TODAY’S READING: Ephesians 6:14-17
“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation.” EPH 6:16-17
In the UK, the difference in being brought up in Northern Ireland and in Great Britain can be seen in the games we played! As I grew up in the 80s, Northern Ireland was being torn apart by terrorism, violence and murder and that spilled over into our childhood. We built barricades behind where we lived and my friends and I would take it in turns to attack the barricades with bricks and bottles, while others would defend with bin lids as shields! They would shout ‘incoming’ and raise their shields. It was madness but such fun! Those bin lids were pelted with rocks and bottles but actually functioned quite well as a shield!
The Roman shield was an awesome bit of kit! It was about five feet high, about two feet wide and protected the soldier from the knee to the shoulder. The leather on the front of the shield was soaked in water before the battle so that the enemy’s fiery arrows were extinguished on impact! In the Christian walk, the enemy often fires flaming arrows at us but, in these times, it is our faith that is vital! Not just what we believe in, but who we believe in. Our faith in God and good foundations in His word help us to extinguish the fiery darts of doubt, fear, and lies that are flung at us by the enemy.
As well as the shield for protection behind my make-shift barricade, I had a builder’s hard hat that I wore in case a rock made it over my bin lid! That was health and safety at work right there. One day, we decided to test the effectiveness of this hard hat against impact so I put on the hat and my friend hit me on the head with all his might using the handle of a spade. I remember the spade handle broke but so did the hat as it split apart under the force of the blow. That was the last thing I remembered for a while! Our minds are very vulnerable to spiritual attack! How we think and how we process thoughts can leave us feeling worthless and feeling isolated. The helmet of salvation is vital to close down the attacks of the enemy on our mind and our thinking. My favourite verse to counteract the enemy in this area is Philippians 4:8. It says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things”.
Renew your thinking today by changing the way you think and choose to focus on the words of this verse as you go into battle.
Lord, help me to take up my shield of faith! Today, I put my hope in you, Lord, and believe that no problem is too big for you. Today, I stop looking at how big the enemy is or how big my problems are, and instead I tell them how big my God is! Lord, I thank you for my brothers and sisters who fight with me and for me and I thank you for each saint in my church who has locked shields with me in this battle. Today, I cry freedom over my situations and advance against the strongholds in my life. Today, I take ground for Jesus. Amen.
• Read the Chapter 6: 14-17
• How is your picture of the soldier coming on with the scriptures on each part of the armour?
• Encourage a brother or sister in the faith today with a text or WhatsApp message to let them know that you are standing with them.