Ephesians 6:13 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 firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
Satan and his demonic spirits (1/3 of the angels who rebelled against the Lord Revelation 12:4) are unseen enemies of every believer. The piece of armor Paul lists in Ephesians 6:16 is the shield of faith. The Roman soldier used his shield to protect against arrows and blows to vital parts of his body. The Christian soldier uses his shield of faith to protect himself against the flaming arrows of the evil one.
First, what is the shield of faith? A shield protects. The shield is faith. Faith is what is believed, the body of truth we call the Bible, the written word of God. Faith is also the state of believing on the basis of the reliability of the of the One believed in, Jesus. John 2:18-22 is why we believe the Bible is true and Jesus is completely reliable. John 2:18 So the Jews said to him, "What sign do you show us for doing these things?" 19 Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." 20 The Jews then said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?" 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
The flaming arrows of the evil one are words that cause doubt, that contradict what God has said, that make God look bad, that tempt us to satisfy needs in sinful ways (Genesis 3:1-5; Matthew 4:1-11). Jesus gave us the proper way to use the shield of faith when He was tempted by Satan. Jesus answered the tempting words of Satan with the words of Scripture (what is believed) having faith in the reliability of His Father that the words were true.
Note that Satan shoots his flaming arrows at us in all circumstances (the best translation of the Greek, rather than “in addition to all” in some other translations). From morning to evening and while sleeping we need to live and think according to truth of the Bible. Here is a simple illustration of defending against a flaming arrow of the evil one with our shield of faith. When a trial comes into our life, Satan tells us God is against us and there is no reason to ask Him for help since He is the cause of the trial. We lose hope and plaintively cry out, “Why are you doing this to me, God”. We get mad and turn away from God and His help. Satan just defeated us. However, if we put up our shield of faith in the midst of the trial when Satan tells us God is the cause of the trial and we shouldn’t ask Him for help, then we will count it all joy in the midst of the trial and ask God to give us wisdom to get through the trial. Satan is defeated and we are shepherded through the trial by that Great Shepherd of the sheep, Jesus. We exit the trial victorious, mature and complete lacking nothing. (Read James 1:2-5 to read what faith says and how faith acts in the time of trial.)
Are you keeping your shield of faith battle ready? You keep battle ready by daily learning and living the written word of God by faith in the living Word of God, Jesus. We act in faith by attempting to be and to do the truth of the Bible expecting Jesus to fulfill our act of faith with His power (Galatian 2:20; 2 Thessalonians 1:11).