“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” Ephesians 6:16
Fiery Darts. What are they?
Beloved, amidst the many weapons of the devil, one of his most effective is the fiery darts he throws at believers, bringing us into a place I call, the battle for the mind, where you are either liberated or taken captive. “Fiery darts” were weapons tipped with inflammable materials, firebrands, tactically constructed, and adapted to be set on fire. This description should tell you of how this weapon could at a go, cause a mighty injury.
Other versions call it the flaming arrows.
Darted into the mind are inflaming lust, pride, revenge, evil urges, emanating from the great tempter, the evil one. Such considerations sometimes start up suddenly in the mind, unintendedly, sometimes even in the middle of holy exercises.
This is the painful experience of every Christian, and must make them thankful for the shield with which they are quenched.
An act of faith on Christ, placing the soul consciously in His presence, recalling His atoning love and grace, and the promises of the Spirit, will extinguish these fiery temptations. Indeed, it can be very disheartening, when thoughts come flushing inside your mind like a mighty rushing wind.
How do Fiery Darts Emerge?
Where do these destructive thoughts come from? If it is the devil, why? Should he be able to suggest to us and flash these thoughts in our minds?Doesn’t the Bible say we have the mind of Christ? So why is this?
Ephesians 2:2 identified the devil as the prince of the power of the air. This tells us that the devil is in charge of the activities in the atmosphere, the 2nd heavens to be precise. Thus, he has that ability to suggest things to us, since that is his realm.
The Christian is not exempted from such a condition and truly, even the master Himself didn’t escape such a test in the wilderness when He was tempted of the devil. There is a war going on, and is a war of words. Amidst all the weapons the devil has, one of his greatest delights is when he oppresses people through information. Jesus knew this very well and so He was crucified in the place of the skull which depicts the mind.
If you are under attack this way, it is a sure sign that you are born again, for the closer you get to the throne, the more the accusations, and this is seen in Zechariah 3:1, when Joshua stood before the angel of the Lord and as was the devil’s custom, he stood there trying to resist Joshua by accusing him. The Arena for the Battle is now in the mind, and the devil comes in the personal Pronoun, “I”.
The Believer’s Weapon
If the devil can get you to start believing wrong, you will be left vulnerable, and this is where the believer has to hold unto the shield of faith which is a defensive weapon. The Shield of Faith here is synonymous to the kind of shield the soldiers used in times past. The shield was large, usually about four feet by two feet, made of wood, covered with tough leather.
As the soldier held it before him, it protected him from spears, arrows and “fiery darts.” The edges of these shields were made in a way that that an entire line of soldiers could interlock shields and march into the enemy like a solid wall.
This also suggests that we Christians are not in battle alone. Now, the faith mentioned here (as a shield) is not the saving faith but rather the living faith which is a trust in the promises and the power of God. These fiery darts are shot at our hearts and minds. They include lies, blasphemous thoughts, hateful thoughts about others, doubts, images from dreams and burning desires for sin.
All these fiery darts are aimed at one thing, to destroy our confidence in the word. It is no surprising that satan has captured almost every information outlet in the world; the media, the newspaper and sometimes even one’s own colleagues can whip one of faith and confidence in God and His word.
Satan’s cunning schemes
Now concerning the shield of faith; it is anything that God has said to you. Normally, satan is interested in the revealed word of God concerning your life—that specific instruction God has given you concerning an area of your life, or anything pertaining to your future. Your victory lies in what God has said, that is why you need to place value on the word of God because that is the starting point for your victory.
A Typical Biblical Example
There was a young Prophet in the Bible who lost hold of what God told him, and after he disobeyed, he gave room for the devil to come in. 1 Kings 13:17 For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest. The sad thing was this, another Prophet brought a contrary word to what the young prophet received from the Lord and there came his doom when he did contrary to what God had revealed to him.
