The first three pieces of armor of God were the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and the shoes with readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. These three pieces of armor need to be put on all the time when we are in a combat.
Paul is urging us in Ephesians 6:16 that in addition to all this, take up the shield of faith. All this signifies the first three pieces of armor. Paul is further telling us that with this shield of faith we can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
There were actually two types of shields used by Roman soldiers of the day. One, a small (24”-36” diameter) round one, was for dress parades and face-to-face combat. The other was a large (60”x30”) rectangular shield that in Greek was named “a door” because it looked like the soldier was carrying a full size leather covered door behind which he could safely stand. (the actual one is usually larger than picture) Each shield was made of six layers of thick animal hide specially tanned and woven together making them as tough and durable as metal yet relatively light weight. The leather shields could be soaked in water before battle so that in the event the enemy would rain fiery projectiles on them, the fire would be extinguished on impact. The shield used in Ephesians 6:16 refers to the large rectangular one.
In the world, we face all kinds of temptations from the world and evil forces. All these temptations, big or small, will try to cause us to sin and to fall from our faith. From the Garden of Eden, the satan and his demonic forces have been continuing to make us fall into temptations. Eve and Adam fell into it and their sin has left us all humanity a deep scar of depravity.
Whenever we face such temptations, therefore, we need to declare, "I don't believe you or any of you, but I believe (have faith in) only God and my Lord Jesus Christ." In other words, whenever we face such temptations, we need to take up and stand behind the shield of faith that will extinguish the flaming arrows of temptations. Oh, how essential it is and how often it is used in our daily lives. Like a commercial, "Don't leave home without it!"
Please pray that:
* we acknowledge the temptations are real and deadly at every moment of our lives;
* we admit that we alone cannot defend ourselves from such temptations; and thus
* we take up the shield of faith every time we face such temptations and stand behind it
Praise the Lord who protects us from all kinds of temptations and deserves our full trust under any circumstances! - Jeffrey