Growing up, I was a Girl Scout and highlight for our troop was camping trips. Tents with sleeping bags, walks through the dark forests with flashlights, eating dinner out of mess kits, chilly autumn nights and damp, spring rains really made us feel adventurous and pioneer-like. But probably the greatest fun came around the campfire! Making s’mores, singing songs, and telling stories created a real sense of kumbaya. Yet, we all understood that we were sitting mere inches away from a roaring, hot campfire. Under the watchful eye of our troop leaders, we understood the importance of being alert and vigilant around the fire. The embers floating up from the fire were alluring to the eye, but dangerous. Getting too close to the fire was equally dangerous. If we were not careful around the fire things could get real--quickly! Why? Fire is no joke--physically, emotionally, or spiritually.
Based upon Jeremiah 1:5, we understand that each of us is born with a destiny. God has a purpose and a plan for all of us. We also see Jesus plainly outline in John 10:10, that the ultimate goal of the enemy is to steal, kill, and destroy. It is his desire to frustrate and thwart the plans God has for each of us. One of the ways that the enemy seeks to accomplish his plans is by hurling fiery darts/flaming arrows into our lives. These ignited launched weapons are catapulted into our lives with the purpose and intent to destroy us. So what are these fiery darts? They could be anything--a vicious verbal assault, being emotionally orphaned, a victim of parentification, rejection, shaming, etc. Fiery darts can be traumatic and disorienting, so much so that one may feel defeated or unable to “bounce back” and thereby journey through life wound, limping, confused, and hurt. It is not uncommon for people to feel this way after a fiery experience. The good news, based on the word of God, is that we can indeed overcome (Romans 8:37) and live uncommon lives of abundant peace, joy, and satisfaction (John 10:10).
So, how do we do this? We use our shield of faith! This weaponry is “above all”. We are commanded to raise it up, and not take it down. A perpetual state of “taking up the shield of faith” is critical if we are to withstand the fiery darts. In biblical times, Roman soldiers used full body shields which were designed to protect their entire body. The shields were made of iron and covered in layers of leather which were soaked in water. When fiery arrows that were launched by the opposing army hit the shields, they would be extinguished. Spiritually speaking, our faith (assurance, belief, unwavering conviction in the truth of God’s word) is that full body shield. It extinguishes the fiery darts. You may be thinking, “Well, I don’t have that kind of faith”.
Well, you’d be in good company. Many people in the Bible had shaky faith, but went on to be victorious! Jesus stated in Matthew 17:12 that if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we can speak to and move mountains! It doesn’t take much, but it does take persistence. God gives us tools and resources, but he does not do the work for us. I speak with many people who start of strong and determined in their efforts to overcome, but very often begin to lose steam and become discouraged because, in their estimation, it’s taking too long to see lasting, meaningful change. If this sounds familiar to you, may I encourage you with the word of God?
● Fight the good fight of faith (I Timothy 6:12).
● Be not weary in well doing, you will reap if you don’t give up (Galatians 6:9)
● Trust in the Lord and do good (Psalm 37:3)
● Be strong and courageous--God is with you (Joshua 1:9)
Meditating on, memorizing, and declaring these scriptures and others is paramount because the word of God builds our faith. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”--Romans 10:17
So, when the fiery darts come your way, remember you are not weaponless. God has given you the ability to not only extinguish fiery darts, but to overcome them and be victorious! No weapon that is formed against you will prosper (Isaiah 54:17). You have been hardwired to succeed, advance, and live a life of abundance!
Greek Word Study of Ephesians 6:16
- Taking (G353) analambano : take up, raise up, to take up a thing in order to carry or use it
- Shield (G2375) thyreos : a large shield (as door-shaped) a large oblong, 4 cornered shield
- Faith (G4102) pistis : assurance, belief, conviction of the truth of anything
- Able (G1410) dynamai : might, be of power, possible
- Fiery (G4448) pyroo : to burn, to be ignited, be on fire, try, indignant, to be incensed
- Quench (G4570) sbennymi : to go out; extinguish
- Wicked (G4190) poneros : evil, calamitous, diseased, derelict, vicious