Posted by: davidlarkin | February 2, 2021

The Flaming Darts of the Evil One

Painting above is the Christian using the “Shield of Faith” to “extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.”

Why are the “flaming darts” coming down. In sobering words for those who receive them, the Apostle Paul refers to the enemy, Satan or the devil, as the god of this earthly fallen world:

In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

2 Corinthians 4:4 (English Standard Version)

Especially, in similarly sobering words, Paul refers to “Prince of the Power of the Air,” in his Epistle (or Letter) to the Ephesians, Chapter 2 verses 1-10 (English Standard Version), where he describes the state of fallen humankind before God’s grace takes hold and saves us (God’s mercy and redemptive act highlighted below in red):

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:1-10 (English Standard Version)

In other words, this fallen world is under the control of the evil one, and to the extent we are preserved from his goal, suffering and death, it is by God’s grace, special saving grace for the believer, and common grace for all. Further, Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 6, verses 10-18, he describes the symbolic “armor of God” in terms of the armor of the Roman soldier. Though Paul was a former Jewish Pharisee who persecuted the first Christians on behalf of the Jerusalem Temple council, the Sanhedrin, after meeting the Risen Jesus in a vision on the road to Damascus where he was intending to persecute Christians, he became the great Apostle of the risen Messiah to the Gentiles. Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 9. Moreover, born in Tarsus, he was a Roman citizen by birth, hence his familiarity with the armor of the Roman soldier. Here is how Paul describes the armor of God as well as his mission as “ambassador in chains” of the Gospel in Ephesians 6:10-20 (ESV). Tradition puts Paul in prison in Rome when he wrote this letter to Ephesus:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

Ephesians 6:10-20 (English Standard Version)

After saying to myself the above passage on the armor of God from Ephesians, I follow that passage with this “Prayer of Thanksgiving for Spiritual Protection” in my daily morning prayers and devotionals:

Prayer Of Thanks For Spiritual Protection

Father God, I praise and thank You for the Word of God and the truths it contains. Thank You for the many instructions, guidelines and boundaries that we are given for our spiritual protection and preservation. Help me to put on the whole armour of God and to remain covered in Christ moment by moment, knowing that it is our only protection and defense against the principalities and powers of darkness, that would seek to undermine our trust in God.

Help me to stand fast in this evil day, and to willingly submit to the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit in my life, so that in His power I may resist the devil and all his evil activities in my life and the lives of those I love.

Keep me from presumptuously thinking that I have strength in and of myself against the wiles of the evil one, knowing that all the instructions, guidelines and boundaries in Scripture are given for my learning and for my spiritual protection. Help me to keep my eyes firmly fixed on Jesus, and my heart securely anchored to the Rock of my salvation. May I never lose sight of my access to the Throne of grace, my glorious position in Christ, my heavenly citizenship and my day by day responsibility to trust Your Word of truth. In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen.

This prayer can be found with several others at this webpage of “Prayers for Spiritual Warfare”:

https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/Prayers-for-Spiritual-Warfare


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