How do you use your shield?

If you are familiar with the armor of God written about in Ephesians 6 you will recognize our faith being likened to a shield. I had not given this much thought until recently. During my morning reading the Lord caused it to stick out.  I wanted to know WHY a shield?

A shield is often a heavy piece of metal used by members of the infantry to guard themselves from the weapons of the enemy. The soldier can use it to hold in front of him or her for the purpose of deflecting the weapons the enemy attacks us with in hopes of putting us out of commission.

The ancient Roman army utilized shields in this way. First, their shields were huge as you can see in the image. Almost as tall as them

When marching into battle the soldiers marched in lines. The front line held their shield in front of them while every line behind them held their shield over head. Take a look at the picture. As you can see the weapon, most likely darts/arrows had very few available points of entry and even those points could be quickly guarded.

There were also shield bearers whose job it was to hold the shield in front of a person while he lodged weapons against the enemy in battle.

Are you now asking how this monstrous piece of metal might in someway compare to our faith? Follow me if you will. Like ancient warriors carried the shield individually, we can do the same with our faith. We can hold it in front and on occasion move depending on which way the enemy is moving. We can deflect the arrows as long as we are quick enough and have the ability to see around us and where the darts are coming from. As you can imagine, it is difficult to guard all angles with just 1 shield just as it is difficult to guard all angles with just our own faith.

There are times we are called to fight and all we can do with ourselves is to fight. We are exhausted and in desperate need of a shield bearer or someone to hold the shield for us while we shoot the arrows. Likewise there are times the intensity of our battle cannot be fought alone and we sometimes drop our shield in the necessity of drawing our bow or just out of exhaustion from fighting so hard. Those are the times we need our brothers and sister’s in Christ to be our shield bearer.

Then there are times when the battle is just too big and the enemy is coming from every side so quickly we don’t even have the ability to keep up and it’s in those times we need shield from every member of the army to protect us on every single side. As you read that replace the word shield with faith. Sometimes the battle is merely that the enemy wants to distract us. Our faith is most often strong enough to deflect his pokes and prods. Then there are days when I am called to fight and I need the faith of someone close. Someone who is willing to pay attention with us and watch for the arrows and then moves and responds as necessary while we do battle. Then there are those times when our battle is huge, we may be utterly exhausted from fighting for a while and we need the protecting faith of others to shield us while we regain our strength or decide the next move. Whatever it is the Shield of faith works best when interacting with others who have also picked up their shield of faith.

The warriors in ancient armies banded together recognizing that their greatest strength was in shielding one another during battle.

Do not loose faith my sister’s. Neither should you attempt to fight your battles alone. Call on your sisters in Christ to rally around you in their faith like a shield. Two or more are always better than one!

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