The Shield Of Faith
By Karlis Iesalnieks
“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” (Eph. 6:16). Faith is the first and the most important part of the armor provided of God. But we people of God must take this armor, put it on, and use it in practical battle with the devil and any kind of sin.
James said: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (Jas. 4:7). And Peter said: “The devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith” (1 Pet. 5:8-9).
We read in Galatians 5:6, “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” Sound faith linked with perfect love in our heart is a mighty fortress for our soul, body and spirit, wherewith we are able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
What are the fiery darts, and how does the devil shoot them at our soul? They may be words or thoughts aimed at our soul in two ways. First, indirectly: the devil uses some person and by his mouth, words grieve our hearts, discourage or provoke us and tempt us to fret, make us bitter and angry. (Read 1 Samuel 1:1-8.)
Second, fiery darts may come directly. The devil tempts us through our own thoughts and our minds. He tells us or shows us some thought or thing which, like a fiery dart, grieves and hurts our soul and tempts us to compromise with sin and leave the way of the cross that leads us to heaven. (Read Matthew 26:37.)
Jesus was tempted through both of these ways, directly and indirectly, and all people who belong to God are tempted through the same ways.
How to Quench the Darts
How, practically, are we able to quench those fiery darts of the wicked? The answer is, by steadfast faith (1 Pet. 5:9). For instance, when we are tempted by some person, provoked to fret, to be bitter, to get angry, to say harsh words, and we feel that the old nature in us (carnal mind) begins a little “to boil” on the inside—now is the time to use practically the shield of faith and quench those darts of the devil.
What must we believe in such a situation? We must believe that Jesus, who dwells in our heart through the Holy Ghost, is greater than the tempter, the devil, and He gives us His love to bear all these afflictions patiently with all longsuffering (Gal. 5:22-23). First John 4:4 says, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He [Jesus, through the Holy Ghost in your heart] that is in you, than he [the devil, some persons he uses, etc.] that is in the world.”
When you feel that the “old man” in you begins to boil, then again believe that the old man in you is crucified and dead together with Jesus. Believe with all your heart in this, God’s Word: “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3). Believe in that truth, confess it with your mouth (Rom. 10:8-1l), and all fiery darts of the devil will be surely quenched. Faith is our victory! (1 John 5:4-5).