Nonstick coating ∙
Hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. – Ephesians 6:16
11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.
15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.
16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.
17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
In 1928, Alexander Fleming, discovered penicillin, the first true antibiotic. The scientific breakthrough launched an entirely new era, the era of antibiotics. From the moment it started, scientists were aware that the antibiotic age had an expiration date. Recent decades, saw the emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens accelerate. Dire predictions were made of the end of the antibiotic era. Hospitals were becoming death traps. MRSA (Staphylococcus aureus) made its way into American English and culture.
At McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, a research team has developed a new form of nonstick surface. It is a self-cleaning nonstick coating that amazingly repels all forms of bacteria. It even deters antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
The inspiration for this “Teflon-like” surface came from one of the Father’s creations,
the water-repellent surface of the lotus leaf. This new surface imitates the Father’s design through a combination of chemistry and nano-scale surface engineering. Textured microscopic “wrinkles” totally cover the surface. When external molecules come into contact with it, they simply bounce off.
It would be fantastic if children of the King had a sin repellent surface. Regrettably, a nonstick coating is not part of our DNA like the lotus leaf. Remarkably, we have been provided with a supernatural sin repellent.
REFLECT & PRAY
Sooner or later every believer discovers that the Christian life is a battleground, not a playground (Wiersbe).
Father, thank You for providing me with the necessary countermeasures to deal with the attacks of the enemy and his evil minions. Teach me to wield them effectively.
For Paul, our fallen world was no playground. Rather, it is a battleground arrayed with enemy combatants. They are led by the enemy of our souls. They seek strategic advantage by constantly probing for weaknesses to exploit.
We must never forget that we are in a spiritual war. Regardless of how well things may seem to be going for us, we live in a perpetual war zone. How many casualties occur because we think we live in a time of peace? (Stanley)
The Father has provided us with effective armor to fight our spiritual war. Paul describes the various parts of our armor in Ephesians 6:11-17. The shield of faith is used to deal with the enemy’s attacks. Paul refers to these attacks as flaming darts or arrows. The shield is an effective deterrent. Rather than repel the darts, it absorbs and extinguishes them.
Ephesians 6:16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.
Ancient armies used burning arrows to destroy wooden shields and other defenses. These darts were tipped with strands of rope and then dipped in pitch. They were set on fire. When these projectiles came into contact with flammable surfaces, the surfaces burned rendering them not only useless but also hazardous.
The Romans developed a particular type of shield that became an effective countermeasure.
The Greek word translated shield is thyreon. It was derived from thyra (a door). A thyreon is a large, oblong, four-cornered rectangle-shaped like a door. It was used by heavily armed Roman warriors. This shield was made of two layers of wood, glued together, covered with linen and hide, and bound with iron. The shield was designed to take the fiery hit, absorb it, and quench it.
When the flaming dart struck the shield, the dart sank into the wood, and the flame was extinguished. “The edges of these shields were so constructed that an entire line of soldiers could interlock shields and march into the enemy like a solid wall” (Wiersbe).
Likewise, the spiritual shield of faith is to be effectively deployed to the enemy’s spiritual assaults, is flaming arrows and darts. “With such a shield the believer can extinguish all the incendiary devices flung by the devil” (Wood). When the diabolical darts are extinguished, the flames cannot spread.
What is it called a shield of faith? Faith is the active agent that wields the shield and makes it effective. “The ‘faith’ mentioned here is not saving faith, but rather living faith, a trust in the promises and the power of God” (Wiersbe).
What are the darts and arrows fired at children of the King? Aimed at our hearts and minds, they are “lies, blasphemous thoughts, hateful thoughts about others, doubts, and burning desires for sin. If we do not by faith quench these darts, they will light a fire within and we will disobey God” (Wiersbe). Walking by faith, and wielding the shield of faith moment by moment is essential to mount an effective defense. We never know when the enemy will launch a subtle, unexpected attack.
Our shield of faith was created with a few wrinkles of its own. It is our supernatural sin deterrent. Effectively wielded, it can prevent the enemy’s attacks from penetrating our souls, spreading and multiplying like a toxic, pernicious virus.