A Living Shield

In American football, there are five offensive linemen. Like a living shield, they protect their quarterback so he can pass the ball or run down the field for a touchdown. When the quarterback yells, “Hike!” this living shield goes into action.

Paul tells us to “hold up the shield of faith to extinguish the fiery arrows of the devil” (Eph. 6:16). Every time we choose to hold up our shield of faith, it is like saying, “Hike!”to God. Our faith releases a storm of powerful linemen that not only protect us but also clear a path for us to run in for a touchdown.

The word shield in Ephesians 6 is the Greek word thyreós, which basically means a “door.” Roman soldiers used a full-body shield that was as large as a door. It was made with layers of wood that were glued together, covered with linen and animal skins, and then bound with iron. This large shield gave soldiers great confidence in battle.These shields were sometimes soaked in water before a battle so they would be able to quench arrows that had been dipped in tar and lit on fire. The Greek word used in Ephesians 6:16 not only means to stop the arrows but also to “extinguish” or “quench” them. When you pour a bucket of water over a fire, you cancel the chance that the fire is going to spread. In other words, the believer’s shield of faith effectively does the opposite of what the enemy has planned.

Before I met Jesus, I was addicted to drugs and alcohol. God’s power delivered me from this lifestyle and set me free. I was so filled with confidence that Jesus could do
this again that I could not keep myself from sharing the Good News with others. I began to lead people to Jesus on the street and eventually started a recovery discipleship school that helped people get rooted in their faith and set free from addictions. The faith and hope I received did not just protect me — they also counteracted the enemy’s plans, both in my life and in the lives of the people around me.

Jesus came to “destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8); He did not come just to protect us from the devil. Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:28, “If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in
need.” He understood that we are not just forgiven for our sins, but Jesus makes us totally new (Gal. 6:15). He completely transforms us to live the opposite of how we used to live. This is the kind of living faith that is going to get people’s attention and transform
our culture.

When we embrace God’s love, power, and hope for our lives, we step into a faith that overcomes our fears. We step into a momentum that counteracts the enemy’s plans.

God wants you to move forward into your destiny with the confidence that you are going to have a huge impact on the world. With this living shield of faith, nothing will impossible for you (Matt. 17:20).

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