During the time of Rome, the legionaries were prized warriors, fearless and versatile, a formidable opponent to all that opposed Rome. In addition to their strong weapons, they would each equip a long 4-foot by two and half foot shield in which to protect themselves from flaming arrows intended weaken the battle lines.
Like the legionaries, we also have an enemy that likes to send flaming arrows to our unprotected areas. Ephesians 6 lets us know we have an armor to protect us, and a shield of in which to block these incoming arrows. In order to be efficient we have to put all of our trust in God and grow in faith, or at least cry out to God for his protection.
But what if that is not enough?
What if we lack faith? Or Endurance?
Around every corner there is another arrow, another wound. We try to use our shields, but for many, they are bulky and clumsy. The result? Even if we learn to block some arrows, there will always be that one that gets through, and its that one that seems to have the ability to get us down.
God is faithful to heal us even after we’ve been pierced and damage has been done, but I submit that this is not what He intended for us. There is a better strategy.
The legionaries knew that their individual shields were not sufficient in and of themselves. Even with all their training, there would always be an area that they could not protect. However, when the arrows came flying through the air they would huddle together and each protect each other with their shields. They had to trust that that if they use their shield to protect their neighbors exposed area then someone else would protect theirs.
There are areas that we are strong in our faith, areas where we won victories and our shields have grown large. In these areas we are allowed to stand in the gap for others and protect them, forcing the enemy to attack us before he can attack the other person. It is wisdom to only cover people to the varying degree of our faith and victories in the area considering that once we protect others then their attacks will become ours.
When we protect others in our strengths, we can allow others to protect us in the areas where we are weak. When we step outside of ourselves and learn to bear shields for others we will become like the legionaries, strong and mighty, an impenetrable force. When we do, the enemy is sure to flee.
Therefore, may we focus on the areas where we are strong and be encouraged to cover other where they are weak. This life a battle. May we stand firm together and force the enemy to flee.