Ephesians 6

“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one…” – Ephesians 6:16

Lately I have been meditating on Ephesians 6 and the armor of God. I’m reminded how there is an element to our world that I don’t like to think about frequently: rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers over darkness…spiritual forces of evil who want to destroy us (Ephesians 6:12). When I jump down to verse 16 and read “shield of faith”, it seems very vague and not very clear. To help me think about this more accurately, I have been substituting the words “choosing to view the world and eternity through God’s perspective,” and it has given more clarity. Employing our understanding of what God is accomplishing throughout eternity is a shield for us! AND it can extinguish attacks from our enemy. In the commentary of my study Bible, it says that “burning arrows were designed to destroy wooden shields and other defenses, but the shield of faith is able to extinguish the devil’s attacks.” (ESV Study Bible).

My attention was also drawn to the “can” in this verse. The “can” says that our action is required. The shield of faith is a tool with which we must be active in battle. I’m reminded of 2 Corinthians 10:5: “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…” The active voice in this sentence requires my effort!

Lord, help us to actively battle with the shield you have given us: our understanding of your character and plan throughout the ages!