Ephesians 6:16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
This week I am re-using a passage that I have blogged on before in the article titled: Shield of Faith… I am constantly amazed how God can use just a few words and still tell me so much about myself, my life, and how He is working on my heart and soul. I have mentioned before several times that I have been on this transformational journey over the last several years. During this journey, this passage has been speaking to me in several ways and over a long period. One of those ways has shown up for me in the form of how I am exposed to the “flaming arrows of the evil one.”
There have been three points of revelation where this passage has shown up for me. One of those areas of transformation work for me has been my involvement with The Crucible Project. As I have mentioned before, The Crucible Project is a ministry dedicated to helping men live lives of authenticity, integrity, power, purpose, and passion within their Christian journey. Through participating and staffing in this work, I have found a group of men who hold me accountable in my life and help point out places where I need to putting up my Shield of Faith in order to extinguish the flaming arrows.
Another area of transformation work for me has been the study of Theophostic Prayer. In a nutshell, this work helps one replace the lies that he/she believes about himself/herself with the truth that Jesus know about him/her. One of the things that Dr. Ed Smith points out is that reactions to life are a form of exposure or uncovering of lies we believe about ourselves. When I read this, I immediately thought of the above passage. The evil one is shooting flaming arrows in places where the shield is not covering.
I third area of study for me has been around how I view God. There have been three sources of revelation for me around this part of my journey: First has been mentioned in the form of my continual work with The Crucible Project. The second has been a book that helped me see the narrative that I project onto God. This book is The Good and Beautiful God. Third, an area of work I have been experiencing with Dmitri Bilgere and his idol-breaking work from his book Gateways to God. These three sources have helped me to see how I view God vs. how He really is character-wise.
By being exposed, I am able to move the Shield of Faith into the position(s) it needs to be in order to protect my heart and soul. Instead of looking at blaming others for my reaction to life, I need to look at where I am exposed and where my shield needs to be placed. When I am overwhelmed with bitterness, where am I exposed? When I am judgmental of others, where am I exposed? When I fly off the handle with unbalanced anger or rage, where am I exposed? When I am blaming others for my circumstances, where am I exposed? When I am caught up in gossip, where am I exposed? The list can go on.
My challenge is to recognize what is going on and to ask God to reveal to me what is the source of my exposure? What transformational work do I need to be doing now? Where do I need to strengthen my faith and place the shield?
1. After reading this article, where do you sense you may be exposed?
2. What indicators are telling you that you are exposed?
3. Where are you out of balance emotionally?
4. Where in your life right now do you suppose you need soul work?
5. Pay attention this week to where you react to life in an unbalanced way. Ask God to reveal to you where you need to place your Shield of Faith.
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