We are exhorted to take the shield of faith in Ephesians 6:16, for it is only as we see ourselves in the Scriptures that we see ourselves at all. Only when the world’s twisted, ungodly images of us are filtered or deflected do we begin to see ourselves as God sees us and live Christly lives. The first four of God’s ten commandments can help us to do this, so long as we are looking at them through faith in Christ:
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me (v. 3) can help us to deal with the blinding light of Satan, outlined in 2 Cor 4:4. As one thinks upon the 1st commandment and how Christ alone did fully keep it, one’s mind is protected from beholding other gods which will ultimately ruin our testimony, making shipwreck of our faith (1 Tim 1:19).
2. Any likeness of any thing (v. 4) refers to that intimate connection between the eye and the mind, thus linking the 1st with the 2nd commandment. Anything which could distract us from beholding more and more of God’s glory is to be put away or at least held at arm’s length, never to be embraced or coveted. We are in the world (Jn 17:11) but not of the world (v. 14), a paradox that only the believer can understand.
3. The tongue, the medium through which souls are saved (Rom 10:4) can be a source of great evil if abused (Ja 3:8). In vain (Ex 20: 7) surely applies to unbelievers and believers alike, in that a loose or shallow use of God’s name is universally admonished. The unsearchable riches of Christ (Eph 3:8) are such that they will never be exhausted, and so must render the thinking or uttering of His name to be undertaken thoughtfully, wondrously and humbly.
4. Behind the mind, the eye, the tongue dwells the person. Our whole walk is to be interrupted and checked, one day in seven. We are to Remember (v. 8) God, so that our weekly approach to life will be regulated and submissive to His will. Our bodies need rest that our souls be more alive.
The shield of faith, then, is the whole word of God which is turned to, opened up and meditated upon by the struggling yet joyful Christian soldier:
He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. (Pro 2:7)