Ephesians 6:13, 16—Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm…hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.
You’ve probably seen those toy shields that kids play with. They’re made of flimsy plastic and not good for actually shielding much of anything. But the shield of a Roman soldier was strong and heavy, ready to stop anything that came its way.
A shield allows you to continue making progress, even when you’re facing a fierce enemy. But it can only do that if it’s a strong shield. Our faith can be a great defense against a real Enemy if we maximize it. We want our shields to protect us against the arrows that the Enemy shoots our way—the arrows need to hit our shields, not us!
In the Bible, Paul wrote to a young leader named Timothy. In their time it was often dangerous to declare the Gospel, but Paul still wanted to encourage Timothy to stay in the fight. He told him in 2 Timothy 4:5, “…you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.”
Hebrews 11:1 calls faith “the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen” and “assurance about things we cannot see.” Timothy might not have been able to see the point of fighting, and sometimes we don’t either. But by working on strengthening our faith and exercising it as we live out our lives, we will see God work in and through us in amazing ways. It shows that even though we can’t see why God has called us to do something, we trust Him enough to listen to Him and obey what He’s told us to do.
The eternal reward is great when we maximize our faith, exchanging a toy shield for a shield fit for a soldier. Even if everyone else leaves the fight, you stay in! Get a shield of faith that a soldier would be proud to carry, and be faithful to God’s calling on your life.