‘In addition to all this take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one.’ – Ephesians 6:16
What comes to mind when you think of the word shield? Perhaps it’s an old-fashioned piece of armour that is held by a knight riding a horse or maybe it’s a more modern view of a shield, like Captain America’s, in Marvel. Whatever you think of, it is usually something that is sturdy, strong and going to keep you safe.
Have you ever been to something like paintballing or laser quest before? If you have, you know the importance of finding a safe space to shield yourself away from the attack of the opposition. I was once at a fancy-dress party and we were told beforehand that we would be doing an activity but not told what this would be. My outfit was the rabbit from ‘Alice in Wonderland’; I was wearing a white dress, white tights, white converse, white ears… you get the picture. Once we got there, we were told we would be going to, wait for it… laser quest. Now, for those of you who don’t know, laser quest is a dark room, full of UV lights and people shooting lasers at anything that is moving. So, going in a completely white outfit, head to toe, not so great. It is safe to say I lost. I had nowhere to hide and no shield to protect me.
Part of God’s character is that He is our protector:
‘You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word’
Psalms 119: 114
We can confidently place our hope and faith in Him, knowing that He will be protecting and shielding us from anything that is trying to bring us down – negative thoughts, toxic friendships, insecurities and doubts.
The difference between the shield and other parts of armour, is that this is a piece of defence we have to choose to pick up and hold on to. This is where the element of our shield being one of faith is so important.
In the Bible (Luke 8:40-48) there is a famous story of a woman who is seriously ill, she reaches out to Jesus and touches Him. He responds by stopping and looking for who it was; she comes forward knowing she could not hide, knowing she had been recognised. Jesus then said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace“. This woman made an intentional move towards Jesus, she reached out and held on tightly to her shield of faith, knowing this would be the way she would receive the protection and healing she needed.
Jesus talks a lot about how faith is such an important part of our character – we only need a mustard seed of faith to move a mountain (Matthew 17:20). So, girls, as we are getting ready to step out of our houses, ready to face the day and whatever challenges and lasers that may come at us, let’s remember to pick up our keys, our phone, our face masks and most importantly our shield of faith.