In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith with which you
can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
The Roman shield was called a scutum. It was large enough to cover the soldier’s whole body and as a group they could enclose themselves in a testudo or tortoise formation when being barraged with arrows from the enemy.
This is what our faith does when Satan is shooting his fiery arrows at us. It protects us and acts as a shield to keep the enemy’s assaults from penetrating our hearts and our minds. When the arrows start coming from every direction, there is strength in numbers. Other believers together can form a protective barrier much like the testudo formation did. The Roman soldier could also use his shield offensively to shove an opponent away. Our faith can be used offensively as well to defeat the enemy. We can incapacitate him with our faith much like Jesus did when he quoted Scripture to Satan in Matthew 4:1-11. When we have faith to speak God’s Word, the enemy will flee.
The shield was the first line of defense for the soldier. Our faith is our first line of defense. Hebrews 11:1 says, Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. It’s our faith that moves God. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith can be taken up in a moment when there is a surprise attack or can be carried and used while we are in a battle. We can be ready to respond in faith.
Faith says God is who He says He is and His Word is true. There is no second-guessing. There is no room for doubt. It requires we know what the Bible says so our faith is in the right thing. Faith says this hope is an anchor for our soul, firm and secure (Hebrews 6:19).
The Bible is filled with great and precious promises from God (2 Peter 1:4). Faith will not hesitate to use them against the enemy. Faith will protect us when the arrow of doubt is shot at us. Or the arrow of confusion or anxiety or compromise…any arrow the enemy uses to damage our trust in God. Isn’t that his aim? To make us compromise or doubt or fear or worry?
When Satan whispers, “You’re child is too far gone”, faith will reject it because you know all things are possible for him who believes (Mark 10:23 NASB).
When fear is attempting to grip you because your wayward one seems to move farther away from God, faith will not let it penetrate because you know that God promises to complete the good work he has begun in your prodigal (Philippians 1:6).
When doubt threatens to take you out because you’ve been praying for fifteen years and where has it gotten you, faith will destroy that doubt when you reach out to others to let them know and pray for you because God says the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective (James 5:16). Faith will hold on to John 5:14-15, This is the confidence we have in approaching God, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know He hears us—whatever we ask—we know we have what we asked of Him…even if it takes more than fifteen years.
When discouragement tries to overwhelm you because once again your child came home drunk and you don’t know what to do and the enemy is telling you you’re a horrible parent, faith will rise up and say, No weapon formed against me shall prosper and I will silence every voice raised up to accuse me. This is a benefit I enjoy as a servant of the Lord. (Isaiah 54:17 NLT).
When anger wants to take over because your loved one has blamed you for their situation, faith will rise up and declare, God will contend with him who contends with me (Isaiah 49:25).
Faith isn’t automatic, we must take it up. We must use it on purpose because the enemy wants to destroy us. Our faith will protect us like a shield protects the warrior in battle.