Flaming arrows. They are arrows. And they are flaming.
Ephesians 6:16, “take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one”. Who in their right mind would just allow those to pierce our spiritual flesh day after day? We would. We do. Because we are not in our right mind. We are in ‘our’ mind, not the mind of Christ. The enemy pummels our flesh with these arrows, these lies, day in and day out. Every arrow seems to carry a lie. He is relentless. But those moments when we have the mind of Christ, we know the truth He knows, we are able to move forward in life. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:16. We must know the truth He knows. I hate to say it, but many days, maybe even most days, our minds are weary, we forget what we know. We forget our armor, and we have misplaced our shield like our car keys. We are naked souls, open targets for the enemy to strike easily. Our mind, the ‘memory of what truth we believe’, is important in a way which you can’t even imagine. And the enemy has plans which undermine, and shoot past our tiny armor.
The enemy has at least two basic plans as a part of his arsenal.
Plan A – the enemy does not want any of us to become a follower of Christ.
Plan B – if we do, he wants us to be in retreat most of our days. He fires these arrows at us to keep us away from even thinking about following Christ and from affecting others in any positive way.
Now, as hard as it is to believe, the enemy was your father at birth. Ephesians 2:1 says we “were born dead in our trespasses and sin”. And John 8:42-47 tells us, “You are of your father the devil.’ Not just the Pharisees. All of us. And we all need to be adopted into God’s family. To become His children. To be grafted into His eternal family. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18. Once we do, we get not only sealed for the day of redemption, we get that suit of armor, to begin to defend ourselves and to grow in who He is. Remember, all parts of the armor are of Him.
The arrows which the enemy shoots are not rubber suction-cup tipped arrows. Those toys of our childhood are the farthest from what he shoots, and what he intends. These arrows are designed to steal, kill, and destroy anything of God’s purpose in our lives. Anything that resembles our Father. Anything that has the love of Christ attached to it. But John 10:10 says that Christ came to give us life, abundant life. Learning to live abundantly in the midst of flaming arrows – that is our lot in earthly life till we step over into eternal life.
As a follower of Christ, you have armor, and a shield to use against the flaming arrows, and to go help others who have been hit. This armor, and shield, must withstand the flaming arrows. The desire of the enemy is to keep you in your prison. To stop you. To hold you back from becoming who God sees you to be. To keep you from attaining the status of sons and daughters of the King. And to keep you from spreading the love of Christ to others who are imprisoned.
There is a battle, and there is going to be more. You can deny and hide, or put on the whole armor of God, and move forward. He has you.
Next week, how to build a shield, and hear the sizzle of the flaming arrows being snuffed out.
From God’s Word:
1 Corinthians 2:16
2 Corinthians 6:18