Monday, September 28, 2015

Incoming! Flaming Arrows!

…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

As Christians, we all know we belong to God.  In knowing that we belong to God we can understand that His enemy, the devil, will always be on the prowl, looking for hostages and prisoners of war.  There is a very real war going on between good and evil, and the enemy is looking to take you out in any way possible.  He is a cunning and sly adversary, watching and studying his prey carefully.  He knows how we operate and what our weaknesses are.  Just like the military of the New Testament, He always has his flaming arrows ready to launch. 
There were three types of arrows used by the military of New Testament times. First, there were plain arrows that were similar to the arrows that one would shoot from a bow today. Next, there were arrows that were dipped into tar, set on fire, and then shot through the air. Last, there were arrows that contained combustible fluids that burst into flames upon impacts. Fire-bearing arrows were reserved to inflict damage upon a fortified place; an encampment. If an army had fortified its position so that the enemy could not easily break in to destroy it, then the enemy would revert to using the long deadly arrows of fire. (Rick Renner, "The Shield of Faith," Dressed to Kill, 229).
A Chink in the Armor
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Ephesians 6:10-16
Paul warns us about the devil and his war on Christians in Ephesians.  He advises us to be strong in the Lord and put on the full armor of God to defend against Satan and his wiles.  It is a war we cannot see with our eyes but it is very real. 
The devil is sneaky and knows how to break us down.  He knows what will make us stumble and where we are the weakest.  He will send his flaming arrows straight at us and he will aim for the chinks in our armor.  Arrows are small and can stick in between the large parts of our armor that protect the bulk of our being.  Flaming arrows only need a little opening and once the flame gets in it can ignite an inferno.  Nothing makes Satan happier than to see a Christian fall. 
The shield of faith can quench the flaming arrows of Satan.  It his flaming arrow strikes the shield of faith and sticks there, the fire will just burn out.  It will be quenched instead of catching us on fire.  Thus the fire would not spread. Really what this means is that whatever your flaming arrow is that can bring you down – it may be drugs, pornography, alcohol, lust, anger, whatever it is - cannot get in. If you let it, it can take over your thinking, emotions, mind, and spirit.  It can be like a fire out of control so we must be vigilant with our shields and deflect every flaming arrow the devil sends our way. The rest of the armor stays in one place but the shield moves to confront the arrows.  The shield of faith – our faith – moves to where the attack is.  Be vigilant.
Scripture to Claim:
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.
2 Corinthians 10:3-4

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