In reviewing some notes that I had jotted down a long time ago I was once again struck by something that Pastor Eugene Peterson wrote that hit home here in 2023:
There are people who do not want us to be free. They don’t want us to be free before God, accepted just as we are by his grace. They don’t want us to be free to express our faith originally and creatively in the world. They insist that all look alike, talk alike and act alike, thus validating one another’s worth. Without being aware of it we become anxious about what others will say about us, obsessively concerned about what others think we should do. We no longer live the good news but anxiously try to memorize and recite the script that someone else has assigned to us. We may be secure, but we will not be free. Pastor Eugene Peterson.
Christianity is under attack in America. It’s all around us and it’s growing. More than ever, we need the Word of God in the sixth chapter of Ephesians … We need the Shield of Faith.
Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
The shield used by the Roman soldiers was made of leather and was soaked in water prior to going into battle so the fiery arrows (darts) would be quenched when they hit the shield. It’s no less important for us today to soak our shield (faith) with water (Word) before we go into battle. The shield of faith has the entire power of the Godhead behind it and when used it will quench all the fiery darts.
But we often have a problem. We want those fiery darts to go out immediately on contact … but it doesn’t work that way. Many times, it gets pretty hot before the fire goes out, and what would happen if we dropped our shield and ran? We all know the answer because we’ve done it by failing to put all our trust in God in those tough spots. Had we held our shield of faith a little longer that fiery dart would have been quenched. This is yet another reason for building up our faith by hearing the Word of God. Take time and read the end of the sixth chapter of Ephesians and consider how the shield is used to protect all the other parts of the body.