Welcome back to The War Series, Dressed To Kill which is our 2nd Golden Series on the website, and our first series of this year. So glad that you can join me today for another blog post about this war series. We have been actively talking about spiritual warfare and its components, like The Decision Making Process, Basic Details, and our issued uniforms that we would need for combat.
Be sure to go back and catch up on previous War Series posts if you missed any.
Spiritual Warfare Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the protection as we embark on this spiritual journey by adding another piece of armor. Let us uplift up the shield of faith to protect us from the schemes of the enemy. Father, allow us to walk in faith and not by sight according to how the world does. We all should know that we live in a fallen world where the devil uses his devices of chaos, suffering, discord, and confusion as his arrows of choice. Give us the faith to protect us from such things. Let us walk-in authority under your will and calling over our lives. Father, strengthen our core strength to add on the armor deemed worthy for your divine kingdom. In Jesus' name, Amen!
Let’s Get Into It!!
Uniform Details: Our Ballistics Shield a.k.a Shield of Faith is our 4th piece of equipment armor that we will be issued. We will wear this armor correctly according to the Word of God. We will be covered and fully protected with this armor.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,
with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Ballistic Shields, also called Tactical Shields are protective coverings that are utilized by police, and armed forces to stop or repel heavy machinery bullets or fire explosives at them. Ballistic shields can also be used in less threatening situations like civilians throwing debris and also for full coverage protection in hostile riot encounters. Shields in general date back to the beginning of time as personal protection when faced with long or short-ranged attacks. Let’s begin some groundwork on the history of shields.
History Facts: Shield Armor
In ancient armies, shields were hand-made pieces that were used with a variety of materials like wood, metals, and even leather. They were handcrafted into different shapes, styles, and colors depending on the time period as well as the empire itself. There were two types of hand-crafted shields back then, the first one was a small circular shield most likely called a buckler; it provided partial covering to the soldiers leaving the legs and feet exposed.
The second one was, ideally, what Paul was referring to when he said take up the “shield of Faith”. This shield provided the soldiers with full coverage from head to toe, this shield was called a Scutum. The scutum weighed about 10 kilograms (22 lb) and was a long curved rectangular-shaped shield that was made up of several layers to make it indestructible. The Romans reinforced their scutum with 3 sheets of wood glued together to create a plywood base, then covered with canvas and leather. Once covered they put iron or bronze metals in the center of it as added reinforcement and damage to their opponent.
How does the Roman Scutum correlate to the use of our Shield of Faith?
It correlates to our spiritual journey because just like the Roman soldiers we too have to protect ourselves. Paul explained it best with why we have to protect ourselves and from what, let’s take a look. Paul said, “with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” You have to ask yourself, What did Paul mean when he is referring to flaming arrows.
One tactical practice of weaponry that armies used in battle were flaming arrows. This not only gave the army an advantage in defeating the battle but also caused utter chaos to their targeted opponent. Fire is all-consuming, when left unattended it left the soldiers vulnerable. It forced them into making the decision on whether to abort formation to save their camp, or stay in line and continue fighting.
This is what Paul is trying to tell us in verse 16, with everything that we have talked about thus far, take up your shield of Faith and it will protect you from the flaming blows of the enemy. Flaming blows don’t necessarily come to kill you, some are there to confuse you, drain you, in addition to that, weigh you down physically, mentally, and spiritually. The enemy sends flaming devices to STRESS YOU OUT!!! To steal your peace and to distract you into thinking that there's no hope, let alone any faith.
I have been there time and time again where I stopped having faith because of my situation. When there was no way out I gave up. I was crippled with fear and anxiety. I was troubled with worrying. There were days when I did not have any money, a job, or people to lean on. There were days when I had no one, but it’s in those times when God will come in and pull you through. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. Hebrews 11:1. So, we have to remind ourselves that it may feel like we can’t make it out, but all we need is faith the size of a mustard seed for God to work on the situation. Just because you can’t see progression, doesn’t mean God is not working on it.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
To use this armor strategically you must understand that it is not enough to just say that you have faith, you actually have to actively practice it as well. I mentioned this in Motivational Mondays #31: Faith is a Verb, “that having faith can be hard because it is placing our trust into something that we cannot physically see or touch. We have to believe in it and place our trust in God. Faith is relinquishing our control over our situations and allowing God to work in our lives for us wholeheartedly. I think the hardest part for most of us is going to be letting go of control.”
If we get consumed by the flaming arrows that the enemy sends to us then we will not make it very far. This is where discipline comes in because we cannot let our faith suffer just because our life is. The shield of faith is a powerful armor because Satan knows what can happen when we produce little faith. God can act with little, but are you willing to produce it! Faith cancels and extinguishes flaming airborne attacks, remember that!