1 Kings 13: 18 He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him.
Here we see, a fiery dart in display—lies, and Jesus told us that Satan is the Father of all lies. The enemy needed a space to enter the young prophet’s life and when the man of God fell prey to this dart, his doom came and at the end he was killed by a lion. That was the sad ending to the life of a promising young man of God who decided to believe the report of a so-called angel who spoke to man than the word of the Lord spoken to him.
Sometimes too, when we get beyond what God has called us to do, we get beyond His grace, and when we get beyond His grace, then we become easy targets for the enemy. If satan cannot stop you, he will try to push you too far, so you get outside God’s jurisdiction for your life’s assignment, and at this point he can have access.
Another thing the devil does is to “beat” you to lose your faith in what God has said, sometimes he may appeal to your physical senses, and your intellect. This is the strategy he used on Eve, when the serpent forced Eve to reveal what God has said and punched holes into what God told her, so as to shift her object of faith from God. Eve succumbed and caused her husband too to follow.Here, he came with his cunning craftiness, where he posed a question to Eve.
And there are so many of us the devil is posing so many questions at and at the same time giving us so many reasons to believe in his words. The question now is whose report will you believe?
Numbers 13:30-33 says, “and Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome. 31) But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. 32) And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”
So here we see two contrasting views, but the question is among these two, who was right, they all saw from different points of view, and whatever you chose to believe so it was. Caleb was of the view, “we are able to overcome. We choose to believe that report, because in everything we face we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. This is the victory that overcomes the world even our faith, and one thing is sure we will give the devil no foothold, for we are not ignorant of the devices of the enemy lest we fall away through deception.”
How you should apply this
In your life this should be your confession; we are more than conquerors. Even if some chose to believe otherwise,Paul gives us a key in Romans 3:3- 4, “For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? 4) God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
Beloved, let God be true in your life and let every man be a liar, that including the devil and his cohorts, for your success in this walk of faith with the Lord will depend on your staying power to believe in the one who has called you unto glory and virtue; for all his promises are yea and Amen. You can frustrate satan by not bending. Refuse to bend and refuse to submit to his schemes.
There are many of us who in one point or the other threw away our shield of faith, because of the fiery darts that they were thrown at us. Some of us were hit so hard in our families, in our workplaces and in our own walks with God. No matter how hard it was, be encouraged to go back and take it up, always remembering that truth are higher than facts.
And as real as that experience may have seem, it doesn’t cancel the truth of God’s word. You may not be able to prevent the enemy from planting thoughts in your head, but you can resist them with the word of God and if you do this for some time, the devil will walk away in shame, because the devil can grow weary at a point. It is only the everlasting God who doesn’t grow weary.
Standing your grounds
Sometimes you need to rebuke certain thoughts that may want to take you captive, because we are no longer in bondage. But another key is silence to the devil’s suggestions, silence has been said to be the highest form of resistance in some cases, and it can save you the energy of rebuking and binding the devil. For who the son has set free, is indeed free.
We have all being called, to glory and virtue, and I have personally being a victim to these fiery darts before. It takes away your light and your shine but thanks be unto God who has given us the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God, to take our stand against the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.
In Revelation 12:10, we see that the accuser of the brethren accuses the saint day and night before our God. This also speaks of the constant accusations that comeagainst the heart of every believer. Our motives may be good one day and terrible the next, and if we are going to be controlled by our motives, we will be continually perplexed and neutralized and the devil is perfectly aware of this.
“The heart is more deceitful than all else…Who can understand it” (Jeremiah 17:9).
We must not be controlled by our own hearts, but by the spirit of God and by His word. If we will concentrate upon the will of God, regardless of what is going on in our hearts, we will soon find out that our hearts have lined up with His will. This also reveals the truth that the closer we get to the throne the more accusations we can expect. And this could not be done if God didn’t allow it. He allows it, because learning to overcome accusations and rejections helps us to identify with the one who suffered the worst accusations and rejection, and prepares us to handle the authority that comes with being close to His throne.
Whose report would you believe? Stay with Him and always remember that you reign by the words you receive, and if you can hold onto that revealed word which is a product of “staying” in the written word you shall be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the enemy and live a life of the overcomer.
THE END ✍