May 3, 2018
Ephesians 6:16… In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.
We don’t actually fight with a shield; we protect ourselves. If one tried to fight darts with darts, he would need to incapacitate the enemy. That is just not our lot in this fight. We are no match for the enemy. My dad used to say that the devil was the second strongest power in the universe… second to God, Himself. When he comes up against God, he has to back down. But, against us, he is powerful. Faith is our shield. Faith is not a weapon, but is essential for the fight. He shoots flaming darts at us. Darts are painful in and of themselves, but the fact that they are flaming gives them lasting effects.
I started pondering what a dart might look like when I read this today. It occurred to me that words can be like flaming darts. When someone says something derogatory against you, it can hurt for a long time, sometimes for life. Our defense against such things is faith. When we believe God, we listen to His words to counteract the words of people that hurt us. That might just be the operation of faith, as a shield. Listening to God allows us to know that He loves us and there is no greater power in heaven or on earth than the power of God’s love. By love, He conquered death which was set as a rule for all time. God overcame the power of death through love. Hold that shield up when you feel a dart coming in. The dart will be deflected. You still may hear the words, but they will not penetrate your heart… your thoughts.
This is a tough writing today. Mostly, because I have been wounded by words at times in my life. I did not hold up my shield; instead, I wallowed in self pity, “How could they say such a thing about me.” It is time to get out the eraser. Wipe the slate clean. Listen diligently to faith. If you have been hurt by words, won’t you join me?
I suspect there may be other darts that have penetrated our skin, but today, God only emphasized one. I was telling a friend on Tuesday that I have had numerous broken bones. They can be set and will heal. I have also had wounds that are emotional or spiritual and they are worse. Employ faith.