It’s of vital importance to understand believers are engaged in combat with an unprincipled enemy who didn’t want them to leave his kingdom! There’s a memorable passage in Ephesians 6:10-17, where Paul urges all believers to prepare for this spiritual warfare by putting on the whole armour of Yahweh. Micah Green spoke compellingly about this during the recent Feast of Tabernacles. The armour described by Paul would have been based on that worn by Roman soldiers, and every piece is vitally important for our survival in this battle. I found the use of their shields to be particularly fascinating.
A Roman shield was made mostly of wood - a few layers glued together to make the curved shape around the soldier, with extra strips glued on the back for more strength. Interestingly, it was a weapon in its own right. A central, raised portion in the middle was forged from one piece of iron or bronze and was used to protect the hand holding the shield, but could also be used as a weapon. The raised boss would be thrust into the enemy's face or chest, causing severe injury and even disabling them. Roman soldiers were said to have soaked their shields in water before going into battle, so flaming darts would be dowsed on contact!
“In every situation,” writes Paul, “take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” [Ephesians 6:16]. This presupposes the shield will be soaked in water before the fight! Our faith needs to be regularly ‘soaked’ in the water of the Word through regular Bible reading. When being tempted by the devil, Yahshua used His knowledge of the Word to thrust truth into the enemy’s face! Maintaining our personal relationship with Yahshua will also ‘wet down’ our shields for in Him is living water.
“We have to tuck in behind the shield of faith,” said Micah, suggesting we do this by “listening to sermons that edify and worship that fuels our faith; and by reading the Bible, even out loud, to thwart the fear and build faith.”