Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Shields and Hurts

taken from Proverbs 31 Ministries.....

Taking up the Shield, Van Walton Ephesians 6:16, "In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan."

I stood in the midst of a horrible battle that Saturday afternoon! A relational death hovered over me; I needed to fight wisely.

I cannot remember how many times I retreated to my "tent", the dark recesses of my soul-the place no one sees, but I certainly feel. I went there to understand my emotions and tend to my wounds, justifying my pain and sorrow. No sooner would I feel the battle relax, allowing healing to begin, than a flaming arrow would fly into my line of vision and threaten to sink into my heart or a dart would settle in my mind and I would gear up for battle once again. This time I threatened to defend myself and mine. Determined now to face off with the one who, without a doubt, deserved my wrath, my rejection, and my public disapproval, I picked up every unethical tool that would surely destroy a friendship between two godly individuals and diminish the character of a popular person, my stated enemy.

This one-sided fight spotlighted only one person on the battle field. My foe was not aware that a dispute even existed. I knew! I fought alone. The hurtful and unfair decision stood to potentially destroy my child. "hadn't this been considered?" I wondered. The lack of wisdom in the decisions made and direction taken tied me in knots. Unfortunately nothing could be done. It was too late. Once again I read over the published names of the newly chosen stars. I had no choice, but to live with it. But how could I? The battle raged on...

I began to doubt myself. How had I so suddenly turned on one whom I had admired? Why didn't I respect the decision if, in fact, I enthusiastically supported him in the past? Why did he do what he did? Fickle me! At this moment I certainly couldn't be defined as a person of deep character.

"I retreated again, remorse for my thoughts toward my "friend". Then I began to see the battlefield for what it truly was. My struggle seemed to be against the flesh and blood of the person, I so admired, only the day before. In reality, Satan's prowling hunt threatened to divide and destroy God's children. If I continued to wrestle and fall prey to the enemy, I stood the chance of walking away, not with a shallow battle scar that would heal in time, but with a huge character flaw, if I continued in my plotting strategy to destroy a brother.

I needed a better tactic to win this battle. All around me missiles, darts and arrows attacked in the form of lies, rejection, misunderstandings, and hurt feelings. Even when I stood back and assessed the war zone, I knew the fight raged on. Immediately, I knew a cease-fire was the only resolution. I must stop this senseless issue.

My home is composed of guys and they like battle scenes, so we read and watch about wars and learn what goes on in battles. I can't help but notice that ancient combats demanded shield of all types - every soldier had protection and it was ingenious the way he used that gear. The hero made himself ready for the conflict as his servant stood holding his equipment designed for war. The master prepared for the skirmish and his servant offered, "Take your shield." Notice that, before stepping into the melee, the warrior is told to take his shield.

That is what I was missing! I had forgotten to pickup my shield - the Shield of Faith. Faith that God would bring peace and comfort to this decision turned major conflict. When I did grab it, I became intimately acquainted with my Shield - Jesus. Psalms 18:2 and 28:7 say about Jesus, our Shield: "I love thee O lord, my strength. The Lord is my Rock and my fortress and my redeemer, My God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stonghold. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults and with my songs I shall thank Him."

I learned when I pick up the Shield, Christ extinguishes the flaming arrows. I wanted a connection with my friend, not a conflict. What I learned was that the side of the shield held against the enemy deflected the incoming darts that brought lies and deception. The side of the shield that rested against my mind and my heart brought truth and peace.

1 comment:

erika said...

This is beautiful. I love learning from you - I really think I do learn from you.. so keep them coming.

I'll be thinking about this. I've always passed over this so quickly.. breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith... blah, blah. Interesting how life lessons bring us back to pay attention to what God was saying all along :)