Facing Giants with a Shield

Ephesians 6:10-18
…be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints…

I have always loved the imagery Paul used in Ephesians 6 of the warrior’s armor, and particularly the emphasis on the shield of faith—he says, “above all” that we need that shield to quench the darts that will be thrown at us. Without faith, we will not be able to deflect those darts. We need the shield, we need faith, we need Christ, we need God.

Throughout Scripture, a shield is often used to describe God Himself in relation to His people—He told Abram that He was his shield, his great reward (Genesis 15:1); He told Israel through the mouthpiece of Moses that He was the shield of their help (Deuteronomy 33:29); Solomon tells us that the Lord is a shield to those who walk uprightly (Proverbs 2:7); Agur proclaims that God is a shield to those who put their trust in Him (Proverbs 30:5).

And then there is David. The man himself who, as a mere boy, faced the famed giant Goliath with no warriors armor, weaponry, or shield—except for the shield of faith which Paul describes for us in Ephesians 6. This David frequently describes his God and King as a shield throughout the Psalms (3:3, 5:12, 18:2, 18:30, 18:35, 28:7, 33:20, 59:11, 84:9, 84:11, 89:18, 91:4, 115:9, 115:10, 115:11, 119:114, 144:2). When David was delivered from his enemies, he praised God with a song, calling God the shield of his salvation, a shield to all who trust in Him (2 Samuel 22:3, 31, 36).

So what does this teach us, and how can this help prepare us when we are facing giants? Because I don’t know about you, but we’re in battle with a couple specific giants right now, and we need to be strategic and wise in our battle plans.

There are many different tactics one can use in battle—one tactic may be simply deflecting the weapons of a giant. There can be great wisdom in simply holding your ground, clinging to your faith with all you’ve got, walking uprightly, trusting in God—not returning arrows, darts, slashes of the sword, but simply standing firm because you know God is the One fighting the battle, He is the shield of your help, He is your great reward.

Sometimes fighting giants requires pulling out other weaponry to prioritize in a specific battle, but do not neglect the power of a shield. There are battles where the wisest defense involves hunkering down behind the shield of faith and wielding that glorious bulwark—when you trust in Christ, when you walk uprightly, when you cling to faith, when you rest in His salvation, you can battle giants because the Lord is your Refuge and your Victor. He will lift up your head, bless you, deliver you, help you, scatter your enemies, cover you with the shadow of His wings.

Psalm 91:1-4
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler
.

 

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