through His Word
by Katy Kauffman
They called it the “boss.” In the center of a Roman shield was a round piece of metal or wood, and it wasn’t just for decoration. The boss acted as a weapon in close combat. Any opponent who could get close enough to a Roman soldier was in danger of being stunned with the heart of his shield. What’s at the heart of your shield?
In Ephesians 6, God pictures our protection in spiritual battles as pieces of Roman armor, and He uses a shield to picture our faith.
Above all, taking the shield of faith
with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
(Ephesians 6:16 NKJV)
Our faith quenches Satan’s darts of fear, anxiety, and discouragement. When we compare God’s power, wisdom, and love to all that could go wrong, we know we have a Hero we can count on. He is always with us (Isaiah 41:10, Matthew 28:20, Hebrews 13:5) and fighting for us (Exodus 14:14, Deuteronomy 20:4). Instead of giving in to a barrage of negative thoughts, we can stand behind our shield of faith and let the Word of God quench the fiery arrows meant to take us down.
At a Bible study with friends, I asked them a question or two about their own shield of faith. “What’s at the heart of your faith? If you could write verses of Scripture or experiences with God on your ‘shield,’ what would you write on the heart of it?” Think about that. What has built your own faith in God? What would you write on your shield?
Who Will Be the Boss of Me?
When I heard that a woman my age was suffering in a hospital just fifty miles away, my heart ached. She is sedated and on a ventilator. It brought me to tears and to my knees in prayer.
When I hear the daily count for how many have died from COVID-19 in Italy (and everywhere else), I ask God to help the families affected. And to help the doctors who see so much suffering.
When I think about how much the virus could spread in America, I have a choice to make. What will be at the center of my thoughts—fear or faith? Will I cling to my shield and point it at the enemy when he sends a barrage of worry my way?
Don’t Let Him In
The Roman shield wasn’t like the round shield of the Vikings or the triangular shield of some medieval knights. It resembled a door, rectangular in shape. It was light enough to carry and was covered in animal skins that were soaked in water—the perfect protection against flaming arrows meant to penetrate and incapacitate.
As I studied Ephesians 5:16, I discovered that the word door was the root word of shield. How appropriate. When we hold up the shield of faith against Satan’s fiery darts of worry, fear, or temptation, we’re giving him a closed door into our lives. We’re saying that his schemes have no place in our lives to make us afraid or turn us from closely following God.
Just as some businesses are hanging “closed” signs on their doors right now, we can hang a sign on our shield for our spiritual enemy to read. It could say, “Closed: No Panic Allowed.” Or, “Don’t Even Think about It.” Or better yet, “Closed for Personal Maintenance.” Spending time with God reminds us of who He is and what He is capable of, and it gives our spiritual enemy a closed door to messing with us.
What Would You Write?
I printed drawings of Roman shields for my friends and me to trace and write on. We wrote verses on them, and also stamped Bible verses and quotes about courage on our shields. We made a visual reminder of an invisible reality.
If you could write something on the heart of your shield, what would it be? Would you pick a Bible verse or an experience you’ve had with God that taught you more about Him? Would you write down a promise He gave you? Would it be one of these declarations of faith or Bible verses?
- God, I’ve seen You work in my life before, and I look forward to what You will do next.
- Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You (Psalm 56:3 NKJV).
- I believe You can work good out of anything (Romans 8:28).
- In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul (Psalm 94:19 NKJV).
I wrote this on the heart of my shield: I love You, God.
That truth acts as a deterrent from sin, a punch in the face to temptation, a comfort in hard times, and a reality that will sustain me for the rest of my life. O God, please help my love for You grow more each day.
Love is a powerful weapon. May our love for God grow because we know Him more and more. May our love for people shine during this time of crisis, so that they can know the One who rescues from any plague (physical or spiritual) and satisfies the needs of any heart. May our love for each other show we belong to Jesus.
In the comments below, write your own declaration of faith. What is at the heart of your shield? Reading it will encourage the rest of us. May God reinforce your declaration and sustain you through this uncertain time. Cling to Him, and walk in certainty because He loves us, He has a plan to do great good, and He will get us through this.
Fellow spiritual warrior, let’s never drop our shields.
© Copyright 2020 by Katy Kauffmanfaith, COVID-19, coronavirus, fear, worry, shield of faith, armor of God, What’s at the Heart of Your Faith, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies