Paul wrote the book of Ephesians and in Ephesians 6, it talks about the armor of God. In this passage, Paul is conveying the message that you are not without protection, you are not without cover you not without the Lord advancing with you.
In verse 16, he says, “take up the shield of faith.” So what what image was going through Paul’s mind? Well, in that day and age, the first thing that would have come to mind would have been a Roman soldier and the Romans were fierce conquers. One of the reasons they were such fierce conquerors is because they were able to penetrate into a battle and do great damage without any harm coming to themselves. With their shields, they advanced in something called the testudo formation.
So they would advance as a unit and everyone on the front would hold up their shield. The right side of one soldier’s shield was slightly overlapping the left side of the soldier’s shield next to him, with everyone behind them following the same pattern and the next few rows back would hold their shield up to either the right or the left depending what side of the unit they were on in the formation. The people in the middle would hold up their shields over their heads and that way, as they approached a walled-in city, they would be protected from fiery arrows. You see, the soldiers on top of the walled-in cities who would very often be shooting fiery arrows into the Roman soldiers and because of this formation, those arrows would just bounce off.
Now, here’s the thing. They never fought a battle alone, because one shield cannot completely cover you. I love this picture of the soldiers advancing fully covered each one holding up their shield in a way that protects not only them, but protects each other as well. Our prayers for each other make a great difference and when your faith fails, my faith won’t. But when my faith fails, your faith won’t and so we pray for each other. If you need prayer, I want to encourage you right now, click here to go to KCBI’s Prayer Center and together we will hold up our shields of faith because you know what that makes us? It makes us impenetrable!
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