"In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
When I think of a shield, I think of people in movies seeing things headed their way and they whip that shield around and deflect the object. One problem here, at least for me, is that I often think it isn't even that I am too slow, it is that I am too blind! Sometimes we do not SEE the flaming arrows! Now, that might seem a bit silly, how could you NOT see a flaming arrow!? Well, yesterday was a REALLY bad day for me. One of those days where the flaming arrows came fast and furious! But instead of flaming arrows, I saw it as my kids pushing my buttons! Each little one wasn't that bad, but it built and built and built all day long until the end of the day when I felt literally defeated! This doesn't mean I have horrible kids, it means they know EXACTLY how to get to Mom! It took me all day to realize that it wasn't as much the kids battling with me as it was that maybe satan was using those arrows! See, the more frustrated I got and the more hurt I got all day, the farther I felt from God. I started the day thinking that I was really going to need His strength and by the end of the day I was trying to figure out if even He loved me! Wow, powerful arrows!
So my application isn't so much putting on the armor, but actually USING it! Learning to recognize attacks! That is equally important here I think. Otherwise we may be basically protected, but we aren't fighting back and these pieces of armor clearly indicated that we are to fight back! A sword is not a defensive weapon! We are to attack those flaming arrows but we can't if we don't recognize them!
Father, help us to recognize the attacks! Not just sit there and let them eat at us a little at a time! Thank you for providing us with both offensive and defensive weapons! Thank you for not giving up on me!