Forward March: There’s Power in Numbers
Other than protection, the Romans used their shields in strategic formations known as the Testudo Formation. The Testudo Formation (Latin origin) means Turtle or Tortoise, the goal of this formation was to create a giant wall-like shield that not only covered one soldier but covered hundreds of soldiers from all angles.
The soldiers achieved this formation by interlocking their shields together on all four sides while the soldiers that stood in the center would raise their shields over their heads. Those that interlocked their shields on the four sides would be protecting the group from forwarding oncoming airborne attacks while those that held the shields above would be protecting the group from aerial attacks. Oncoming forward attacks would be inclusive of swords and other hand-to-hand weaponry while the aerial attacks were inclusive of flaming arrows, cannonballs, and so on.
The reason why the Testudo formation was so successful was because the shields were fitted together so closely that they formed one unbreakable surface shield without any gaps in between them. The force behind a Testudo formation was so strong that not even a single man, horse, or chariot wouldn't be able to pass or break through force.
How strong is your faith?
Can it withstand airborne attacks?
As I mentioned before flaming arrows was a common tactic but did you know that they were usually used during times of sieges?
Siege: a military operation in which enemy forces surround a town or building, cutting off essential supplies in hopes to drive out the surrender.
Think of it this way, you know in movies or TV shows when the police have the perpetrator surrounded they’ll say, “Come out with your hands up, we have the place surrounded”. This would be an example of a siege in modern times.
This Testudo tactic only works if we have a fellowship. One person can’t possibly protect and cover all sides of themselves properly or effectively. Your fellowship needs to be able to protect not only themselves but also the people on all four sides and above them. As a fellowship, we are stronger in numbers. Whether it be your church, your bible study group, or friends and family that share your beliefs, there’s nothing like having a Testudo Formation. A community of Christian believers that will pray for and with you when you’re in a storm in your darkest hour. Ones who will do anything for you without the need for you to ask. Ones who will fight and intercede for you on all sides and keep sight for flaming airborne attacks.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Call To Action: How do we use the Shield of Faith properly and in everyday use?
When under attack by the enemy, recognize that this is him attacking you. Sometimes when life brings so much trouble and problems we sometimes have no recollection that we are even under attack. If you are walking in the readiness of Christ then know and be vigilant of his airborne attacks.
Never let your situation outweigh your faith. This is what the enemy wants, to keep you from having any faith or no faith at all. When in combat you never know what you'll be up against, let alone the situation, so being steadfast in and throughout your situation will be beneficial to you.
Believe that God will strengthen you. Scripture says to Trust in the Lord with all your heart, know that Trust activates Faith. Trusting activates healing and believing. Scripture also says faith is confidence in what we hope for. I'm reminded of Proverbs 12:25 which says constant worrying weighs down the heart but a kind word cheers it up. Don’t be weighed and anchored down by things of this world or by your situation.
Faith produces pushback from the enemy. When we engage in faith it confuses the enemy and allows him to flee or sometimes fall and/or stumble back a few steps. Sometimes if he doesn't flee after the pushback of faith, this is when we should expose another piece of equipment which is the Sword of the Spirit (The Word of God) to finish him with an everlasting blow. Sometimes you have to use more than one piece of equipment armor to drive a powerful combo attack against Satan. But I going to put a pin in this for now because we are not there as of yet! Give Satan a pushback nonetheless!
Golden Words of Wisdom:
Satan knows that he cannot destroy you because you are kept by God, but he will surely waste your time on unnecessary things like worry and stress. Don’t let him win.
Produce an unstoppable barrier of faith that the enemy can not push through. To achieve that, begin asking God to show you how and to help you. Also, stay in your Word and turn off all devices and distractions.
Make sure you have a Testudo fellowship, if you don’t have one, then ask your Heavenly Father for one! Establish what you lack and make no excuses as to why you don’t have it!
Know what flaming arrows are in your life. Depression, suicide, malice, frustration, envy, mean and hateful thoughts, wickedness, lies, deceit, fear, sadness, suffering, pain, distrust from others, deception, heartache, distractions, unforgiveness, bitterness, blaming others for your problems, doubt, anger, and unbelief. All of these and more can be attacking you right now. Know them by name and activate your faith right now to extinguish them and push the devil back!
Questions To Consider: Ask yourself these questions and try to answer them to the best of your ability.
Do I have full coverage faith or partial faith? If partial, list some ways that I can improve my faith?
In what areas of my life do I feel are under attack by Satan’s flaming arrows?
I mentioned in the blog post the components of what the Roman shields were made of to ensure that their shield was indestructible. What is the quality of my faith in Jesus Christ? Do I have little faith but fold under pressure? Or Can I sustain the weight of my shield?
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him
says: J. (2021, March 10). Scutum. World Archaeology. Retrieved May 19, 2022, from https://www.world-archaeology.com/museum/object-lesson-scutum/
Stay tuned for the next blog post!!!
WEEK 4:[THE WAR SERIES, DRESSED TO KILL]: Issued Uniform [Part 5]