Don’t Be Caught Unaware

If you’ve been a Christian very long or in ministry for longer than a month or two, you have likely experienced the enemy’s attack. His attacks can sneak up on us in much the same way as a heart attack – silent and undetected or massive and painful. Either way, damage is done.

The Bible equates the attacks of the evil one to flaming arrows. They can be sent head on and in clear view or they can strike without warning. The attacks may come from the least likely place - or person. At times the schemes of the enemy are easy to identify, yet others are hidden under the sweetest smile. These weapons of spiritual attack come in many shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common. They are birthed and purposed out of the schemes of the accuser.

The most unwelcome and disturbing attacks in my life have come in times of peace. Life is going along just fine. And, out of nowhere, an utterly depraved thought comes whizzing through my mind! Then begins the struggle. “Where did that horrible thought come from?” Fear starts edging toward my mind. I try to search for a logical explanation. “Was it something I watched on TV or read in a book?” I am at a loss. There is no apparent link to the evil that invaded my mind. I cry out in panic asking God, “What’s wrong with me?”

Have you ever been there? Caught unaware? And, how do we prepare to be aware in the future?
  • First off, we can acknowledge that these flaming arrows of wickedness are from the pits of hell.
  • Secondly, we must remember that our fight is not against flesh and blood but against the evil forces.
  • Thirdly, God has given us a weapon to wield while under attack. The shield of faith!

But, what does that really mean?

According to Ephesians 6:16, the shield of faith is one of our greatest forms of defense against the enemy’s attack. When we believe God and take Him at His word, we remain grounded in truth and exercise our faith. When we live in God’s truth the accusations of the enemy lose their power, and we live as overcomers. Our faith is our shield and our source of our protection.

Historically wooden shields were used to protect against arrows launched over the walls of cities. When covered in leather hides and made wet, shields were often able to not only block the incoming arrows, but were also able to extinguish any flaming arrows. Shields provide a defensive blanket of protection as well as aiding in pushing away opponents in offensive measures. describes the struggle this way -

“Satan’s attacks can sometimes cause us to doubt God. Faith prompts us to believe God. We give in to temptation when we believe what it has to offer is better than what God has promised. Faith reminds us that, though fulfillment of God’s promise may not be readily visible to us, God is true to His Word. When Satan attempts to plague us with doubt or entice us with instant gratification, faith recognizes the deceptiveness of his tactics and quickly extinguishes the arrows. (Romans 8:1, 34; Revelation 12:10–11).”

We must always remember that Satan can infiltrate our thoughts, but he cannot take up residence in our souls!

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood...but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so may be able to stand your ground....Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:12-17

We are at war, and we must not allow ourselves to become numb and apathetic to that reality. If we choose to ignore the battle, we will be caught off guard and will not be quick to react in faith. We must stop fighting the flesh and blood we see, and instead recognize that the true battle is far more vast and potentially devastating.

The battle that rages – often unseen – is all around us. We must choose to stand firm in our faith and in God’s truth. After all, we have nothing to fear because we know who wins the war!


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