Wednesday, May 29, 2013

TAKE UP THY SHIELD

When Paul observed the Roman soldier and in particular his shield he saw attention to detail.  The Roman shield was made-up of many layers, usually six layers, of durable animal skins (according to Rick Renner research) .  When forged together the shield became almost as strong as metal.

The crucial element to remember with this piece of equipment was the daily care it required to keep it maintained.

  • "A soldier was given a daily schedule for maintaining his shield in excellent condition.  Each morning when he woke up, he would reach for his shield and for a small vial of oil.  After saturating a piece of cloth with this heavy ointment, he would thoroughly rub the oil into the leather of the shield to keep it soft, supple, and pliable.  For a soldier to ignore this daily application of oil and to let his shield go without this kind of required care was essentially the equivalent of his inviting certain death." (Dressed To Kill, Renner, p.349)
Even though this shield was the shape and size of a small door, without the faithful application of oil on a soldier's shield there would always be the possibility of the shield not fulfilling it's full potential of defense.

This shield in Ephesians 6:16 is referred to as the Shield of Faith.  Taking the image of the soldier and his shield above as a spiritual metaphor - our faith should be tended to daily by the reading of God's Word and praying in God's Spirit.

You see, in this picture of the Roman soldier the belt of truth (Ephesians 6:14), representing the written Word of God, has a notch on the belt for the shield to latch onto and hang when not in use.  The belt also has a place like this for the scabbard where the sword of the spirit (the Rhema Word of God) resides in peaceful moments.  So, everything hinges, everything is supported, everything begins from the belt or belt of truth or written Word of God!

Besides diving into the Word of God every day and praying in the Spirit on all occasions (Ephesians 6:18), the shield of faith itself should be cared for by the "rubbing on of oil".

"Does your faith need a fresh anointing?  If so, you must go before the Great Anointer and allow Him to give you a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit.

This is prescisely what David was referring to when he said, '...I shall be anointed with fresh oil' (Psalm 92:10).

The word 'anoint' comes from the Greek word chrio.  It was originally a medical term.  When a patient with sore muscles came to see his physician, the physician would pour oil on his own hands and then begin to rub that oil into the patient's sore muscles.

Technically, then, the word 'anoint' has to do with the rubbing or smearing of oil on someone else.  I call the anointing a hands-on situation!

Thus, when we speak of a person who is anointed, we are actually saying that the hand of God is upon that person and that God is rubbing the strong presence of the Holy Spirit into that man or woman's life or ministry.  If a person's sermon is anointed, it is because the hand of God is upon it.  If a person sings an anointed song, the song is anointed because the hand of God is upon it.

The anointing is the result of God's hand personally imparting the strong presence of the Holy Spirit into something.  Therefore, if you need a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit upon your faith, you must come before the Great Anointer!  He alone can give you what you need.  Open your heart to the Spirit of God, and allow Him to lay His hand upon your life and your faith in a fresh, new way.  As you do, a strong anointing will follow - this is guaranteed!"  (Dressed To Kill, Renner, pp.367-368)

Christians have a very personal and personable God.  IF you surrender to Him, stay in His Word, pray in the Spirit, and "oil your faith" daily -  God will massage (anoint) your faith as well as other areas of your life.  All this SO THAT the believer can effectively "take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one." (Ephesians 6:16)  Faith is active.