In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
My whole life, I’ve envisioned this scene where I’m wearing all this armor of God and I’m waving this shield in the air catching the “flaming arrows of death.” It’s straight out of Hollywood and I play the part well. You would be lucky to see it on a big screen somewhere… 🙂
But then, a few days ago, I read this in Sun Tzu’s The Art Of War…
“To drop fire into the enemy’s camp. The method by which this may be done is to set the tips of arrows alight by dipping them into a brazier, and then shoot them from powerful crossbows into the enemy’s lines…. The prime object of attacking with fire is to throw the enemy into confusion…. When the force of the flames has reached its height, follow it up with an attack.”
All along, I’ve pictured the flaming arrows as the attack. As long as I have faith, the arrows will somehow be stopped from hitting me. And that’s a great thought! I just wish it was true…
The flaming arrow isn’t the attack. The arrow is the diversion, the distraction from the real attack. The arrows are meant to confuse me and steal my focus and cast doubt into my faith. If I get too wrapped up in how I’m going to stop the arrows, I start thinking about my strengths and abilities and I forget to lean on God’s.
The shield of faith isn’t the last ditch defense against Satan’s attacks. Flaming arrows are temptations that prod us to put our faith on the shelf and expose our soul. The shield of faith is what reminds us that we’re better without the temptation. It brings us back to the Rock that we’re standing on and it grounds our thoughts, our emotions and our actions.
Take up your shield of faith, focus on your calling and resist the enemy behind the arrows!