Hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. (Ephesians 6:16 NLT)
In Ephesians, the apostle Paul says the fourth thing to do in spiritual warfare is to hold up a shield of faith. The full armor of God includes integrity, purity, serenity and certainty.
How effective is a shield? One of the most famous battles in history is the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC, when 300 Spartans stood their ground against perhaps 100,000 Persians. At one point in the battle, the Persians shot volley after volley of arrows at the 300 Spartans. The Spartans knelt together and held up their shields, creating a wall of protection from the arrows.
Have you ever had a day you felt like that? When life is coming at you from every angle and thousands of fiery arrows are aimed at you? That’s when you need what Paul calls “the shield of faith.” Paul says, “Hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil” (Ephesians 6:16).
What are the devil’s fiery arrows?
- Dead ends
Satan has been casting doubt on mankind since the Garden of Eden, when he asked Eve, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” (Genesis 3:1). The moment you open your door to doubt — even just a little bit — Satan will charge in and create doubts, despair and depression. What do you need when you’re facing those kinds of “burning arrows”? You need faith — and certainty.
Certainty comes from trusting the promises of God when everything is going wrong in your life. You’ve got to put on your shield of faith, and doubt your doubts and believe your beliefs. Most people do the exact opposite. That’s just foolish. It is the doubts we should doubt and beliefs we should believe. If you don't have faith, you will stumble when Satan attacks you.
The Bible says, “Because of your faith, it will happen” (Matthew 9:29). What does that mean? You’ve got to believe in God’s promises, even if they don’t appear to be true at the time.
Lean on God’s promises and lift up the shield of faith when Satan sends his fiery darts of doubt.
Saddleback Resources offers a small group Bible study related to these devotionals: The Invisible War-Winning the Battle of Temptation.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and best-known churches. Rick is author of the New York Times Best Seller The Purpose Driven Life, and also The Purpose Driven Church, which was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for ministers. © Copyright 2011 Rick Warren.