The Fiery Darts of the Wicked One
“Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one” (Eph. 6:16).
Here, Paul alludes to the great oblong, semi cylindrical shield, or scutum, used by the Roman soldiers, which not only covered the whole front body, but also could protect them on the sides. For us, this unique shield of faith, when used with dexterity, will help us to cover up all the other parts of our armor as a double shield. Without it, we would be exposed and quickly and easily annihilated by our enemy.
The verb “taking” demands some action from me; it is up to me to either pick it up with a firm grasp or to reject it altogether.
The object of the fiery darts was to make them fasten in the body, hence increasing the danger by burning the target. I am intrigued about those darts, not because I think of them as something fascinating, but because of the danger that they present to my spiritual safety. How are we going to be able to identify something that we cannot see? How will we know when our enemy is shooting one at us? What form or shape will that particular dart have? But above all, will my shield of faith be strong enough to quench those darts?
Do you truly believe those darts are a real danger against your spiritual life and that our enemy is always looking for opportunities to fire one at you?
Please note, I do not believe that God revealed this to us because He wants us to live our lives under a constant state of paranoia. I believe that God reveals this truth to us so that we will always be ready for the devil’s attacks. The challenge we all have at front is to know when one of those darts is coming our way. But, if we are firmly holding our shield of faith, then we do not have to worry at all about a dart heading our way. Unfortunately, sometimes, even if for a few seconds, inadvertently or advertently, we become weary and we put our shield down! Therefore, I think we need to learn to continually be checking ourselves to make sure we are holding it, and if not, to pick it up immediately!
Next, what are the shapes and forms of those fiery darts? For sure, each dart is loaded with potent, poisonous sin and is extremely fatal to my spiritual life! The devil knows each and every one of us very well, so his darts will excite our individual inner fleshly desires. They are violent temptations which intensify men's lusts.
In matters of time, darts such as “You have a very busy schedule with many things to do, so you just do not have any time to read your bible, or pray, or attend services.” How strong is your shield of faith against this fiery dart?
In matters of entertainment, what are those darts loaded with? Perhaps with messages like this: “Relax, it is OK to watch television programs or movies with sexual content; everyone is doing it. I know, you will definitely enjoy it and have a good time.” How strong is your shield of faith against this fiery dart?
What about with regard to your own faith about accepting the existence of this personal enemy using fiery darts against you? What is the enemy throwing at you right now? Is he using fiery darts full of doubt? Darts with messages like, “Do not worry; do not be fearful. I am not attacking you with any fiery darts. It is just fantasy and the imagination of some old Christians.” “No reason to be in constant alarm about me.” “Trust me, I am not looking to destroy you.” “Take off your armor, put your shield aside and relax. God wants you to rejoice; right? Does God want you to live in constant alarm and in a defensive mode? It is not healthy to your spiritual life; don’t you agree?”
I am not advocating for the “the devil made me do it” idea. Those fiery darts will only be effective to the extent that we allow them. They do not have any real power over our wills. They are only evil invitations to sin against God. Remember Joseph?
In conclusion, can you think of what kind of “fiery darts” he might be using against your spiritual life? “Examine yourself.” How strong is your “Shield of Faith?” Let’s keep on working to make our shields stronger and stronger. So we can always be able to quench any dart thrown at us.