A few nights ago, Buford and I caught part of the movie, "The Kingdom of Heaven" with Orlando Bloom. I was working on a sewing project so I was doing more listening than watching, but I caught one scene that has just stuck with me and caused me to, well...ponder. It was a hand to hand combat scene focused on Orlando's character. He had a sword and a large round shield and was felling the enemy right and left. At one point he took the shield and blasted this guy across the head with it and then turned and thrust his sword into someone behind him.
Push the pause button...the shield as a weapon???
Ephesians 6:10-18 talks about the armor of God and every teaching I've heard says that the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, is our only OFFENSIVE weapon. But wait, could our shield of faith be used as a weapon as well? The verse says the shield is to extinguish the fiery darts or arrows of the evil one but this is what I always pictured: Me (or the Christian) cowered down behind the shield while fiery darts were being furiously shot at me from the enemy. When you are cowering, you are not advancing. You might be protected from those fiery darts, but the enemy is still on your territory firing them. Paul talks about "standing" in this passage, but I think some of us need to advance and take some territory that the enemy has claimed. What if we stood up and took it back?? What a concept! Shield in front, sword in hand, take a step forward...here comes a fiery dart (what is your dart? fear, worry, the lie that you will never change?) - raise your shield, extinguish the dart by saying No! Strike with your sword - the Word, "God has not given me a spirit of fear...,"or "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength." Know the Word - know your weapon - whatever the Word says about your situation - you tell that to the enemy. That's how you wield your sword. THEN, (see we always stop there - but here is where I think we can use our shield offensively) THEN, whack the enemy with your shield of faith in a follow-up blow to the sword and say, "And I believe it!"
So let's pull it all together: Put on your armor, stand up in Christ, begin to walk forward to posess your land that the enemy is standing on. He fires a dart, "You know, you are never going to change. You are always going to fall back into the same old habit. You're probably not even really saved." Raise your shield and extinguish the dart by believing that the enemy is a liar and what the Word says about you is true. (Don't catch the dart and study on it for awhile - giving consideration to its possible truthfulness - PUT IT OUT!) Then wield your Sword, "The Word says that I am a new man in Christ...that He has put my sins away as far as the east is from the west...that He has begun a good work in me and He will be faithful to complete it..." Then follow up with a whack from your shield, "AND I BELIEVE IT". Take another step forward...
Ephesians 6 - The Armor of God
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.