that had been soaked in water. When a fiery arrow would come at the soldier, all he had to do was lift up that shield, and the arrow was extinguished. There are a number of flaming arrows that Satan loves to send into our lives–greed, lust, doubt, anger. One of his favorites is the flaming arrow of worry. Years ago, I was in my study at church, and all of a sudden I had this thought: “What if I die soon?” Both my parents had just died at relatively young ages, and I thought I might suffer that thing. Suddenly I started feeling all these aches and pains. I called some friends, and they assured me that what I was feeling was normal. I called some doctors, and they said it was probably nothing. Then I called a friend of mine who happened to be an insurance agent. He said, “Robert, there are people who die at your age. You might want to up your insurance coverage.” And I did. I wasted a couple of hours obsessing over that until God reminded me of the truth of Psalm 139:16: “In Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” Paul said when we are under those kinds of attacks, we need to hold up the shield of faith. What is faith? Faith is the assurance that God will do what He has promised to do. We need to hold up the promises of God and trust in them when attacks come.

The fifth piece of armor we have is the helmet of salvation (Ephesians 6:17). In the Bible, salvation sometimes refers to being saved from the penalty of sin, but it also refers to being saved from the power of sin. A lot of Christians think, “I am going to heaven one day, but until I get there I can never be free from sin.” That is a lie from the pit of hell. When you trusted in Christ as your Savior, He not only saved you from the penalty of sin; He saved you from the power of sin. With the power of the Holy Spirit that now resides in you, sin has no more power over your life than you choose to allow it to have. Romans 6:6 says, “Our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.” You do not have to be a slave to Satan any longer. You serve a new master.

Finally, Paul talked about the one offensive piece of armor, and that is the sword of the Spirit. Look at Ephesians 6:17: “And the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” The word “sword” here is the word “makhaira.” It was a long dagger used for close hand-to-hand combat. The soldier had to know precisely where to strike if it were to be effective. It is the same way with us. We need to know Scripture well enough to recite not just any verse, but a verse that would give us the strength at the precise moment to say no to the attacks of Satan. That is the final piece of armor in our inventory.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Survival Tip #3: Take Inventory” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.