Eph 6:10-16 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes…In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. NIV
The Roman soldier actually had two shields. One was used in public ceremonies and parades. This was an attractive and ornate shield used for presentation and show but was never intended to be used for warfare. Paul is specifically referencing the battle shield in this text.
The roman battle shield was shaped like a door, long and wide and completely covered the soldier. The massive shield of the Roman soldier rested on a small clip on his beltwhen it was not in use. Your faith is attached to the Word of God. If you fail to give the Word of God a place of priorityin your life, it is only a matter of time before your faith will begin to dwindle because the presence or absence of faith is determined by the presence or absence of God's Word in your life. Rom 10:17
Click this link to read more about a practical and powerful tool that will help you find a strong rhythm in God’s Word.
Faith comes by hearing God’s Word and it is part of God’s design that we hear God’s Word as a congregational family. These battle shields were designed to be connected together like a great wall. When connected, the Roman soldiers' shields were very effective in defeating the enemy.
With shields linked together the soldiers would run toward their enemy like a great wall. We as Christians are very effective when we link our faith together.The atmosphere of God’s family grows giant killers. Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. It is important to note that lions are the only cats that live together in groups called prides.
When we gather together in worship gifts are activated, faith rises, hope is inspired, dreams are awakened and the enemy is more readily defeated in our lives!
MAKE CHURCH A PRIORITY! Be sacrificial about the things Jesus was sacrificial about himself! Jesus didn’t die so we could go to church when you don’t have a better option going on that weekend. There is a difference between having a faith and living by faith.
The Roman soldier's shield was composed of multiple layers of thick animal hide that had been tightly woven together. Usually six layersof animal hide were specially tanned, and then were woven together so tightly, that they became nearly as strong as steel. This shield was extremely tough and exceptionally durable.
This shield could become stiff and breakable over a period of timeif it was not properly taken care of. To keep their shields in good shape, the soldiers were given a daily schedule to maintain excellent condition of their shields. Each morning when the soldier was awakened, he would reach for his shield, and would also reach for a small vial of oil. He would rub a heavy ointment of oil into the leather portion of the shield to keep it soft and pliable. To ignore this daily application of oil invited certain death. If the Roman soldier wanted to live a long life, it was imperative for him to take that vial of oil, and apply it to his shield every single day of his military life. The shield is representative of our faith. Our faith requires frequent anointings of the Holy Spirit. Without a fresh touch of the Spirit's power upon your life, your faith will become hard, stiff and brittle. A faith that is ignored nearly always breaks and falls to pieces in a confrontation.
Before these soldiers went out to war, they took their shields, dipped them into a tub of water,and left them there soaking in that water until their shields were completely saturated with water. “Fiery darts” were flaming arrows tipped with flammable materials to be set on fire as a tactic of warfare intimidation and dread.
By saturating their shields with water, even if those dangerous flaming arrows hit, they were extinguished upon impact by the wet surface of the Roman shield. When you keep your faith dipped in the water of the word - Eph 5:26 - you have the power to extinguish the fiery darts of the enemy. To keep their shields in top notch condition, the soldiers had to apply both oil and water consistently.
Rom 12:3 says that God has given every man a measure of faith. How much faith has God given you? He has given you enough faith to make certain you are covered in life. Don't worry that God has given more faith to others than He has to you. God has imparted enough faith to you to make sure you are covered from head to toe.
It is important to note God’s devotion to our shield of faith. He commits to remain faithful even when we are faithless because he has made a covenant with himself according to 2 Tim 2:13. He is THE GREAT I AM! When the question comes to mind, who is strong we can say, “I AM!”. Who is faithful, “I AM!” Who is able to overcome any temptation that comes, “I AM!”
The next time the devil whispers in your ear, “You’re not strong enough to withstand the storm.” Pause for effect and then whisper in his ear, “I AM THE STORM”
GP2RL Action Point:
Purpose to be in the Word every day this week. #TurnThePage
DISCUSSION GUIDE FOR COMMUNITY GROUP LEADERS
Eph 6:10-12 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For 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.
1. What has been something that has stood out to you so far in the beginning of our study of the armor of God?
Eph 6:16 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 next piece of armor Paul references is the shield of faith. The Roman soldier actually had two shields. One was used in public ceremonies and parades. This was an attractive and ornate shield used for presentation and show but was never intended to be used for warfare. Paul is specifically referencing the battle shield in this text.
2. What are some insights we can gain from considering these two shields?
The roman battle shield was shaped like a door, long and wide and completely covered the soldier. These warring shields could actually be connected together like a great wall. We as Christians are very effective when we link our faith together.
Perhaps this is what Paul had in mind as he wrote just two chapters earlier in Eph 4:13 when he spoke of “unity in the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God making us mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
3. In what ways does the faith of others strengthen us in our walk with God?
This is obviously a very important theme Paul is writing about:
Eph 4:1-3 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. NIV
4. What are the things we must do and not do to keep the unity God desires for us to possess?
Conclude by praying for a strengthening of our faith and unity in our lives, our homes and in our church family.