In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one.Eph. 6:16
by John MacArthur, Drawing Near: Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith
Key Principle: Intense spiritual warfare calls for intense trust in God.
An on-duty Roman soldier was always dressed for battle, but he didn’t employ his shield, helmet, and sword until the fighting started. But we as Christians must be ready for battle at all times because our enemy is relentless. We can’t afford to overlook a single piece of armor or to slip into complacency or neglect.
In that regard, Ephesians 6:16 says in effect, “Now that you’ve prepared for battle by girding your loins with truth, protecting your vital organs with the breastplate of righteousness, and securing your feet with the gospel of peace, don’t forget to take up your shield.”
Two types of shields were commonly used by Roman soldiers. One was a small, lightweight, round shield that was strapped to the soldier’s left forearm and was used to parry blows during hand-to-hand combat. The other, which Paul refers to here, was a large shield measuring about four and a half feet high and two and a half feet wide. It was made of sturdy wood covered with metal and a thick layer of oil-treated leather. The metal deflected arrows, while the oily leather extinguished the fiery pitch with which arrows were commonly swabbed. That type of shield was ideal for full-body protection.
In the initial stages of a battle, the front-line soldiers knelt behind their large shields to protect themselves and to provide a defense barrier for the troops behind them who were firing offensive weapons. The goal was to inch their way forward as a human wall until they could engage the enemy in hand-to-hand combat.
As a believer, the shield that protects you is your faith in God. If you never question His character, power, or Word, you’ll never fall victim to Satan’s attacks. That doesn’t mean he won’t besiege you; but when he does, his assaults will be ineffective.
Suggestions for Prayer: Faith is a precious gift from God (Phil. 1:29). Thank Him for it, and ask for wisdom to apply it properly when spiritual struggles come (James 1:5).
For Further Study: Read Romans 8:31-39. Meditate on the victory you have in Christ. What effect should that have on your daily living?