Ephesians 6:16: In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
The fiery darts of the enemy come in different forms. It can come in the form of the words spoken through Satan’s messengers (whether they know it or not).
That was the way Elijah experienced the fiery dart of the devil from the words of the Jezebel (1Kings 18:27-19:4), and he ran for his dear life, feeling that he was rotten and worthy of death.
Before then he was on top of the world figuratively and on top of the Mount Carmel literally where he dealt a major blow to the worship of false gods in the land of Israel. While Elijah put a sword to the neck of those false prophets, Jezebel struck at him with the piercing sword of her mouth.
But there is the shied of faith, so that in the face of the fiery darts of the enemy. But you cannot deal with the fiery dart of the enemy if you are not on guard. If you do not see it coming, how can you defend against? Jesus told us that the enemy “has come to steal to kill and destroy (John 10:10),” because he does not want his disciples to be ignorant. He does not desire numbed-eyed Christians who are ignorant of the devices of the devil, and so fall prey easily.
Jesus told his disciple watch and pray so that we do not fall into temptation (Matthew 26:41), fall prey to the enemy. He wants us to have the watchfulness of faith, not the weariness of fear. He told Peter the enemy seeks to sieve you but I have been watchful over you in the place of prayer (Luke 22:31-32), so that after all is said and done your faith will still be standing, that when the fiery dart come, your shield (of faith) will be up.
When the fiery dart of the enemy came into the Garden of Eden in the first chapters of the bible, Eve was not watchful, and neither was Adam (Genesis 3). Eve allowed a demonic invasion of her mind, and she fell for the deception of the devil.
Similarly, Paul asked the Galatian church: who has deceived you that you have turned back from obeying the gospel (Galatians 3:1), the word of truth manifested through the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, and the release of the Holy Spirit from heaven and the intending judgement of the inhabitants of the earth and the devil? The fiery dart of deception came to the church and their shied of faith was not up
Jesus speaking by the Spirit said I saw the devil fall like lightning (Luke 10:18). So, he was not intimidated by the devil and not ignorant of him. He knew how to deal with him, keep him in his place.
When Peter spoke to him about not going through with the cross (Matthew 16:21-23), being his purpose on the earth, Jesus immediately recognised that as the fiery dart of the enemy, calling Peter Satan. He said to him: get behind me Satan.
Peter said that we should resist the devil, though he comes around like a roaring lion seeking whom to devour (1Peter 5:8-9). Those he can devour become “minus-you” when you put up your faith-shield, when you hide under the cover of the word that protects you, as your insurance cover.
But when Eve was willing to put aside the word of God she became a sitting duck for the enemy. Why is the word important? The words from the mouth of God outlined in the pages of the bible, when you affirm it (raise it like shield), is like the raising up the standard when the enemy comes like a flood (Isaiah 59:19).
Faith is stringed together with the thread of the word of God. As it is written, faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17). The components of your faith are derivatives of the word of God. It is the life in it, countering the death-stream that comes from the words of the devil.
The attack of the devil in the wilderness on Jesus was mostly about his identity. It was: if you are the son of God do this, do that.
But Jesus upheld the word that was released to him before the temptation. When he was being baptised by John, the heaven opened and God spoke to affirm his identity as His son (Luke 3:21-23, 4:1-12). He was not like Eve who let down the word of God that they should not eat the forbidden truth.
Jesus put up in his mind the words about his identity so that the darts of the enemy attacking him at that point, seeking to introduce doubts into him, will not stand, that it would not pierce him but fall down.
As mentioned earlier, Jesus told his disciples to watch and pray. When they watch they know what to pray about and when they pray they change things to their favour.
The enemy is all about staking the odds high against you, but you should be unperturbed, because God works everything in your favour (Romans 8:28). After all is said and done, you will still be standing, hands raised as a victor (1John 4:4, 5:4).
Paul admonished us to put on the whole armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). That is part of being on guard, part of being strong in the Lord and in the power of his might, part of being watchful.
We would not put the armour if we are not watchful, ready for battle, ready to take the battle to the enemies’ territory and not back down.
Jesus said: I will build my church and the gates of hell will not overcome it (Matthew 16:18). That implies that the church must be aware of the gates of hell which seeks to overcome it.
Apart from the force of false doctrine, there are spirits of distraction, seeking to pull us away from the pursuit of the right things.
The persecutions that Paul faced were meant to pull him back from his mission. And even before Paul started, God told Ananias (his first contact with a Christian after he encountered God on the way to Damascus where he set out to destroy the church) (Acts 9:1-16) he was going to suffer much for the sake of Christ.
So that pre-knowledge helped Paul to stand strong. That is the real preparation for the gospel of peace. In making advance for the cause of Christ, we are prepared to charge forward no matter what.
We have the sword of the Spirit to deal with the enemy. Through the word we have the upper hand, because the origin of whatever demon and Satan that is against us is the word (Hebrews 11:3), before they defected, were corrupted through rebellion. So they are still amenable to the word of God from our mouth.
We are victors because we are light (Matthew 5:14) and ready to counter the darkness of the enemy, standing assured of the divine defence.
- Satan and Demons (Origin, Powers, Defeat and Going On The Offensive) (artofthechristianninja.com)
- August 14, 2014 (jumpstartcpc.com)
- Ways Satan Attacks Us, Part 5: Frightening Intimidations (2), by Jeffery Smith (burningandshininglight.wordpress.com)
- FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH- Soldiers in God’s Army (heulu.wordpress.com)
- What did Jesus say about Satan? (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
- In the Midst of Persecution (billrudgeministries.wordpress.com)
- How to Deal with the Devil (writedge.com)
- Post-preaching blues (petersomervell.wordpress.com)