Are you anxious on this Monday morning? Does fear nip at your heels? There is so much heartache all around us. Still, we must take courage! We are no longer slaves to fear, for we are children of God.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Ephesians 6:16 – hNIV
On a shelf of leftover Valentine’s Day decorations, there was a small plastic Cupid holding a tiny red bow, the string stretched tautly in his grasp. The arrow was aimed at some distant, unsuspecting target, ready to fly at the whim of his tiny red fingertips.
I know that Cupid was merely meant to be a cute little Valentine decoration, but it started my mind pondering other arrows that fly for much more sinister reasons.
You see, I have come to think of arrows as those things that cause us to fret or worry. The arrows I am thinking of seek to steal our joy.
Do you ever find yourself waking in the middle of the night gripped in the teeth of fear? Does anxiety climb under your covers and lay its sweaty palms upon your prostrate form? Does that anxiety make you want to flee from your bed in desperation?
Do you ever lay there in the wee hours of the night, counting your worries, cataloging them in your mental file drawer, wondering how in the world you will ever fix it all?
Does your pulse race, your breath quicken? Does your mind move at lightning speed as you worry about the problems of the day to come? Do you fret over your children, your spouse, your work? Do you imagine dire circumstances, fearing the worst case scenario? Are you panicked at the thought of how you will overcome all those potential tragedies?
Clearly, I have experienced these nighttime terrors. Perhaps you have too.
What about the next morning? Have you ever stood there wondering “Why in the world did I let myself go there?” The worries of the night before seems so ridiculous in the pale morning light. Even more ridiculous is the fact that I will return again to those waking moments of anxiety on yet another night.
I have come to think of those nighttime terrors, those anxious thoughts as little arrows, silent, stealthy arrows sent by our ultimate Enemy. His arrows seek to steal our joy. They cause us to stumble. They destroy our peace.
The Enemy knows just where to strike for maximum impact, selecting just the right arrow to pierce the heart of his prey. He finds that thing that wrenches our hearts and uses it as his target. So often, he strikes in the dark hours of the night. It is our weakest point. Things seem surreal then, the sunshine of the day still hours away. The menacing darkness allows the arrows to fly more freely.
Yet, we have a defense against these arrows. We can take up the shield of Faith. We can stand on the Truth of our inheritance as daughters and sons of Christ Jesus. We need not be afraid. We can let go of worry. We need not fall prey to the temptations of this fallen and sinful world.
There is no need to be consumed by anxiety. For we are children of God. We are no longer slaves to fear. We are God’s beloved children. He longs to protect us, to provide for us, to save us. He will be our shield and our protector. He is our rock and our refuge. We have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, set free from the chains of this earthly bondage.
We must claim His protection from the arrows of our adversary. We must stand on our faith. We must pray when the arrows fly. We must denounce the Enemy that he will not have his way. For our God is mighty and He is fully capable of delivering us from any of the arrows that fly.
Friends, join me today in picking up our shield of Faith. Let us be confident that we can deflect any arrows that fly. For our God is mighty and He stands with us.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Romans 8:31 – NIV
O God of all Power and Might, stand with us against the Enemy. Strengthen us to stand firm when the arrows fly. Let us pick up our shield of Faith and fight the fears and temptations that so easily entangle us. Let us run with endurance the race You have set before us, trusting You every step of the way.
In the Powerful Name of Jesus, we pray,